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Jim Houston

Construction Consultant

As an in-house Construction Consultant at Ashbaugh Beal, I work directly with both the Firm’s clients and attorneys in the prevention, analysis and resolution of construction disputes. This work includes the preparation and presentation of claims and claim defenses. My claim analyses include all aspects of entitlement evaluation and damage calculation.

Before I joined Ashbaugh Beal in 2001, I acquired 25 years of construction and design experience. In the 1970’s, I gained hands-on experience working as a carpenter and laborer in the residential construction industry. After earning my BS from the University of Washington in 1981, I began my management career in commercial general contracting. My responsibilities started with estimating and project management and eventually lead to senior management and operations roles.

My commercial construction experience includes civil work and building construction in both the public and private sectors. I have extensive experience in both new construction and renovation work. I’ve been responsible for the procurement and completion of projects under the full range of construction contract formats (hard bid, negotiated, CM, and design-build). I’m also a registered architect in the State of Washington.

While employed as a commercial general contractor, I successfully negotiated and resolved hundreds of disputes involving subcontractors, suppliers, design professionals, owners, public agencies and adjacent property owners. At Ashbaugh Beal, I use my construction industry knowledge and past experience to assist clients in the prevention and resolution of construction disputes.


Since joining the Ashbaugh Beal team, my analyses, work products and presentations have played key roles in the successful resolution of well over 100 construction related disputes. I have presented my evaluations and findings effectively at a wide range of dispute resolution proceedings, including: partnering meetings, settlement conferences, DRB hearings, mediation and arbitration. I have also worked successfully β€œin the background,” supporting clients in their preparation and presentation of difficult requests for equitable adjustment and claims. My related efforts have led to dozens of timely change order settlements during the actual project construction phase – allowing my clients a claim and litigation free project closeout.

Analysis and presentation of claims involving:
Bid/Award Protests
Defective Construction Documents
Differing Site Conditions
Disputed Changes in Work
Schedule Disruption
Loss of Productivity
The Cumulative Impact of Changes
Weather Impacts
Insurance Claims
Construction Defects

University of Washington
B.S., Building Construction (1981)
Licensed Architect, WA (1999)
Dispute Resolution Board Certifications:
DRB Administration & Practice (2004)
DRB Chairing (2004)

Associated General Contractors
American Institute of Architects
Construction Industry Advisory Council /UW