Winter/Spring 2013 |

Universal Design
Ncompass Construction owners Drew and Stefan recently completed certification training to become Ageing in Place Specialists. The certification training was developed by the National Association of Home Builders and the AARP. This means we will be offering specialized services geared toward universal design and building/remodeling to meet the needs of seniors. We have been building universal design elements into our projects for years but the certification is important to help connect us with this growing market. More than half of the inquiries we receive about back yard cottages come from people who want to build a place to house an ageing parent. Over the next year we will be developing a support network of local physical and occupational therapists, estate attorneys and specialty product/service suppliers that we can cross promote with to support the various needs of our clients. If you know any local professional providers who might be interested in this kind of business relationship please send them our way.

Local Talent
Last year we engaged some local West Seattle talent to help us spread the word that we are here to help you get more space! During the first six months of 2013 these thirty-second commercials will air on Comcast distributions of CNN, A&E and the Food Network to promote Ncompass and our participation in the PNA Home Remodel Fair, spring Seattle Home Show and the Green Life Sustainable West Seattle section of the West Seattle Summer Fest.                Do you need more space?

We love building and remodeling houses but these video projects have been incredibly fun! Click here for behind the scenes photos on Facebook. Thanks to the the creative geniuses at Sparkworks Media for helping us bring this to life!

Winter/Spring 2012 |

Greener Views Podcasts
Check out our latest podcast on the Healthy Homecast Network. You can also watch the interview with Stefan and Drew here. Daryl Whalen, owner of Healthy Painting, started the Healthy Homecast Blog to highlight local business owners, vendors and service providers who share a commitment to responsibility and mindfulness.

Cost vs. Value
What is the value of remodeling your home? Improving the quality of your life is our favorite way to reflect on the value of a remodel; however, when it comes time to sell your home it is also good to consider the financial return on your investment. Each year Remodeling Magazine together with Realtor Magazine publishes a report comparing costs vs. returns on several popular remodel projects. Click here to see the latest numbers. You can also compare previous years.
Remodeling 2011-12 Cost vs. Value Report

Free Backyard Cottage Workshops
Ncompass Construction provides free information workshops on backyard cottages. Learn about the history of backyard cottages in Seattle, current City codes and regulations, financing options, planning and design considerations for aging in place, and how to select an architect and builder. Learn more at Ncompass Cottages.

Winter/Spring 2011 |

Open House
In December of 2010 we completed work on an ultra-energy efficient backyard cottage in Ballard. We showcased this project on April 16 and 17th in conjunction with the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild Green Tour. The tour featured some 20 projects representing ecological, affordable design, construction, and lifestyle options for optimum northwest living. Thank you to our clients and friends Lisa and Sean for making this a project to be proud of.

Pod Casts
On May 9th Stefan and Drew were interviewed by Healthy Homecast is an on-line resource for 'greener living'. Each podcast offers useful information, news & events about Eco-related services, products, practices, organizations and groups focused on environmental consciousness & responsibility as well as the general health, happiness, safety and well being of everyone and everything we all share.

Home Shows
This winter saw us at the Seattle Remodeling Expo and Phinney Ridge Home Design Fair once again. This year we presented all new photographs and a custom built display booth that highlighted our approach to simple, tasteful design. We had a great time at both events this year and are continuing to meet with prospective clients about their projects. Thank you to our entire crew, our community and our families for making these events possible.

Northwest EcoBuilding Guild
Ncompass Construction has joined the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild. The Northwest EcoBuilding Guild is a community of builders, designers, suppliers, homeowners, and partners concerned with ecological building in the Pacific Northwest. The Guild offers members and the public monthly events, training and education and publishes the Green Pages directory- a multi-media publication dedicated exclusively to advancing sustainable building professionals, techniques, practices, and products.

Cost vs. Value
What is the value of remodeling your home? Improving the quality of your life is our favorite way to reflect on the value of a remodel; however, when it comes time to sell your home it is also good to consider the financial return on your investment. Each year Remodeling Magazine together with Realtor Magazine publishes a report comparing costs vs. returns on several popular remodel projects. Click here to see the latest numbers. You can also compare previous years.
Remodeling 2010-11 Cost vs. Value Report

Winter/Spring 2010 |

Ncompass Builds Cottages
January 2010

We are now West Seattle’s only contractor specializing in backyard cottage design and construction. The city of Seattle now issues backyard-cottage permits, which allow homeowners to build small dwellings on their property. The current demand for cottages includes people looking to house kids returning from college as well as people creating home-office space or making a place for older parents who want to be near family. Building a cottage allows for a fun, livable dwelling that makes efficient use of the space available. We have also have partnered with designers who have cottage floorplans on file and with finance people to help streamline the process to make it easier to get your cottage built. We are currently building a backyard cottage in Ballard that boasts a super energy efficient shell, rain water harvesting system, heat recovery ventilation, and several other highly integrated sustainable design features.
For more info on Backyard Cottages visit us at Ncompass Cottage Company.

January 2010

Stefan, Drew and the whole team exhibited at the Seattle Home Building & Remodeling Expo on January 15th, 16th and 17th at the Washington State Convention Center.

We were also at the Phinney Ridge Home Remodel Fair on January 31st.
We began participating in the Phinney Ridge Home Design and Remodel Fair in 2007. Each January the Phinney Neighborhood Association brings together builders, designers, suppliers, city building officials and others dedicated to sustainable, creative, quality building practices.
The show is enormously fun, and because it is small and intimate it is a great opportunity to meet and get to know the people in Seattle that are really committed to making a difference in Seattle’s building and remodeling community. There are several workshops offered throughout the day on topics including Choosing & Hiring a Contractor, Working with an Architect, Insulation Options, Home Use of Rain & Greywater, and many, many others. .

