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...
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. ...