industry & government websites
National Association of Home Builders
This national remodelers’ association has a list of professional remodelers, including their designations, by zip code.
Master Builders Association of King & Snohomish Counties
The MBA is the homebuilders’ association in the Seattle metro area and provides a list of members and associates (plumbers, electricians, etc.) that can be searched by specialty.
Washington State L&I Contractor Lookup:
This is the most useful website you’ve never heard of. You can look up any construction service provider licensed in Washington State on this site and check for current licensing, bonding, insurance limits, workers’ compensation account, Department of Revenue account AND see if they have had claims filed against their company, and the outcome of those claims. It’s a little finicky when you type in a company’s name. If you are looking at ABC Plumbing, it may have gone into the system as A B C, A.B.C., A. B. C., or ABC. You have to type it in exactly as it was entered by L&I or you won’t get a result. You can also look up by owner name or contractor’s license number.
A green certification program through the MBA
Northwest EcoBuilding Guild
King County Parcel Viewer
Provides detailed information on every property in King County; often includes old photos of homes, along with sales history, lot size and more.
Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections online tools
The GIS feature quickly determines if your home is in an Environmentally Critical Area. The side sewer map is invaluable if you are building out or adding a bath to a basement. The main website
also has an informative resource center that includes Client Assistance Memos on a variety of topics related to residential construction (How tall can my fence be? What’s a code-compliant railing? Can my project quality for an over-the-counter permit or do I need a full review?)
photos and ideas
- Houzz »
More than 2,000,000 photos from architects and contractors around the world. Allows users to create "ideabooks" and share them with the architect or contractor, and also ask the company who posted the photo anything about the project—materials, color, etc. Sorts by city and type of project so that you can see just what’s relevant to you. Ventana Construction is a contributor to Houzz with ideabook articles on a variety of remodeling topics. See our ideabooks here.
- Kitchens.com » Lots of photos and ideas.
- Remodeling Magazine » This magazine written for industry professionals has a very useful annual cost versus return report by project and by region of the US. Will you get all of your money back out of that kitchen remodel if you sell your home next year? There’s no crystal ball, but this report will help provide some perspective.
limited list of vendors
Windows Doors & more
Builders Supply Hardware
Green Home Solutions
Contract Furnishing Mart