Stefan is currently working toward certification as a Sustainable Building Advisor.

In November of 2009 Stefan completed training and certification exams to become a Certified Green Roof Professional. Successful green roofs require a combination of knowledge and expertise in the so-called ‘black arts’ and ‘green arts’. The ‘black arts’ focus on the critical, non-living elements of a green roof assembly such as water proofing, structural engineering and project management, while the ‘green arts’ deal with the living architectural components such as water management, growing media, plants and maintenance. Very few industry professionals currently have the knowledge and expertise that encompass all of these disciplines.

Ncompass Construction is now a member of the Master Builders Association and Built Green. Built Green is an environmentally-friendly, non-profit, residential building program of the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties, developed in partnership with King County, Snohomish County, and other agencies in Washington State.

Winter/Spring 2009 |

Spring 2009

Drew and Stefan were at the West Seattle Summer Fest Friday, July 10 and Saturday, July 11 from10AM to 8PM and Sunday, July 12 - 11AM to 7PM.
West Seattle Summer Fest is a FREE 3-day street fair, hosted by an organization of local area merchants and the West Seattle Junction Association. Now in it’s 27th year, West Seattle Summer Fest is host to dozens of bands, hundreds of merchants and artists, and over 30,000 attendees. Complete with food courts, beer gardens, and family activities, this is a true community celebration in the heart of West Seattle.

February 2009
Ncompass Construction turned five in January 2009! Thank you for your support, your referrals, and your business. If you have a home remodel project- or if you just want to catch up, please give us a call this year!
Ncompass Construction now offers Handyman services. Call us for your small home repairs and improvements!

Spring/Summer 2004 |

Working Together
As of January first Drew Foster and Stefan Hansmire officially joined efforts under the new business name Ncompass Construction LLC. "We started working together a couple years ago and discovered that our backgrounds and skills complement each other remarkably well." As a team we will continue to perform most of our own work, bringing our philosophy of transparency, professionalism, and attention to detail to every project. To learn more about our new business visit our web site at

Planning, Planning, Planning
We focus intensively on planning. We plan every project in great detail before that first wall comes down. Here are the top five things to nail down before you start your next project:

• Budget- Know what you have to spend.
• Schedule - Start planning any major project at least 5-6 months before you hope to actually start.
• People- Hire the right team to do your project.
• Details - Make decisions about the design, materials and finishes so work proceeds on schedule.
• Expectations - Once you have balanced your dreams with you budget make sure you know what to expect moving forward.

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Fall 2002 |

Galvanized or Vinyl-Coated?
Whether you are replacing a water heater or adding on, consider more than price when selecting a contractor. The best price on windows may not really be the best price if those windows are poorly installed or less efficient than the more expensive ones. When planning a more involved project, have a clear understanding of the true scope of the work, know the methods and materials being proposed and whether you and the people you plan to hire will work well together. Every builder will bring a unique perspective to your project so look for the right fit. Our approach is to exceed most expectations of quality, cleanliness, professionalism and customer service- and to stay in touch.

Sustainable Products Profile
15 - 100 year old railroad ties from one of Thailand's longest antiquated runs are being salvaged to make high-quality tropical hardwood flooring. AsiaRain Incorporated, a sustainable flooring materials company based in McCloud California, processes salvaged hardwoods into flooring and sells them in mixed random widths. Species include rosewood, narra, merbau, ironwood, paduk and takien. For more information see

Lower Interest Rates and a New Kitchen?
If you are thinking about financing your remodel project, consider a Renovation Loan. A renovation loan will let you borrow up to 80% of the proposed value of your home with nothing down. You can even build in the points and closing costs. It works just like a conventional loan or refinance and can be tailored to your specific needs- like adding on a third bedroom!

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Spring 2002 |

Reducing Toxins

Over the next 22 months the three U.S. manufactures of Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA)-based treated wood products will phase out use of the preservative in favor of a less toxic alkaline copper compound. The move is the result of a series of meetings between the EPA and manufactures over the dangers of arsenic-based preservatives widely used in residential decks, railings, fences, play structures and other wood building materials. A copy of the EPA study regarding exposure to children by CCA-treated playground structures and contaminated soil is available at
Is Bigger Better?

According to the National Association of Home Builders the average American home topped 2,300 square feet for the first time -- an increase of more then 50% since the 1970s. New houses are also getting taller: more than 40% of new house now have ceilings that are nine feet or higher.

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We are Seattle’s, premier sustainable, Design Build remodel and construction company. We are experienced in remodeling and renovating kitchens, bathrooms, basements, second story additions, kitchen and master suite additions. We build new homes, additions and backyard cottages. We design, build and renovate for aging in place and multigenerational living. We build decks, garages, backyard cottages, porches, and we install windows, doors appliances, millwork, trim, flooring, cabinets, roofing, and siding. We are honest, fair, professional, our work is of high quality, and we respect our Northwest values and communities. We work with local suppliers and trade contractors and we source our materials from locally based suppliers. We are locally recognized members of the King County Master Builders Association, Built Green, the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the Northwest Eco Building Guild, and the Phinney Neighborhood Association. You can read reviews about us on Angie’s List, the BBB, the West Seattle Blog, Google and others. We work in West Seattle, North Seattle, Ballard, Greenwood, Phinney Ridge, Shoreline, Lake City, Roosevelt, Capitol Hill, Beacon Hill, West Seattle, Burien, Sea-Tac, Mercer Island, Renton, Seward Park, Magnolia, Sand Point, Laurelhurst, Madrona, Leschi, Green Lake, Northgate, Ravenna, Crown Hill, Freemont, Queen Anne, Broadmoor, Columbia City, Normandy Park, Arbor Heights, and Beaux Arts.

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