Lyman, the owner of High Country Contractors and Developers, was raised in the
framing industry. Both he and his father were working for different framing
companies when Paul decided to branch off on his own and start up High Country
Construction in 1994. High Country grew as a family enterprise, with his father
joining as a partner 6 months later, and his brother, Tom, joining as an owner
several years later. Since their father passed away and Tom branched out on his
own last year, Paul has continued to grow High Country Contractors and
Developers into the well-rounded company it is today.
recently caught up with Paul to see how he’s been doing, to learn more about
how High Country has changed over the years and how ABC of Western Washington
(ABCWW) has helped along the way.
With High Country Contractors
moving completely into multifamily development in recent years, how has the
company evolved over time?
we focused, primarily, on custom home framing, but as High Country continued to
grow within the framing industry, we moved into much larger multi-family
framing projects. At one point, we were one of the largest framing companies in
Washington State. It was a very busy time and that’s probably where I acquired
most of my gray hair. As the company continued to evolve, we progressed into
General Contracting and multi-family renovations, which continued to open doors
for more opportunities in development.
exciting thing that I've been able to wrap my arms around over the last decade,
is development – getting into partnerships, building projects and holding
onto them. Our first development project was back in 2007 and we have thrived in
this area since. Unfortunately, my dad left us a couple years ago and that has left
a huge hole, both emotionally and on the business side of things, but in his
honor and true spirit of perseverance, we kept pressing on. He used to love to
say, "We got this," and that has become our mantra over the
How has High Country been
involved with ABCWW over the years?
was a huge supporter of ABCWW, and he really ran with that partnership. He
would show up to every single meeting and convention. If they had a Business
Development breakfast or banquet, he was always there with my mom and he loved
being a part of it. More recently, I’ve found our partnership with ABCWW to be
extremely helpful and reassuring during these distressing times. ABCWW is an
organization that not only talks the talk, but walks the walk.
appreciate the open lines of communication, they are there when you need them. During
these crazy times, we really owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude. ABCWW has
been out there on the front lines, striving to support their members – from
providing PPE resources to lobbying to get us back to work quickly, they have
How does ABCWW’s make a
difference for your business?
overall support that I've felt – specifically, this year – would be enough to
keep me a member the rest of my working days. There is a lot to be said for a
company that steps up when circumstances are bleak. ABCWW has done that and we
have, most definitely, been the recipient of their efforts. The Safety Retro Program
checks come in every year and we distribute that money back to our employees to
incentivize them to work safely, which has, in turn, really helped us keep our
rate and costs low. We also take part in the health insurance trust they facilitate,
which has been a big value to us and our employees, as well as, other great
businesses ABCWW is associated with that have been very helpful to us. ABCWW
really goes to bat for small businesses and we are so thankful to be part of
their program. Our experiences have been nothing but positive and I would
encourage new potential members to research everything they do and understand the
benefits of being a member that have only led to positive results for High
You’ve done a wide range of
interesting projects. Do you have one that you would count as your favorite?
have to say a building my dad and I owned. It was, actually, the first building
that we built and owned together. It was called Centerwood. We built it back in
2009 during the economic downturn, but we did very well on it. It was our first
official venture into successful development projects and it really opened our
eyes to the possibilities of future investment opportunities. It may have even been
the last framing project where we pulled together our crew and framed it
ourselves. Among the many projects over the last decade, that project was,
probably, the highlight for me. It was a simple, little project, but it
definitely has many fond memories surrounding it.