[Tim Faller Show] Ep.125: Motivating & Engaging Employees With Consistent Performance Reviews With Selema Lawson-Jack

We have heard contractors say, “This would be a great business if it weren’t for the people!”

Many remodelers get into the business to build and create… the unfortunate reality is that they can’t build things without people…yet!

One big challenge owners and managers face is the annual employee review. It seems ineffective at creating change and is often just a platform for an employee asking for a raise.

The Owner feels in a bind and grants the raise, often against their better judgment or without any data to back up their decision.

Tim and Steve welcome Selema Lawson-Jack to the show to talk more about how she has assessed each of her company’s Production staff, through periodic performance reviews, and has determined a growth path for them.

Selema Lawson-Jack is the Director of Production at Schroeder Design Build in Fairfax, VA. and has had great success with their performance review process that has resulted in more promotions from within the department than they have had in the past.

Tim, Steve and Selema talk more about:

  • Selema’s overall experience with job reviews in the past and currently.
  • The thought behind holding performance reviews every 3 months.
  • What the reviews consist of and what content is used.
  • The goal of each interaction.
  • Dealing with requests for raises and promotions.
  • Getting the ownership, management and team on board.

Click here to listen to this episode

[Tim Faller Show] Ep.124: 50 Shades of Green with Paul Eldrenkamp

How the concept of “green remodeling” has evolved over time and what, if anything, does it mean today?

In this episode, Tim and Steve discuss the green movement, where it has been, where it is going, and a little about being involved.

To dive further in we welcome Paul Eldrenkamp – Founder and Project Manager for Byggmeister, Inc. in Newton, MA to the show, as he was an early adopter of green building, and remains a thought-leader in the industry years later.

After a wide range of carpentry jobs and a bachelor’s degree in History and Literature of Medieval Europe, Paul founded Byggmeister (Scandinavian for “master builder”) in 1983. Over the course of nearly forty years in business, he has “always placed a high priority on two things: fostering easy, friendly relations with his clients and building a team of people who are as interesting and diverse as they are talented and dedicated.”

Tim, Steve and Paul cover:

  • Defining what “green renovation” means.
  • The biggest mistakes remodelers make when they incorporate green practices into their business model.
  • Reliable sources of building science information.
  • Some of the most entrenched myths about green remodeling.
  • How “green” practices have evolved over 40 years in the industry.

Click here to listen to this episode

[Tim Faller Show] Ep.121: Cracking the Code; Mastering the Art of Building Code Compliance with Mike Guertin

In this episode, Tim and Steve are talking about code… yes, the building code.

Who gets excited about the building code? One of the most common thoughts is that it makes it hard for a contractor to make money, however another thought is, it sets a low bar and as professionals, we should all be building better than the minimum standards.

While likely different across the US and Canada, building codes have a common trait in that they can be a barrier to workflow and our guest for this episode, Mike Guertin, provides us with some useful information and advice on things you may be getting wrong and ways you can stay compliant.

Mike Guertin has been building and remodeling homes in the smallest state in the union for over 40 years. Mike regularly writes for Fine Homebuilding and JLC magazines and trains other contractors on better building practices and building codes at JLC Live, Deck Expo, IBS and other construction trade shows.

Tim, Steve and Mike talk more about:

  • Background on building codes and their purpose.
  • What “Building above code” means.
  • Some common code mistakes contractors & remodelers make.
  • Parts of the building code that contractors may find useful.
  • And more

Click here to listen to this episode

[Tim Faller Show] Ep.120: After the Fire – Where Are They Now? with John Murphy

In Episode 87, back in January, we spoke with John Murphy about the devastating fire that ripped through his cabinet shop and office and the process they were using to rebuild, literally from the ashes.

And, of course, soon after we spoke, COVID hit and they were faced with yet another obstacle… however John’s company was already working remotely, so perhaps they had a head start on the rest of us.

John and his team at Murphy Bros. Design/Build/Remodel in Minneapolis are ready to move back into their offices in the next few weeks and in this episode, Tim and Steve catch up with John to talk more about the process he went through to get there.

Tim, Steve and John cover:

  • A quick review of what happened with the fire.
  • How the business operated while rebuilding the office.
  • Any significant changes to the business (process, procedures, etc.) because of the fire.
  • Outsourcing work & working through other contractors.
  • Working remotely; challenges, opportunities, etc.
  • And more…

Click here to listen to this episode

Ep.119: Moving from Carpenter to Owner with Brad Sawler

Today’s topic came from a subscriber who contacted Tim asking about making the transition from a single owner-operator to building a team and assuming the role of “Boss.”

Some remodelers just want to do the work themselves and stay small. They enjoy wearing all the “hats,” resigning themselves to the fact that they don’t have the energy or desire to take the next step.

This episode focuses on the transition and growth needed to take the next step. No better example than our guest, Brad Sawler, owner of Oxland Builders in Stratham, NH.

Brad Sawler, started Oxland Builders in 2003 with a partner intent on building high-end spec homes. As the company grew, Brad found himself being pulled away from the field more and more often. The time had come for him to take off his tool belt and focus on growing the business.

Since 2016, Brad has focused on sales, estimating and marketing. The company has grown to a field staff of 7 with plans to hire more personnel in 2021.

Tim, Steve and Brad cover:

  • The transition from working in the field and being hand-on to more of a supervisor role.
  • The determination that growth and hiring a staff was necessary.
  • What the hardest hurdles were and what the easiest tasks were to hand off.
  • Learning to trust others in the front office.
  • Changes in project process and documentation.
  • Changes in pricing, labor hours, etc.
  • Establishing a training system with the team.

