Learn the Craft

Learn the craft - Soundhouse Construction

Richard Russell, Soundhouse principal, is available to teach classes and workshops on all aspects of construction and contracting skills.


He regularly teaches at Skagit Valley College on San Juan Island. Russell’s seminars usually are available in the fall and spring terms and include topics such as “House Building in San Juan County,” “Understanding Home Building Costs” and a “San Juan Symposium for Professionals.”


For seven years, Russell served on staff at the University of California in Santa Barbara, teaching hands-on building, construction overview, contractor law and construction estimating. While there, he developed the university’s extension construction curriculum.


Master House Carpenter


More than any classroom experience, however, Russell’s expertise arises from his years on the job. He learned his trade from the ground up, and he’s proud of it. Russell started his career as a carpenter and in 1969, became a Master House Carpenter. To qualify for this designation, he demonstrated proficiency in all areas of house carpentry from setting concrete forms to framing, from installing watertight windows to crafting beautiful cabinets. Today he enjoys sharing this knowledge with others.


Russell’s teaching focuses on each student’s personal development. What he recalls with the most pride in his career is not a student’s particularly well- crafted cabinet, but a moment of personal growth. One student showed a lack of self-esteem, struggling along in his housebuilding class, a hands-on six-week course. One day, when Russell came across a doubled-top plate someone had nailed improperly, he handed the young woman a hammer and asked her to nail it. She argued that she didn’t know how to hammer well enough and that she wasn’t good enough. He was gentle and unrelenting. She climbed up on the elevated platform while insisting that he hold her. She summoned the courage and, with his help, securely nailed the plate into place. When she stepped back, the class burst into applause and the woman broke into tears of joy. “To be a part of such a moment is a blessing,” he recalls.


Learn More
Learn more about how Richard Russell can help you learn the craft in classes and workshops on all aspects of construction and contracting skills. Please call 360.376.3333 or send an email to rrussell@soundhousellc.com.