home building

Ep.38: Working with Trades On-Site with John Vendafreddo

When you’re managing a project, you need your Trade Partners and Subcontractors to work with you, not against you. That means you need to build strong relationships and make them feel like they’re all part of the same team.

The three main things to help that along, says John Vendafreddo, is to do your research to ensure you’re hiring right, pay Subs as quickly as you can after they’re done, and make sure the job site is 100% ready for them on the day they’re scheduled to start.

In this episode, John talks to Tim and Steve about what how to create and maintain great relationships with Trade Partners and Subs.

After realizing the carpenters union was not for him, John called his cousin Brian Hogan to ask if he was hiring, and if he offered health insurance. John started with Hogan Design & Construction in Geneva, IL, in 2005 as a laborer. He quickly learned the skills in the field and was promoted to Lead Carpenter in 2007. From there, he built relationships with subcontractors and homeowners and took an interest management. In 2012, he was promoted to Project Manager. John just completed HDC’s first new-construction home, and is currently managing four other new developments.

Communication is the key to building relationships, and John walks you through the process of how he interacts with his Subs. That starts early, with a verbal heads-up on another job, followed by a formal welcome letter. He talks about the importance of having everything ready on site and — in HDC’s case — on BuilderTrend, giving Subs access to the plans, selections and schedule information. He also talks about how to:

  • Keep Subs loyal longer
  • Control Sub’s prices from jumping up
  • Learn from previous inspections
  • Manage change orders and maintaining proper channels
  • Put two Subs on-site at the same time
  • Figure out which Subs can overlap
  • Manage them once they’re there
  • And more…

If you want to learn how to manage your Subs better, streamline your production schedule, and get more jobs done on time and on budget, there’s a whole lot to consider in this episode.

 

Ep.36: Creating Comfortable Buildings Through Energy Efficiency with John Viner

Remodeling solutions that make people more comfortable in their homes, while saving energy, are becoming more important to remodelers and homeowners. Researchers and specialists are diving into this, and manufacturers are creating new products that will achieve those goals.

But it’s still not simple. You have to look at the building itself — not just the addition you’re building or the rooms you’re remodeling — as its own unique system, says John Viner.

In this week’s episode, John talks with Tim and Steve about working toward zero-energy buildings, and what that takes.

John’s a Senior Project Manager at Seventhwave in Madison, WI, a non-profit dedicated to solving technical problems when transitioning to clean energy, and working with state, government and local utilities to save energy. He develops and manages education programs for residential, commercial, and industrial building professionals. His specialty is working with energy-efficiency programs, working with customers and trade partners to identify knowledge gaps, and creating content that empowers utilities, builders, and consumers to change their energy use. As a technical expert, John keeps his skills sharp with in-the-field projects as part of Seventhwave’s research and program evaluation program.

Also, much like Consumer Reports, Seventhwave test products to make sure manufacturer’s claims about energy-efficiency actually work in the real world.

So many factors combine to make a building energy-efficient, comfortable, structurally sound, and healthy. Making buildings tight has consequences if it’s not done right — affecting indoor air quality especially. The right solution for one house may not be same for the next one you work on. John talks about how to find what works for you, including:

  • Refining rules of thumb
  • Vetting new products
  • Why newer homes are more complicated
  • Tailoring the system for your climate region
  • How remodelers can stay in the know about best practices for energy efficiency
  • Why local codes aren’t always the last word on efficiency
  • Gauging you team’s capabilities and learning curve
  • Perfecting your system
  • And more…

John recommends two easy-to-understand websites for remodelers to check out to learn more about energy efficient building systems, Buildingscience.com and GreenBuildingAdvisor.

Seventhwave is holding the Better Buildings Better Business Conference devoted to helping builders and remodelers build-in energy efficiencies specifically in cold climates  — and Tim will be speaking — Feb. 13-15, 2019, in the Wisconsin Dells. Tim also reports the hosting resort has an awesome indoor water park. Just FYI.

 

From Production to Sales to Finance… Improve Your Business in 2019

Don’t miss Tim and 8 other industry experts, speaking at the Extreme Business Makeover Event. If you are looking to make significant changes and see spectacular results, this is the event you need to start your year off right!

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Ep.12: Making the Transition from Home Building to Remodeling with Kevin Gregory

The industry-wide squeeze on labor demand has led to remodeling business owners turning their focus outside of their specific areas of construction to grow their teams.

Home building, commercial construction and specialties such as roofing, framing and even landscaping have been looked at as fertile ground for finding that next great team member, or even leader.

Making the transition from home building to remodeling can be tough, and in Episode 12 Tim and Steve welcome an industry veteran who has successfully shifted his focus from one to another.

Kevin Gregory, Owner of Boulder Builders in Colorado, joins the show to talk more about some of the challenges he faced as he not only entered the remodeling business, but started his own firm as well.

Kevin successfully transitioned from his role as a Project Manager for a Large Production home builder, to Production manager of a large-scale remodeling company. Kevin then founded Boulder Builders in 2015 and by 2017 had doubled in size every year with more than $1.5 in annual sales.

Tim, Steve and Kevin explore the differences from one form of construction to another, including:

  • The amount of attention focused on quality vs. speed of the job
  • Shifting from working with sub-contractors to adding staff/team members
  • Transitioning new team members from home building and general construction to remodeling
  • Wearing multiple hats as a remodeling business owner vs. structured environment in home building
  • And more

To learn more about Boulder Builders, visit their website: http://www.boulderbuilders.com/

 

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After an amazing turnout last year (more than 100 attendees) we are excited to host the 2nd Annual Production Conference, held alongside the 2018 Remodelers Summit in beautiful New Orleans, coming up in September. Register Today!