Certified home builders: how Pathway Design and Construction received the first BIAW certification in Seattle

When it comes to your home remodel, you want to entrust your project to an expert. Read on to learn how Pathway went about distinguishing our service from other home remodel contractors in Seattle.

At Pathway Design and Construction, we believe that our history is more than the story of how we came to be: it is also a reminder of the founding values that guide us into the future. Our founder, Paul Kocharhook, started his construction career in the early '90s, working for his grandfather's company in West Seattle.

After graduating from college and gaining some real-world experience, he returned to the Seattle area and became involved in the green building movement as it made its first forays into the Pacific Northwest. Following the completion of his first green home flip in 2007, Paul was so inspired by the benefits of sustainable construction that he decided to make this the focus of his business.

In 2008, Pathway Design and Construction was launched with a clear goal: to make it easier and more rewarding for home renovators to create sustainable, biophilic homes in which their families could thrive.

BIAW certification: How Pathway adds value as the first Seattle builder to have one

One of the best ways that a green building company like Pathway Design and Construction can prove its excellence and build trust with homeowners is by becoming certified by the Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW). That’s because BIAW members are considered some of the finest and most trusted builders in the country.

The Washington State standards for becoming a registered contractor are surprisingly minimal, which means that nearly anyone can apply for and receive a contracting license without having to pass any kind of test or undergo inspection of their work. Naturally, this results in many fly-by-nights entering the industry with nothing more than their aspirations to make a quick buck.

Fortunately for conscientious homeowners, the BIAW certification exists to highlight home builders who prioritize excellent service standards, universal design principles and the latest green building approaches. BIAW certified builders are tried-and-trusted professionals who have proven that they can meet the stringent standards upheld by the BIAW. These standards are much more thorough than those set by the state, and applying for the certification requires much more than simply filling in a form. Applicants for this coveted certification will have their references contacted and their previous work thoroughly inspected before the decision is made to grant them their certification.

Not only is Pathway Design and Construction certified by the BIAW, but our company is also the first green building company in Seattle to receive this elite certification. We were proud winners of the BIAW Excellence in Remodeling Award in 2019 and 2020, and in 2021, the BIAW granted our basement/ADU makeover project our third Excellence in Remodeling Award at their annual prizegiving.

What difference does a BIAW certification make when it comes to your home remodel?

Certified builders are professionals who have passed a stringent vetting process and have been approved by one of the largest home building and renovation industry associations in the country. Their track record of professionalism and their dedication to obtaining only the highest results speaks for itself.

Just a few of the points that set certified builders apart from their competitors include:

  • The BIAW Code of Conduct: in order to earn their certification, builders must comply with the rigorous code of conduct set forth by the BIAW.
  • Comprehensive insurance: certified builders are required to undertake insurance coverages that are substantially more comprehensive than those prescribed by state law.
  • Performance warranty: certified builders are required to provide a written performance warranty before starting on a new project.
  • Contractual agreements: certified builders will always outline the terms of their construction agreement in the form of a clearly defined contract.
  • Homeowner maintenance guide: once the project is completed, a certified builder will guide the homeowner in the correct procedures for optimal maintenance of their home.
  • Listed references: certified builders are required to not only provide a list of references which substantiates their years in business, but to rate the quality of their vendor relationships too.
  • Mandatory binding arbitration: should a project not go as planned, a certified builder is required to offer the option of arbitration instead of litigation, which contributes to lowering legal costs and provides greater privacy and flexibility.

Since Pathway Design and Construction is a certified builder, we are required to uphold all of the above requirements at all times. You can, therefore, rest assured that your project is in the best possible hands when you entrust it to our professional team.

Why Pathway Design and Construction became the first Seattle builder to get a BIAW certification

Getting certified by the BIAW is a long and arduous process. This leads many to wonder why it was so important to our founder, Paul, that we go through with it. The answer is simple: because getting certified means that the quality of our work is guaranteed, and when our work is guaranteed, we earn our client’s trust.

Beyond our commitment to green building practices that benefit both homeowners and the environment, Pathway is deeply committed to delivering exceptional quality work. We believe that there is no better way to display this commitment than becoming the first Seattle builders to earn their BIAW certification.

Why we’re proud to be BIAW certified builders

Since 2008, Pathway Design and Construction has been helping its clients to become healthier, more comfortable and more connected to their homes.

  • Pathway Design and Construction is a certified BIAW Builder. As a member of the BIAW, Pathway Design and Construction follows industry best practices to build with excellence and make your investment into your home last.
  • The BIAW certification doesn't just involve filling in a form — it requires a detailed analysis of the applicant's entire business model, running through every step of their process from start to finish. Only after all this is complete can an applicant become certified by the BIAW.
  • Pathway Design and Construction is the first BIAW-certified building company in Seattle.
  • As recipients of a BIAW certification, we are required to uphold various stringent measures, including the BIAW Code of Conduct, comprehensive insurance, performance warranties and clearly listed references.
  • BIAW certification is a way for us to show that our business practices are aligned with other ethical builders.

Certified for your peace of mind

The BIAW Certified program exists to measure the quality of building contractors and specialists. It provides a benchmark for best practices in the industry, giving clients a way to identify qualified professionals and guide decision-making on projects around the country. At Pathway Design and Construction, we are proud to be counted among a handful of elite professionals who are guaranteed to deliver the best work in our industry.

Ready to learn how our BIAW certification can benefit you as you undertake your next home remodeling project?

About Paul Kocharhook

Paul Kocharhook, Certified Aging in Place Specialist, (CAPS), MCGP and Owner of Pathway Design & Construction, based in SODO Seattle. Download your Remodel Reality Check quick sheet and walk through the main points in a remodel project.