WBuild, a luxury homebuilder based in Seattle, build concepts to suit what fits a homeowner’s personality and lifestyle, making enhancements in the field to create a custom crafted home for each of its clients.
WITH A PASSION for design and a talent for fulfilling the intent of trusted architectural partners, WBuild elevates the custom build process, owner Ryan Anderson says.
The Seattle-based luxury home builder takes designs a step further – building on concepts to suit what fits a homeowner’s personality and lifestyle – and making enhancements in the field to create a customcrafted home.
“Often, you see something on paper and start building and walking it and think: ‘What if?’” Anderson says. “It’s a characteristic of our company to capitalize and optimize the whole way through to make sure that we are really getting to know the homeowner and reflect them in the design and build.”
The result, he says, is a house that capture’s its owner’s essence. The approach also allows homeowners the chance to feel more engaged in a design and its outcome.
“A lot of companies in our industry are really good builders,” he adds. “That’s really what they see as their job: building what the architect wanted them to build.”
Though WBuild is not a design/builder, the company uses a design/build process, connecting early on with trusted design partners.
“We believe a better product is built as a result of an entire team coming together and every step of the way trying to make it a little bit better,” Anderson says. “That makes a magical, or a charming, experience for customers. With a team that understands the value of design, you’re really going to feel that. People will say, ‘I don’t know what it is about this house, but I love it.’ That’s because a lot of people got excited about it and got behind that vision.”
For a decade, the WBuild team has been delivering design-forward commercial and residential properties and has become known as an ultra-luxury brand.
“Our niche would be being the Mercedes/ Nordstrom of the industry,” Anderson says. “Our No. 1 selling point is design. What distinguishes us from the next company is that everyone in the company comes from a design background, with a deep appreciation for design. We’re believers that design is what distinguishes great projects from just OK projects.”
No. 2 is service, Anderson says.
“We model ourselves after a Nordstrom’s approach,” he says. “We’re not a nickel-anddime company. The customer is always right. We do a lot of training on how to create a great customer experience, which starts with hiring the right people, creating a great culture and training. Service is an outflow of those three.”
On the scenic banks of Lake Washington are two examples of WBuild’s efforts to match homeowners to their environments. The first, completed about two-and-a-half years ago, is a Northwest contemporary that resembles an airplane hangar, built for two Boeing employees.
Wrapped in clear cedar siding, the design features elements and textures meant to warm up contemporary lines and shapes. “A lot of people love contemporary, but they don’t want it to feel too cold,” Anderson says. “Northwest contemporary brings in a lot of dimension and softer design, and a lot of wood.”
Originally designed by the firm Shugart Bates, the house and connected mother-inlaw suite both feature an arched roof and rounded glulams to give an airplane hangar feel. Even though oversized windows and airy spaces are part of the design – the great room stretches 30 feet from floor to ceiling and has glass doors that open all the way – structurally insulated panels and other energy-conscious measures ensure that the homeowner can enjoy energy efficiency, too.
The home’s built-in comforts and conveniences also reflect the couple’s lifestyle. An upstairs office is perched on a second-story pavilion facing the water, and garage doors are oriented toward the lake so the two can pull their boats directly onto the lake.
The WBuild team was augmenting design drawings throughout the build, Project Manager Mike Cox says.
“The plans we were given were about 12 pages, and we probably added another 10 pages of details in the field,” he says. “It’s a very custom process. It’s starting with the plan but then really working with the architect and the homeowner to optimize the design.”
Three houses down, a distinctive mid-century modern reflects its homeowner in its design – despite tricky permitting issues.
The home, completed earlier this year, is technically a remodel because WBuild had to preserve the exact footprint of the house to comply with permitting regulations.
The client, a rowing enthusiast, chose a cobalt blue exterior. An angled overhang over the front door hints at who lives inside.
“That detail is meant to mimic an oar,”Anderson says. “There is an oar shape up top, the water below, and it pulls the whole thing together.”
The home was designed by local firm First Lamp, founded by a former WBuild principal. The throwback design functioned within the building restrictions and made the home unique. Interior finishes, such as red-toned paneling in a bedroom and the furnishings flow with the look. The end result was another client who feels truly at home.
“The homeowner just fell in love with it,” Anderson says.