Management

Ep.146: Diversity in Trades with David Jacobs

As the remodeling and custom building industries struggle to find young, talented, hard-working talent to hire, business owners often miss out by not looking toward opportunities for minority hiring.

Expanding the search for talent in otherwise overlooked groups of people can open up an entirely new group of prospects. Guest David Jacobs of Jobs for Delaware Graduates shares how he provides students with a post-secondary plan while encouraging students to enter fields of trades.

David has spent the past seven years as a classroom teacher with the mission to enable students to achieve academic, career, personal and social success.  With over 15 years of experience working with youth, David discusses the challenges that he sees in inner-city students who may lack motivation and a vision for their future. 

Through the Jobs for Delaware Graduates program, he is able to provide students with the knowledge and benefits of choosing a career in the field of trades.

Tim, Steve and David talk more about:

  • The current lack of diversity in the trades
  • Expanding the search for trades
  • Possible ways to increase awareness and diversity in the field of trades
  • And more…

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Ep.144: Moving From Tract Building to Custom Renovations with Scott Fridrych

Bridging the gap between new home construction and remodeling can seem pretty intense. There can be a lot of bias from each side about which is better or quite frankly, which is easier. 

Hearing the perspective of someone who has had experience from both sides can help both new home builders and remodelers understand the benefits of each, and in this episode, guest Scott Fridrych does just that.

Scott has spent two years as the project manager at Liv Companies, and was brought on to lighten the workload between the owner and supervisor, allowing them to focus on building the company. 

Scott has a BA in construction management from Ferris State University and brings over 20 years of experience in residential construction to this episode to talk about the transition from new home building to remodeling.

Tim, Steve and Scott talk more about:

  • What it’s like going from a production builder to custom remodeling
  • Why a production builder might make that transition
  • More about Liv Companies
  • And more…

Are you and your team struggling with estimating?

Unable to Win Contracts? Or, Getting the work, but not making a profit?

Whether you are an owner that handles the estimates or the estimator for a company, you will find a gold mine of information in the Art of Estimating Masterclass, led by Tim Faller, on April 13th & 14th. 

[Click Here for More Information + Registration]

Ep.143: From Client to Employee with Meghan Haines

The transition from client to employee, does it work?  

Meghan Haines joins Tim and Steve in this episode to talk about the dynamic from being a client to now an employee and why it may or may not work. 

Having the knowledge and experience of a client in the remodeling industry is helpful in the transition to becoming an employee and brings a point of view that some employees may not have.  Meghan talks about the surprises and potential roadblocks in the transition and how she has made it work.

Meghan Haines is the Production Coordinator for Hercules Design Build, a remodeling company in the St. Louis area. Meghan has been with Hercules for a little over a year and a half; However, before joining the company, she was a client for three remodeling projects in her own home.

Tim, Steve and Meghan talk more about:

  • Customer relations
  • The benefits of bringing experience into remodeling from different fields 
  • Advice for contractors interested in hiring
  • And more…

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Ep.141: Breaking the Gender Barriers with Isabella Battig

Being a woman in a field that is dominated by men presents its challenges.  So, how do they do it?

Isabella Battig joins Tim and Steve in this episode and talks about what it is like being a female trade contractor and some of the experiences she has had working in construction and remodeling. 

Isabella discusses the things that she looks for in a general contractor from her point of view and ultimately, how she has become successful in a career that lacks a strong female presence.

Isabella is the owner of Kinetic Lighting and Electric LLC and began her career as an apprentice in 1999 with no prior experience working in trades, but an interest and a goal to someday be her own boss.

Isabella had to jump through a lot of hoops to learn how to get to where she is now, but with the help of fellow trade contractors and researching the ins and out of her field, she has become the successful businesswoman that she knew she could be.

Tim, Steve and Isabella talk more about:

  • What it is like being a woman in a male dominated field
  • What a trade contractor looks for in a general contractor
  • The importance of being realistic when starting a company
  • The benefits of having trusted employees and staff
  • And more… 

Ep.140: Hitting Budgets as a Project Manager with Raul Lopez

Raul Lopez is a Project Manager at Innovative Construction Inc. and manages all aspects of construction on multiple jobs from start to finish.  Raul believes that only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.

