In 1988, Lawrence Weinberg and Joshua E. Baker founded BOWA. After attending the University of Virginia together, Larry worked as a CPA with Arthur Andersen in Atlanta, Georgia, and Josh became a chemist with Exxon Chemical in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. They quickly became dissatisfied with corporate life and decided to form their own company.
Josh, a native of the Washington, D.C. area, recognized the untapped growth in the construction market in this region. In the summer of 1987, both men relocated to Northern Virginia to work as laborers/carpenters on remodeling crews. In January 1988, BOWA was formed with a $5,000 investment from each.
In the beginning, BOWA concentrated on small remodeling jobs such as decks, kitchens, bathrooms and small bump-outs. During this period, Larry and Josh shared both production and sales work. They spent days assisting in the field. Evenings and weekends were filled with sales and paperwork. By the end of the first year, BOWA had hired four people. The company had completed twenty-seven contracts and earned $309,732 in revenues.
Bidding projects through a pool of local architects generated all of BOWA’s early leads. As the referral network grew, BOWA began to land some sizable remodeling projects in the early 1990s. A whole-house remodel in 1991 garnered BOWA a “Contractor of the Year” award from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI).
Around this time, BOWA made the decision to stop bidding projects and sell based on a more collaborative approach. BOWA worked with leading architectural firms and other design professionals as a team to create projects that met clients’ design goals, timing and budgets. This approach is still in use today.
At the request of several clients, BOWA started building new homes in 1994. Similar to their remodeling roots, the new homes that the company builds are highly customized projects with an emphasis on service. Not only does the company manage the entire construction process, BOWA also helps find and evaluate the land, design the house, and facilitate the landscaping and the pool.
The team approach to business continues to be emphasized at BOWA. BOWA is referred to as “Team BOWA”, and every employee is encouraged to participate in all aspects of the company. For example, company-wide quarterly meetings are held to discuss production, sales, financial reports and other pertinent topics. These meetings are especially informative to field personnel who might otherwise be unaware of various aspects of the company.
Employee benefits have become a strong component of BOWA’s employee compensation package. A company-wide profit sharing plan was established in 1991 to distribute 20 percent of the after-tax profits to all employees.
In 2010, BOWA Builders announced its new company identity as BOWA, signifying that the company’s most successful client relationships come from being more than just a builder.
From the very beginning, BOWA provides the single point of accountability for its customers, guiding, executing, and managing their design, construction, and client experience. BOWA transforms houses into homes™ through the design and construction of luxury renovations and additions.