The Biggest Waste of a Builder's Time





The biggest waste of a Builders’ time isn’t golfing (although some Builders would disagree with me)

The biggest waste of a Builders’ time isn’t management meetings (although again some Builders I know would strongly disagree0

The biggest time wasters are the endless parade of Sales reps from every walk of life, every supplier, realtor, advertiser, and promoter of gadgets you can think of.

Just today I was dealing with setting up a scheduling system for a new set of projects, and staff came to me with the latest and greatest (and their favourite) online gadget, complete with tutorials and complexities galore.   Experience has shown me how wasteful these “shiny objects” can be when a simple, one-page production schedule works just fine.

It’s not like the industry should not evolve and become more digital, but in truth, there is way too much detail, way too many...

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The Importance of a Room

Uncategorized Sep 18, 2019
I recently met with a great couple, considering building.  Every family is unique, and I have been walking with this couple on their house planning journey for two years.
The plan under consideration has a second-floor laundry, a room about 6 x 6.   For this family, this will be the prayer room.  It is centrally located on the bedroom level, private, with a door.  For future resale, we will install the laundry hook-ups, but for now, this is a prayer room.
Did I mention this is a great couple?  Why would I think that?  Well, I can tell you it's not because of religious devotion, notwithstanding their obvious commitment to prayer.  It's because they are a family that deeply cares for each other and those they are in a relationship with.  I know because we have walked together a long time, they make personal sacrifices for the well being of others, they are strong negotiators without being unfair or unrealistic.  
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I think there is a little bit of procrastinator in all of us.

I certainly qualify.

I read many guru’s books on self-development, and most strongly support having a personal coach.   One, in particular, inspired me to write down my goals and one of my stated goals was to hire a personal coach.   I even planned to spend $6,000.

And I did nothing to make that happen for a good four years.

And nothing changed except I got older and more bogged down.

But two years ago I “saw” a young man on a periscope broadcast, and he was so encouraging!   He was offering personal coaching, and I reached out to him.  It was the best decision of my life.

I still have my coaching notes in a big yellow binder, with my personal vision statement written out and signed.   I am so proud of the work I did on myself, with his help and guidance.   It changed how I viewed myself and life itself.

Personal coaching helped me identify blockages...

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This blog is a bit personal, but any Builder worth his or her salt has some stories to tell.   Some are funny, some are tragic.  All are real life to the Builder.

  1. OPTIMISM: Optimism is the Builder’s stock in trade, otherwise who would be doing what we do, take the risks we take, and work so hard for sometimes so little.   But Optimism has to be tempered with sober thinking and careful planning.  Running ahead too fast, expanding beyond controls in place, reacting too quickly to perceived threats AND opportunities.   All of these and more increase the Builder’s risk and can lead to burnout or worse.  So be optimistic, but be realistic at the same time.
  2. PESSIMISM; The opposite of Optimism is Pessimism.  But they are not really true opposites.  Builder optimism is the lifeblood of the business, the juice that gets everyone up and going every single day, rain or shine.   Pessimism is like a cancer, it eats...
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5 Challenges Manitoba Home Builders Face

Home building isn’t an easy business, and it's not getting any easier.

In Manitoba, we face unique challenges, and in this environment, we forge some of the best trades, suppliers, and builders on the planet.   They say “if you can make it in Winnipeg, you can make it anywhere!”   Nowhere is this truer than in the arena of construction and home building.

  1. The weather alone impacts our business more than we realize. From 30 degree C days (80+F) summers to minus 30 and minus 40 extremes in the winter months (minus 40C equals minus 40F if anyone cares).   At minus 40, in anyone’s world, that’s crazy cold.   But in Manitoba, that’s just winter.  So we build on through it all.   We know exactly the point where our compressor lines will freeze before our hands do.  We know exactly when to shut a job site down because the weather is now life-threatening.  (we are not wimps, it has to be...
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Why homebuilding is one of the most profitable side/full time ventures in today’s economy.

I might be preaching to the converted here, but even our favorite TV programs today highlight house-flipping, real estate investing, and often walk us through entire renovation projects…in amazing (and unrealistic) timelines.

The TV only produces a product that audiences support.  If the world out there wasn’t fascinated with the subject, these programs would go away quickly.

This should tell you something.   There is a niche, a place in the marketplace where the average person can navigate to profits without a great deal of licensing and hoops to jump through.

Think about it.   Even realtors have to take a course and pay for a license to work in this realm.   How many contractors have come and gone totally unlicensed and unregulated?

I know our industry is moving toward tighter licensing and regulations, but in the meantime, it’s still open water for fishing for business.

The trick is, can you set up a solid, reputable business...

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My First Build

They say everyone has to start somewhere.   Some of us had such humble beginnings we don’t like to think or talk about them, but it's important to know that anyone can do this.

I was raised on a farm, so simple construction projects were often the way of life for us.   I learned to mix concrete by hand, form foundations with boards and sweat and tears, and to work hard at an early age.

But the idea to build my first house began as an idealistic conversation between myself and a handful of university buddies.   Finally, two of us decided to take the plunge and design and build a house to be sold.  How naïve we were!

I remember drafting the plans myself, ( rather crudely by today’s standards), and applying for a mortgage at age twenty at the local bank.  It was a small town, things were done more casually back then, but in no time I was financed and on my way.

The build went fairly well for a while, we hired a contractor to...

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Doing it For The Little Guy

When I consider the landscape of builders and renovators that make up our marketplace, I am drawn more to the startups, the guys doing just a handful of projects every year.   Typically, these men and women are very much hands-on, usually trades based, doing an honest days work for an honest day’s pay.   This is my tribe.

It's not like I am not familiar with the mega-builder community.   I have a lifetime of experience at the boardroom tables of high volume builders and developers and intimate knowledge of their sophisticated systems of operation.

Although we typically build (ourselves) very high-end large homes, very big ticket contracts, my own personal comfort zone has always been the entry-level market, because those clients are usually grateful for what you can give them and just a simpler market to serve.

Likewise, when considering coaching builders and renovators, my comfort zone is the five-to-ten homes a year small contractor.  ...

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