Production

Special Guest Kevin O’Connor of “This Old House” [Best of the Tim Faller Show]

Television is full of construction and remodeling shows, but we all know many of them leave false impressions of how fast and easy the process can be. But the pioneering program, This Old House, still shows viewers how complicated it can be.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the program, and they’re tackling a net-zero retrofit, a mid-century modern remodel, and spearheading outreach programs to get more workers into the trades.

In this episode, Kevin O’Connor, host of the Emmy Award-winning This Old House and Ask This Old House, talks with Tim and Steve about what you see on TV, and how it helps the construction industry as a whole.

Kevin has appeared on the two shows since 2003, and serves on the editorial board of This Old House magazine. He also hosts This New House airing on the DIY Network and Hidden History in Your House airing on the History Channel’s H2 network. Along with his four brothers and two sisters, Kevin grew up on various job sites led by his father, a civil engineer. When Kevin and his wife, Kathleen, were renovating their 1892 Queen Anne Victorian they sent an e-mail seeking advice from the Ask This Old House experts. The house call served as Kevin’s first screen test to serve as the new host (the third host in the history of the home-improvement series).

Kevin talks about the evolution of the show and about the Generation NEXT campaign, cosponsored by the mikeroweWORKS Foundation. It’s a high-profile effort to close the skills gap in the trades, encouraging young people to master those skills and look at construction careers. He also talks about the challenges of working on a job site that’s also a TV shoot, including:

  • Scheduling
  • Scrambling and adapting
  • More about the show’s two projects this season
  • How the show’s contractors juggle TV and their businesses
  • Using their big megaphone
  • And more…
 

Ep.197: From Project Manager to Production Manager with Morgan Thomas

Join Tim and Steve as they talk to Morgan Thomas about her role as a production manager at Leff Design Build.  Morgan discusses how she had to shift her focus from individual projects to looking at the business on a global level, and from solving problems herself to coaching others on how to solve them.

Morgan was born and raised in Sonoma County, and after moving out of state to pursue a degree in Journalism from Gonzaga University, she returned to Sonoma County and landed in a career in commercial construction management.  She then found her way LEFF, where she worked her way up to become the company’s production manager.

Tim, Steve, and Morgan talk more about:

  • The differences between Project and Production managers
  • Tools needed by a Production Manager
  • And more…….

Ep.196: Inventory Management on the Go With Selema Lawson-Jack

Selema Lawson-Jack joins the show and discusses how she found a technology fix to solve an inventory management issue, but was able to expand its capabilities to create efficiencies across the organization, and generate revenue at the same time.  She talks about how Sortly, the affordable app she implemented, operates and how she was able to successfully integrate it into the organization.

 

Selema works for Schroeder Design Build of Fairfax, VA and is the Director of Production, where she oversees all projects in the construction phase.  She is the first point of contact on job sites and leads a team of project managers, project developers and carpenters. She was recently named to Pro Remodeler’s top 40 under 40.

 

Tim, Steve, and Selema talk more about:

  • Organizing inventory using Sortly
  • How Sortly improves the processes for the team
  • And more……

Ep.191: Chatting with a Carpentress with Nancy Meyer

Join us as we talk about women in construction with guest Nancy Meyer.  Nancy talks about breaking through barriers and gender stereotypes in a male dominated field and the tips and tricks to succeed along the way.

After joining Hudson Valley Preservation in 2018 as an office assistant, Nancy has added carpenter to the many hats she currently wears. She brings creative attention to project details and a cheerful attitude to the job site and in the office. She is helping change stereotypes of who a carpenter is, as well as bridging the gap between the office and the field.

Tim, Steve and Nancy talk more about:

  • Bringing women into construction teams
  • Creating a successful work environment
  • And more…

Ep.190: Stop the Runs! (Lumberyard runs that is) with Paul Wurth

Making multiple trips to the lumber yard for construction material is both disruptive to jobsite progress and very costly. By stopping all material runs your business can save thousands of dollars on labor, gas, vehicles and much more.  Guest Paul Wurth is here to share how to stop making these unnecessary trips and save your company money in the long run.

Paul Wurth is the Chief Revenue Officer at the technology startup, RenoRun! RenoRun provides a simple, cost effective way to help contractors stop multiple trips to get construction material, saving time and money. 

