Firm Profile

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The Firm

Burt Lockhart and Mike Suver have been building homes and interiors together for over 25 years, all of that time sharing a vision: that clients deserve honest communication and projects demand careful attention to the last detail. Since launching Lockhart|Suver in 2004, we have completed hundreds of projects in the Seattle area, ranging from modest renovations to multimillion dollar estates. As specialists in building challenging architecture and one-of-a-kind designs, L|S works with many of the Northwest’s best-known and award-winning architects.
Earning Trust It is our belief that projects succeed only when there is considerable trust among the builders, architects, and owners. Although clients hire Lockhart|Suver for its level of expertise, they come to appreciate the entire staff for the content of their character. Through extensive pre-construction planning, our project teams always take time to understand the needs of both owner and architect, then clearly communicate the cost, schedule, and trade-offs required to execute the ideas. The results may not always be what clients want to hear, but they can count on everyone speaking the truth and delivering on the team’s promises.
Incorporating Green Building Practices Lockhart|Suver projects are built with reduced environmental impact, resource conservation and energy efficiency in mind. Our staff’s certifications include Certified Sustainable Building Advisor (CSBA) and LEED Accredited Professional. Prior to incorporating green elements, the firm conducts a cost-benefit analysis to determine how the savings over time can compensate for any higher up-front costs. Many of our projects include ground-source heating systems, solar arrays, sustainable harvested wood products (as designated by the U.S. Green Building Council), reclaimed or re-sawed old growth lumber and green roofing systems. Project teams also work with salvage firms to retain portions of existing buildings whenever feasible. For renovations and building replacements the firm’s standard is to recycle building waste (as much as 85%), including lumber, roofing material, drywall, concrete and masonry.
Staffing the Talent The Lockhart|Suver team includes project managers, experienced superintendents, foremen, carpenters, laborers and apprentices. Our staff is the best in the business – dedicated, talented, courteous and reliable. A Lockhart|Suver project team enlists the Northwest’s most skilled subcontractors and artisans, who are considered an extension of the firm and its values. Although their bids must be competitive, subcontractors are chosen for their integrity, quality of their service and their willingness to work collaboratively to meet project milestones and client expectations.

Client Services

At Lockhart|Suver, we provide architects, owners, and potential clients with several special services.

Building Assessments We help architects, real estate agents and property owners assess the feasibility of executing their ideas on existing structures, provide potential remodeling and renovation scenarios, and weigh the costs vs. benefits of remodeling, rebuilding, or finding new properties.

Construction Warranty For every project we build, we offer clients a year’s free warranty on our work, which covers items that fail prematurely or function poorly.

Maintenance and Repair Following the completion of each project, owners receive an Operations & Maintenance Manual (O&M) — a kind of a maintenance checklist for their home, building, or built environment. Specifically, the O&M lays out recommended monthly, quarterly, and yearly tasks, which clients can handle on their own or ask us to take care of.

Client Support  Lockhart|Suver Home Service department responds to all our clients’ needs following the completion of their projects. We stand by our work and believe that every client should feel secure in the quality and reliability of our craftsmanship and services — not only at project completion but throughout the life of their home, building, or built environment.

 

More about Lockhart|Suver Home Service

Founding Partners

Burt Lockhart

Burt began his construction career in 1981, designing and remodeling a home while attending the University of Washington School of Architecture. After graduating in 1982, he started a design/build firm and went on to acquire a broad range of industry experience managing the construction of high-end residential and commercial projects.

Mike Suver

Mike realized early in his work life that there’s no better job than building. He loved it when starting out as an apprentice carpenter and still loves it today, some 30+ years later. He’s had the opportunity to build some incredible homes, several interesting commercial projects including biotech labs and the renovation of a local museum – and along the way work with many talented craftspeople, designers and architects. Mike is a 1983 graduate of the University of Washington.

Ogham

Ogham (pronounced Owam) is a written language of symbolic glyphs in use in Northern Europe in the second century B.C. It is an alphabet, a series of distinct marks linked together by a vertical solid line representing the trunk of a tree. The marks, on the simplest level, represent tree branches or twigs, but to the ancients of Runic Europe they represented not only letters but also many levels of information and lore. Ogham developed into a rich linguistic culture. It aided an understanding of the world and helped explain the mysteries of nature. The surviving traces of Ogham inscriptions are on stone, but were probably more commonly inscribed on staves of wood and trees. Inscriptions on trees and stone markers was an exclusive way of keeping knowledge of the past or identifying important sites and events known to only the chosen few who were able to complete a rigorous scholarly apprenticeship. The concept of apprenticeship may have been developed from the learning of Ogham. With 19 original glyphs, 19 years of devoted apprenticeship were required to master the depth of meaning in the glyphs.

At Lockhart|Suver we use an Ogham glyph as a symbol of our company and service. While it is simply a graphic reference to the origins of our connected family names, we also find it interesting that the Ogham alphabet markings were formed around a close association between Northern European species of trees, the sounds of their names, symbols, colors and personalities represented in the mystical unknown of the ancient natural world. Today, many of these trees grow and thrive here in the Northwest. These symbolic tree references, combined with a learned process of apprenticeship, were used to grasp the meaning of the runic language known as “The Knowledge of the Trees.” We have our own “Knowledge of the Trees” and every day we strive toward mastery in our industry, in a life-long apprenticeship. We like to think of these ideas of meaning and understanding as a metaphor of our own grasp of the modern language of Architecture, an understanding of true quality and a mastery of the materials in our built world.
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