that means a plan & a partnership

We start with smart

We begin with a plan and a partnership, not a pitch. Norwest won’t just throw you an uninformed bid. We evaluate the whole of your project, first assessing the site for readiness and “surprises”. We call that Know Your Building. That gives you leverage in your lease negotiations and saves you construction dollars down the road. In construction, “surprises” are never good, just code for costly overruns. So why wait for them to find you? Knowing Your Building before you start gives you the options to manage your project and budget, not the other way around. Now that’s Smart.

More value and more quality

When you start with Smart, you’re on a straight-ahead path to getting more value and more quality from your construction project.

When you begin an office, clinic or retail build-out, here are the things you know for certain going in:
A…how much you can spend.
B…well, there is no B. There’s just a whole lot you don’t know.

This is why your actual budget and the bids you get can be two very different things. Unless you are experienced in construction and contracting and codes and zoning and builders’ lingo, you don’t actually know what your budget will buy. Or what your project site is hiding. You may have a design in hand—but more often than not, that design has a pretty loose connection to your actual budget.

But we’ve got your back. The Plan includes our unique Design-to-Budget™ methodology and our DesignLab™.


What will your budget buy? Maybe not everything you want it to…but how can you be sure? Being Better from Smart to Finish helps. So does Norwest’s unique Design-to-Budget™ methodology.

Design-to-Budget™ brings your budget and your site conditions and your design into alignment. You’ll know how far your dollars go toward your goals for the project. Maybe you’ll be golden, maybe you’ll need to re-think. But you won’t be left in a hole.

Design-to- Budget™ makes uncommon good sense. Simply start with all the things your project absolutely needs to open for business, like walls, doors, electrical, plumbing, etc. Now comes the fun part to make your office, clinic or store more than your workplace, but a manifestation of who you are and how you do what you do. Prioritize the things you want. The clarity of knowing what your budget buys put you on track for a more efficient and successful process. The Partnership means that we are always working together with you openly and responsively.

Then we utilize Norwest’s one-of-a-kind DesignLab™, which offers you and your design professionals an unmatched opportunity to make the most of the design, while still controlling costs. That’s how Norwest Contractors builds you the absolute best project your budget can honestly, expertly, creatively and beautifully buy.


Wouldn’t it be great if there was one place to shop for commercial finish options? And not just a place with samples, but a full range of design choices that are actually installed so you could really compare how different options, materials, and colors will look and cost? Yes, it would be great—and we know that because we built it.

DesignLab™ presents an installed gallery of commercial finish options that enables visual comparisons, and gives you the knowledge and confidence to select the features that fit your individual budget and priorities. In one convenient space, DesignLab™ is the perfect environment to discover and select architectural, sustainability and performance enhancements.

We created DesignLab™ to help you realize the most functional and appealing interiors, in less time and with greater budgetary control. Using DesignLab™, you can streamline your entire design-to-budget process and know exactly what your project will look like. That’s better from smart to—well, you get it.

Client Reviews

Dr. Jean Battig

“It works great. It’s exactly what I wanted. I am so proud to have this place!”

Animal Dental Clinic

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Dr. Jay Bayat

“On a scale from 1 to 10, I would give Norwest a 10! I would give them 5 stars.”

Multnomah Endodontics & Microsurgery

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Watch The Video

Watch The Video

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Additional Reviews

Dr. Thurwatcher & Dr. Graff

Kenton Animal Hospital

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Dr. Yan Duan

Renew Aesthetic Clinic

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Dr. Ronald Hsu

Storybook Dental

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Our Process


In Two-And-A-Half Clear, Effective Steps

Step 1

Know Your Building

Removing the bad surprises that lead to cost overruns should be Job One in the process. With Norwest, it always is. Our Know Your Building evaluation will assess existing site conditions and their impact on budget and planned tenant occupancy. Sewer issues? Electrical, plumbing, earthquake mitigation? Don’t guess—know.

The Know Your Building assessment enables us to establish a Baseline Budget (“minimum project investment”) that also defines and estimates the basic construction components necessary to meet your space requirements, plus required non-construction project expenses. In short, no bad surprises.

Step 2


What will your budget buy? Maybe everything you want it to, maybe not. Would you rather find out halfway into the project, or at the beginning? That’s the reason behind Norwest’s unique Design-to-Budget™ methodology.

It’s all about removing the expensive, time-consuming surprises from the process. First, Norwest’s Know Your Building evaluation will assess existing site conditions and their impact on budget and planned tenant occupancy.

Then Design-to-Budget™ will bring your budget and your site conditions and your design plan into alignment. You’ll know how far your dollars go toward your goals for the project. The process enables you to relax and Norwest Contractors to build you the absolute best project your budget can honestly, expertly, creatively and beautifully buy.

Step Two-And-A-Half


We call our unique DesignLab™ “step two-and-a-half” because using it to explore options, find great solutions and control costs is really tied into the Design-to-Budget™ thing, but DesignLab™ is so special, so unique and so helpful that we had to give it a section of its own.

The Norwest Contractors DesignLab™ commercial showroom is the only place on the West Coast that presents design choices that are actually installed so you really can touch, compare and select from the wide range of commercial interior materials, finishes, and fixtures available for your project.

It’s a place where everyone involved in developing commercial interiors can effectively collaborate in a productive, hands-on environment. Better from floor to ceiling— better from smart to finish.



Back in 1993, the late Norwest founder Dean Lampus was coming from a career as the real estate and construction manager for a national chain of retail stores. Too many times he had seen the pitfalls of getting blindsided by “surprises” his general contractors had either failed to see or just ignored in the process of putting together a low bid. He and his brother Jim vowed never to be that general contractor. From day one, they determined to be better prepared, better researched and just plain better. That promise carries over to everyone at Norwest Contractors. We’re not always perfect, but perfect is always the plan.

Contact Norwest Contractors

Better from Smart to Finish: Start Here

If you are planning or considering a construction project and want the best result at the best value, we would welcome the opportunity to discuss the many unique ways we can meet your needs and help ensure a successful project, on-time and on-budget. And we would be delighted to set up a tour of the Norwest DesignLab™ and let you see for yourself how it can streamline the entire construction process and empower you to make smarter decisions and gain greater control of your project.

Fill in the form below and we’ll contact you. Or, if you don’t have that kind of time, just click here to email us. Or just go old school and call Jim Lampus today at 503-291-6986.

We’re looking forward to building the plan, the partnership, and your project.

6 + 14 =


Norwest Contractors and DesignLab are located just 11 minutes from downtown Portland. We can be a little tricky to find the first time, so please click here for a map and directions.


The Norwest DesignLab™ is the only place on the West Coast where healthcare and business professionals, designers and architects can see, feel and touch the wide range of commercial interior materials and fixtures available for your project.

OR License No. 89425
WA License No. NORWEC1004RD

7235 SW Stephen Ln, Portland, OR 97225