Tim, Steve and Paul talk more about:

  • Technology in relation to remodeling
  • Identifying costly behaviors 
  • And more…

Episode 189: The 5 Statements You Should Not Make

What we say is a reflection of what we think, and as clinical counselors will tell you, what we think will dictate how we act. So, how we act will of course dictate success. 

Following this logic, words are very powerful factors in our success.  But do we pay attention to those words?  We tend to be concerned about what we say as it affects others, but what about the effect on ourselves?

What we say is often said without thinking of their potential consequences.  They can be seen as excuses or statements of desperation, or they can be simply things we say when nothing else seems to fit. But all of them can have a negative impact on us and our work, so Tim and Steve share specific examples and how to avoid them.

Tim and Steve talk more about:

  • Encouraging new thought processes
  • Rephrasing the things we say
  • And more…

Ep.188: Skills Training Meets Technology with Jordan Smith

In this episode we’ll cover learning in a digital age, and how training impacts the way we hire and train workers.  Guest Jordan Smith shares the best ways to implement or build onto an existing training program to foster employee progress, career growth and the overall success of one’s organization.

Jordan is the President and Founder of Smith House Company, a design + build firm based in Austin, Texas. He learned to build and weld while working on the farm with his grandad, and after earning a degree in Welding and Materials Engineering, he spent the next 10 years working in heavy construction building everything from robots to ships to offshore oil rigs before transitioning to residential construction. 

Tim, Steve and Jordan talk more about:

  • Accounting for regional differences in business
  • MT Copeland
  • And more…

Ep.185: A Different Calling with Aaron Goeke

We have done a number of episodes that are centered on the idea that we can look outside of our industry to bring in managers. We have also seen where some companies have found great success in hiring Project Managers from outside of the industry and training them in construction.

So, we continue that thought in this episode. Our guest Aaron Goeke comes to us from church ministry, what many people may refer to as a “calling” as opposed to a job.  Host Tim Faller started his working life as a youth minister and switched into construction, and shares his experiences during his transition in this episode.

Aaron is the Production Manager at CROSS, a luxury remodeling firm in San Antonio Texas. Aaron has been with the company for just over a year now, and has a background in custom cabinet building and commercial construction sales. He now manages a team of four project managers, one project coordinator, two construction supervisors and 10 field personnel.

Tim, Steve and Aaron talk more about:

  • Transferable skills
  • What to look for in a PM candidate
  • The process of switching industries
  • And more…

Ep.184: Scheduling From Sales Through Completion with Eric Bain

Scheduling has been a challenge for everyone over the last few years. Scheduling individual jobs is a challenge by itself but adding the sales design process, the job set up, and then the job itself makes the challenge grow exponentially.

Getting the sales design process scheduled is a growing trend in an effort to more accurately predict the start dates for clients.  This process involves gaining the buy-in from designers, sales, and production which can be a daunting task. Our guest today is navigating these waters with success and is here to share his experiences with our listeners.

Eric Bain is the project manager of Innovative Construction and oversees projects as well as handles client relations. He previously worked for the City of Vail where he sharpened his site inspection, landscaping and heavy equipment skills.

Tim, Steve and Eric talk more about:

  • Working alongside sales and design teams 
  • Utilizing a master schedule
  • Dealing with issues regarding supplies
  • And more…

Ep.183: The Importance of Gender Inclusion with Emma Kraft

Happy Women in Construction week!

We welcome guest Emma Kraft to the show to learn about the struggles of bridging the gap in a male dominated field as both a woman, and a daughter.  

Emma Kraft is the Business Operations Manager at Kraft Custom Construction, Inc., located in Salem, Oregon.  The company was started by Emma’s father, Robert Kraft, in 1982. In 2001, he made a conscious decision to down-size the company and focus on completing fewer, higher revenue producing projects. Kraft is a design/build company and does remodeling, additions, and historic restoration work. Kraft employs 5 full-time employees, and completes around $2.5 million in revenue annually.

Tim, Steve and Emma talk more about:

  • Biases against women in construction
  • Some of the challenges exclusive to women
  • How others can help bridge this gap
  • And more…