Scott Westby: West by Northwest
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
WALNUT CREEK — The son of a building contractor, Scott Westby had been involved in construction for most of his life when he decided to return to school in pursuit of a new career. However, even after he became a lawyer, his former livelihood managed to find a way back into his life. “After several years in construction, I left my home state of North Dakota to attend law school in Eugene, Oregon,” he recounts. “Following school, I passed the bar exam and moved to Portland, where I practiced law for 10 years. I originally planned to go into business law, but due to my prior professional experience, I kept getting construction litigation cases and ended up practicing construction law.”
Following his Northwest stint, Scott moved to the Bay Area with the intention of continuing his law career. However, following an intermediary sabbatical, he made the decision to return to his construction roots instead. “After moving to California, I decided to take a couple years off before jumping back into my law career,” he explains. “During that time, I kept myself busy by helping friends and neighbors with their home remodeling projects. Everyone kept telling me I should get my contractor’s license and start charging for my work. After enough pestering, I finally decided to take their advice and started my own design/build firm.”
Today, as owner of MSK Design Build, Scott says his favorite part of his job is combining creative ingenuity with financial practicality. “I enjoy working with my clients to conceptualize their projects and explore creative possibilities while figuring out how to get the maximum value for their investments.”
As a resident of Oakland, Scott says he enjoys the creative perks of building in the Bay Area. “The Bay Area is known for its cultural diversity, but it also has a lot of structural diversity. In addition, there’s a wide range of tastes and artistic aspirations among Bay Area homeowners, which makes my work a lot more fun.”
Outside of work, Scott engages in a variety of pastimes, from reading to exploring nature. “I enjoy going on hikes at Redwood Regional Park, Lafayette Park, Big Sur and other natural sites,” he says. Scott also enjoys cultivating his artistic side by drawing, painting and collaborating on creative projects with his daughters, Ana and Alicia.
When asked what his future retirement might look like, Scott says he’ll invest more time into his artistic pursuits. “I’d like to set up a shop where I can have all my tools and art supplies together so I can work on personal projects, as well as collaborations with my girls and various friends who enjoy art.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: Italy. I’ve actually already been there, but I really like the pace of life and the history, plus there’s still a lot of it I haven’t seen.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
Q: What’s your favorite animal?
A: The horse—they tend to have really interesting personalities.
Q: Do you collect anything?
A: I collect shells, particularly ones with irregularities.
Q: Music or talk radio?
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A: Talk radio.