After 8 years working in the food industry as a General Manager, he decided it was time for a change and gave construction a try. He started as a laborer on a framing company, and quickly learned the skills and how to deal with inspections and codes.  Three years later, he got the opportunity to work at Innovative construction, starting as a carpenter and working his way up to Project Manager.

In addition to managing projects, he does drafting and design, providing 3D renderings and Construction plans.  He has also won MVP of the company for two consecutive years.  Raul is also currently enrolled to become a NARI CRPM (Certified Remodeling Project Manager.)

Tim, Steve and Raul talk more about:

  • The importance of building teams in construction
  • The transition from a laborer to a manager
  • And more…

Learn the Art of Estimating in this two-day, intensive class coming up in April.

Presented by Tim Faller, this course will be an interactive experience for you and for your estimator, covering the purpose of estimating, the challenges we face, and why accurate estimating can be so difficult.
[ Click Here for More Information + Registration ]

Ep.138: A Trade Contractors Point of View with Nick Kozar

We have addressed the remodeler/trade contractor relationship in past episode; one from a Production Manager and the other from an on-site Project Manager, but both from the remodeler’s perspective.

Learning a different point of view of who you’re working with is crucial to running a smooth business and a lot of remodelers could benefit from hearing the perspective of a trade contractor.

In this episode, Nick Kozar, owner of Chelsea Plumbing, does just that.

Located in Chelsea, Michigan, Nick began his career with Chelsea Plumbing as an apprentice with no knowledge of the plumbing trade. After 13 years as an employee and receiving Journeyman, Master, and Mechanical Contractor licenses, he purchased the business from its founder who started the company in 1979.

Tim, Steve and Nick talk more about:

  • Top three “things” that are important to the trade contractor.
  • Effective ways to address scheduling between remodelers and trade contractors.
  • Dealing with higher costs of trade labor.
  • Strengthening trade and contractor relationships.
  • The perspective of a trade contractor.
  • And more…

FREE Webinar: The Slippage Blame Game

How to Look at Slippage from All Perspectives
Perhaps more devastating than lost profit, the slippage blame game, typically between estimating and production, can wreak havoc on company morale and affect the entire culture of the business.

This FREE webinar, on Tuesday, February 23rd, will focus on the challenge of getting the numbers right and how to look at the problem from all perspectives.
[Click Here for More Information + Registration]

Ep.137: Work Force Development in Non-vocational Schools with Rhonda Hanaway

We have done a number of podcasts on work force development. We have spoken with contractors, vocational school teachers, and trade associations like NARI about the topic that is so important to the future of our industry.

In this episode, we are expanding by talking to a Career Advisor who works in the guidance department of a Charter School here in Rhode Island.

We have worked with Rhonda Hanaway on in-person and virtual career days and learning sessions with her school and others in our region.

Rhonda is the Career Advisor at Blackstone Academy Charter School in Pawtucket, RI and has recently been appointed to the Governor’s Coaching Corps in the state of RI. This is a cohort of 35 professionals chosen out of a large pool of people around the state to work on essential questions for Workforce Development.

Tim, Steve and Rhonda cover:

  • The difference between a Charter School and a Regular School.
  • What Remodelers and Builders can do to get involved in the non-vocational schools in their own areas.
  • What the approach should be and what person or title should they should reach out to.
  • How to get schools involved that may not have a similar program in place.
  • Job Fairs; what are they and how can they be started.
  • And more…

FREE Webinar: The Slippage Blame Game - Who's Fault is it?

As long as there has been estimating, there has been the blame game when the estimated price doesn’t match the production costs… that gap is referred to as “slippage” and when left out-of-control, can be devastating to a growing remodeling business.

Tim Faller will lead this FREE webinar on Tuesday, February 23rd, and will focus on the challenge of getting the numbers right and how to look at the problem from all perspectives.

