meet James Dawes

PlaceMakers is the intersection of founder James Dawes’ lifelong passion for our environment, his extensive world travels, and his twenty years in the construction industry.

As an undergraduate at UC Santa Cruz, James dual-majored in Environmental Studies and Modern Society & Social Thought. After graduating, he joined a small remodeling company in Palo Alto where he began learning the construction trades. For several years, that training was interspersed with periods of extensive travel in Asia, Africa, South America, and the Caribbean.

In Montego Bay, a formative experience grew organically out of opportunity, James’s skills in the trades, and the holistic worldview he had formed in college. In order to complete a thesis on ecotourism, James helped a friend build a house as a base for his research, and realized that some of the more important lessons learned came in unexpected forms and from unexpected places.

James finished the project with a profound appreciation for the resources available to us in developed nations, and a great deal of hard-won savvy about the reuse of quality construction materials. From that point on, James’ growing experience in general contracting was paralleled by a thriving trade in the reuse of building materials and architectural artifacts.

In 1995, James got his contractor’s license and founded PlaceMakers, Inc. on the core values of honesty, service, and sustainability. Throughout every project, PlaceMakers, Inc. continues to hold itself to the highest standards of craftsmanship and service.

PlaceMakers values the team concept, and is equally comfortable joining your design team or assisting in referring a team of qualified professionals. We have built our employee and subcontractor network over 25 years, and tailor our resources to suit your individual project needs.