[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.

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[Tim Faller Show] Ep.123: Exploring the Decent Human Being Theory with Nick Slavik

Many remodelers, builders and business owners make resolutions or commitments to create Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and then they get caught up in the daily grind and it never happens. Or, they take the time and energy to create them and they sit, unused, in a binder on a shelf.

Another challenge for many companies we work with is attracting and hiring people, especially new people to the industry, and getting them trained to “do things our way.”

Our guest today, Nick Slavik, has done an outstanding job of developing SOPs for his company and then implementing training to meet those internally. It turns out he has some other views of the world that are extremely helpful in running a business, as well.

Nick is the Proprietor of the Nick Slavik Painting & Restoration Co., Host of Ask a Painter Live, and contributes to This Old House. He has been and national and international speaker on topics such as entrepreneurship, craftspersonship, trades reformation, working with millennials, harnessing technology for trades business, financial benchmarks, industry standards and coating science.

Nick has been a craftsman for more than 25 years. His company has been awarded more than 5 National awards for craftsmanship over the last 3 years. He has created a rigorous Apprenticeship program where he finds, trains, inspires and mentors young people in his craft. In 2018, he was made a family member at This Old House.

Tim, Steve and Nick talk more about:

  • Background and description of the Decent Human Being Theory.
  • Creating & developing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
  • Holding teams accountable and getting them to adhere to SOPs.
  • Developing them is one thing but training to them is another.
  • Balancing the demand for work, growing the business and training new personnel.
  • Hiring green and training OR hiring an experienced painter and re-training them?
  • And more…

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[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

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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.

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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…

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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.

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Ep.111: Becoming a “Carpentress” with Jade Duffy-Michael

As we continue to explore ways to overcome the labor shortage, that plagues so many remodelers and builders in our industry, we found that so many overlook one of the largest untapped labor pools out there… women working in construction.

Women make up a small percentage of the construction workforce and most are in office-based roles or in design. We were excited to hear from a listener that refers to herself as a “Carpentress” – Not sure if that is a real word but we can make it one!

In this episode, Tim and Steve welcome Jade Duffy-Michael to the show to talk more about her experiences as a woman working on the “front lines” of construction. Jade is a “carpentress” with LG Building and Remodeling in Southbury, CT; returning after a year in California where she successfully obtained her finish carpentry license.

Jade, Tim and Steve talk more about the challenges and opportunities that she has experienced, including:

  • Jade’s role in working with LG Building and Remodeling
  • What the industry and business owners can do to cultivate interest in construction for women
  • What the challenges are that she, and other women, face by getting into this business
  • And more….

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Ep.113: Fighting the Labor Shortage with In-house Training with Dan Hurst

The demand and absence of skilled labor is a huge challenge for remodelers across North America. We hear it from our Roundtables Members as well as from our associates, sponsors and Podcast guests.

In this episode Victoria and Mark explore different ways to tackle the issue, and welcome Dan Hurst to the show to talk about how his firm effectively creates a culture and career path that provides opportunities for his staff to learn and develop new skills.

Dan is the President / General Manager of Hurst Design Build Remodel in Westlake, OH and is actively involved in NARI as well as a Master Certified Remodeler and Certified Lead Carpenter.

Dan, Victoria and Mark talk more about:

  • Things you can do to create a culture and provide a path to grow your own skilled workforce
  • Why there is a need to develop your own staff vs. hiring
  • Creating opportunities for your employees to learn and develop new skills
  • What a typical career path might look like
  • Managing and helping your staff achieve their career goals
  • The fear of investing time and energy into developing someone, only to have them leave

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Ep.110: Providing Energy Audits with Larry Mayer

Energy, and more specifically energy efficiency, has been a critical issue for building and remodeling since the late 80’s and 90’s when the attention seemed focused on window size and glazing. Fast-forward to today where the discussion has advanced to green energy, solar and thousands of products focused on energy conservation and efficiency.

An important step in the process is to analyze the current situation with an Energy Audit, performed by a trained professional and perhaps build that into your service offering as a builder or remodeler. Some lenders are requiring it and in many municipalities, it is required for the resale of a residence.

Tim and Steve welcome Larry Mayer to the show to discuss the topic further. Larry is the Owner of Comfort Choice Homes in Fargo, ND, which he founded in 2001 after a successful career with Honeywell. In addition to home building and remodeling, Larry’s company provides Energy Audits to both the residential and commercial markets.

In this episode, Tim, Steve and Larry cover:

  • What an energy audit is and some background on the need for them
  • What is involved and what the tests are
  • Who is qualified to provide an energy audit
  • Why Builders and Remodelers should pay to have this done
  • The need for energy audits in different climates

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Ep.109: NARI Work Force Training with Michelle Glassburn & Asher Nichols

The skilled labor shortage is a challenge we hear far too often about in our industry. In many cases we have asked “What are you doing about it?” and for many, it has been very little.

It’s tough for business owners to take this on themselves because of the finances and resources needed to tackle the issue. It is refreshing to see the trade association stepping up and making a difference.

Tim attended a dinner meeting with the Eastern Mass NARI group a few months back and during that meeting he learned more about their work force development project.

Tim and Steve welcome Michelle Glassburn and Asher Nichols to the program to discuss the progress and success of their program.

Since 2013, Michelle Glassburn has served as Executive Director of the Eastern Massachusetts Chapter of NARI. The organization has created the Youth Remodeling Career Day event, a complement of programs that support vocational schools in the area, a mentorship program for emerging businesses.

Asher Nichols is the owner of Asher Nichols & Craftsmen, LLC in Newton, MA. He has been in business for 15 years, and is a member of the Eastern Massachusetts Chapter of NARI. For the past 2 years, he has worked with Michelle on the Youth Remodeling Career Day Event.

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