[Click Here for More Information & to Registration]

Ep.135: Let’s Revisit Zero Punch List Production with Mike Volochuk

On our third episode, back in March of 2018, we talked with Mike Barkhouse from Amsted Design Build about achieving “Zero Punch List” production.

We heard from a few listeners about that episode, and the concept of Zero Punch List, so we wanted to revisit it and we are now evangelists in pushing to see the term “Punch list” eliminated from the remodeler’s vocabulary.

Punch list is so ingrained within the industry, that it is a tough thing to conceive of not having one. Every blog article written about working with a contractor says something about that punch list. Usually, “Don’t pay until it is done.”

Our guest for this episode is Mike Voloschuk, Production Manager at Hurst Design Build Remodel in Westlake, Ohio. Mike is a member of our Roundtables for Production Managers peer group and when he mentioned how his firm had adopted the Zero Punch strategy, we invited him to join us and discuss it.

Mike has been with Hurst since 2008 and has moved up from Carpenter to Production Manager over the years.

Tim, Steve and Mike talk more about:

  • Background on Hurst Design Build Remodel (size of projects, type of work, etc.).
  • Why Hurst moved to Zero Punch List production.
  • How Hurst made the transition and how the team reacted and adapted to the change.
  • How Hurst is doing with the new production mindset and how the clients have responded.
  • And more…

This Episode Brought is Sponsored by LL Flooring

We are excited to welcome LL Flooring as a sponsor for this episode. For over 25 years and with over 400 locations nationwide, they have focused on doing one thing – hard surface flooring – better than anyone else. Check out their website here – LL Flooring

Ep.134: Seeing Projects from the Client’s Point of View with Meghan Haines

Have you ever gone through an entire job thinking that the client was delighted with your work and then discovered afterward that they liked most of it, BUT…. (you fill in the blank). So, the question remains, how do you ensure customer satisfaction or, as some call it, creating “Raving Fans?”

There is no better way to explore this than by asking real clients, and even better when the client has a remodeling background and can look at it from either viewpoint.

Meghan Haines is the Production Coordinator for Hercules Design Build, a remodeling company in the St. Louis area. Meghan has been with Hercules for a little over a year and a half; However, before joining the company, she was a client for three remodeling projects in her own home.

Tim, Steve and Meghan talk more about:

  • Background on Meghan’s household (size of house, family, pets, etc.).
  • Description of the projects that Meghan contracted for.
  • Sales & production: did they match and meet expectations.
  • The most critical action an on-site manager can take while working on a project.
  • Things that the contractor did that made the projects more bearable.
  • Advice for remodelers from the client’s perspective.
  • And more…

This Episode Brought is Sponsored by LL Flooring -

We are excited to welcome LL Flooring as a sponsor for this episode. For over 25 years and with over 400 locations nationwide, they have focused on doing one thing – hard surface flooring – better than anyone else. Check out their website here – LL Flooring

Ep.133: Talking About Constraint Management with Chris Peterson

The production professionals that we work with in our Roundtables Peer Group Program for Production Managers are creatively solving problems and finding new ways to manage jobs.

Whether it is motivating their teams, finding new way to drive profit or measuring dollars with a new metric, sometimes we just hear about a cool idea. During our fall meetings, we heard a few new concepts and strategies that we wanted to learn more about.

Therefore, in the spirit of talking with people that are solving challenges, we welcome back a former guest, Chris Peterson, VP of Production at Schloegel Design Remodel in Kansas City, MO to talk more about how he and his team address and handle constraint management.

Chris has been with Schloegel for 24 years and has served in every role on the production side of the business. Three years ago, Chris and his business partner, Charlie Schloegel, purchased the business, which just celebrated 40 years in business!

Tim, Steve and Chris talk more about:

  • Background and description of Schloegel Design Remodel (size of team, type of work, etc.)
  • What constraint management is and how Schloegel handles it.
  • How you spot the constraint and what to do when you know where it is.
  • Does the constraint ever really go away?
  • Being proactive with constraint management.
  • And more…

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