Click here to listen to this episode

Ep.118: What Makes a Good Boss with Aaron Enfinger and Les Anderson

In this episode, we take a look at what it takes to be a good boss from an employee’s perspective, but also from the supervisor side as well, as both of our guests have risen through the ranks to become leaders of their respective businesses.

Our first guest, Aaron Enfinger, came up through the ranks and is now General Manager of the company he works for. And our second guest, Les Anderson, has been with his boss for almost as long as the company has been in business, in a market where there are many great remodeling companies.

Aaron is the General Manager at The Cleary Company, a Remodel-Design-Build firm in Columbus, Ohio. As The Cleary Company was growing steadily, it became evident in early 2017 that additional oversight and management was needed in the other areas of the organization. The role of General Manager was created, and Aaron was promoted to the role to help fill this void.

Les is a Field Supervisor Sylvestre Remodeling & Design. Les has over 42 years of construction experience, including 36 years in residential remodeling. He has been with Sylvestre for over 34 years, and a field supervisor for twenty years.

Tim, Steve, Aaron and Les talk more about:

  • The most important thing a business owner can do to be a great boss
  • As a supervisor, what you do to try to do to create a great work place
  • What is it about your boss that makes you want to stay
  • What the “deal breaker” is for many employees
  • And more…

Click here to listen to this episode

Ep.117: Maintaining Good Mental Health with Marian Faller

We are well into the Covid crisis of 2020 and we are starting to hear of people struggling with the stress.

We also see business owners and production leaders that are working like crazy to handle the surge of business, catch up or even to just make it all work.

Our guest today is someone that deals with people everyday that are just trying to deal with life and the stress it can bring.

Tim’s wife, Marian Faller, joins the show today with insight and advice on handling and dealing with stress in the workplace, and in your personal life as well.

Marian, a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW), is a psychotherapist working in Rhode Island for over sixteen years through her private practice, Cornerstone Counseling. She excels at providing customized counseling for individuals, groups, and couples with relationship, mental health and addiction concerns.

Tim, Steve and Marian cover:

  • The impact stress can have on people and a workplace.
  • The signs that an owner or manager should be looking for, to see signs of stress.
  • The difference between “normal stress” and “burnout” stress?
  • In talking with an employee, what should a manager watch for to avoid getting “wrong” info.
  • If a manager sees the signs of stress what they should do.
  • What an individual should do if they are seeing themselves over-stressed.
  • Resources for listeners.

Click here to listen to this episode

Ep.116: Detailed Planning for Large Remodeling Jobs with Andy Moore

In the last episode, we talked about the importance of Daily planning with Billy Andrews from Schloegel Design Remodel. In this episode, we take another step by talking more about how to approach planning and orchestration for larger, more extensive remodeling projects.

This topic of planning actually came from one of our subscribers, so keep those ideas coming… We love topic suggestions!

Once again, we tap into the vast talent pool we have here at Remodelers Advantage and welcome Andy Moore, Site Superintendent for Jeff King and Company, to the show to discuss her experience in planning for these types of projects.

Working in the remodeling industry since 2006, Andy came to San Francisco and to Jeff King & Company as a Lead Carpenter in 2012 and transitioned to site supervision duties in 2015. Most recently, Andy supervised the largest project ever undertaken by Jeff King & Company, a 32-month “whopper” with a number of sequencing challenges.

Tim, Steve and Andy cover:

  • Maintaining focus and discipline on a project lasting months and even years.
  • How to organize what is needed on a large, complex project.
  • What the daily, weekly and monthly focus looks like.
  • Tools used for planning and execution.
  • What on-site meetings and planning sessions look like, who is there, etc.
  • And More…

Click here to listen to this episode

Ep.115: The Importance of Daily Planning with Billy Andrews

As you have likely heard us request ideas for show topics and guests, we are happy to deliver with this episode, focusing on the importance of daily planning. This topic can be slightly different depending on the size of the project; this episode is focused on regular sized projects and we will cover planning for larger projects in a future episode.

To explore further, Tim and Steve welcome Billy Andrews to the show to look more closely at how he manages the process, how he put the tools down long enough to actually plan, and look at how he overcame the barriers that popped up along the way.

Billy has worked with Schloegel Design Remodel in Kansas City, Missouri for 5 years, transitioning from Lead Carpenter to his current role as Project Manager.

Tim, Steve and Billy talk more about:

  • Organizing job planning at the beginning and once the job starts.
  • What you need to focus on for daily planning.
  • Advice and Success stories from the field.
  • Systems or tools you use to keep track of the info.

Click here to listen to this episode

Ep.114: Building the Next Generation of Trades with Brek Goin

We have covered the challenges associated with labor shortage on this show and we have probably had more than ten guests that are directly associated with solving the issue and increasing the awareness and opportunity in the Skilled trades.

We have included many guests who are getting involved by putting together programs and initiatives, and not just talking about the problem at hand.

In this episode, Tim and Steve speak with someone who is making a difference and has gone about it in way that especially appeals to the new generation of tradespeople, and that is social media.

Brek Goin, is the Founder of Hammr, an online professional network and labor marketplace for the construction industry. Brek grew up working next to his father in construction and over the last three years has built one of the largest building-related communities on social media.

Brek joins Tim and Steve to talk more about his mission to build the next generation of construction.

Websites and social media links mentioned in this episode:
Hammr
Builders of Instagram

Click here to listen to this episode