I often take snippets of bad movies that have made an impact on me, and use those as analogies for things that happen to us every day. One such snippet comes from an obscure Gene Hackman/Keanu Reeves movie called The Replacements . There’s a scene where Hackman and Reeves are talking about outward calm vs. inner turmoil, and Hackman says that “we’re just ducks on a pond”- above the water, little to no movement, below the water line, where you don’t see anything, little duck feet moving furiously. Often, construction is like that. Seemingly little getting accomplished, and then all of a sudden massive progress. During that quiet time, though, the groundwork for later work is happening. Pipes being laid, ground being prepped, foundations being readied. Then, BOOM, seemingly all at once a project is close to completion. This summer, we had many “ducks-on-a-pond” times and now, as projects are making great progress, BOOM, we’re getting close to finishing. Seems like all at once. Yet, all of us working know just how furiously our feet were moving all summer and fall to get us to this point- check out one of these projects- Poolhouse Progress
We’re building a swimming pool. No, not for me, but for a customer. If there is ever a specialized trade, pool construction would be it. They use their own vocabulary, have issues I don’t know that much about, use parts I don’t know the name of, and have a perspective on their work that wraps only around enhancing people’s leisure time. In the end, though, pool construction, like other sub-trades, is all about expertise and experience. From my end, it’s all about bringing their team into alignment with the overall goals of our team, and making sure that all the players work as a cohesive group. But, trusting them to do what they are good at is the underpinning of our relationship. Pools in NE Ohio can have myriad issues after the fact, and they’re all bad, so hiring a great sub is paramount. Even so, everyone makes mistakes, and ours did. The kitchenette is no place for pool pumps! An easy matter-now!- to move those pipes into the right place. So, trusting your team, but verifying that things are in the right places is critical. And given the labyrinthine tangle of piping that goes under a pool, keeping all the lines straight is an artform unto itself. I’m just glad I don’t have to do it!
There’s a common perception of the residential construction world that there isn’t any real skill or knowledge required, that, really, if a typical homeowner had a little time, they could pretty much take care of everything they need construction-wise. And, I suppose, for some, that might be true. Coordinating different sub-trades- that’s a few calls. What’s so hard about that? Navigating permits- that should be pretty cut and dried. But, today, building anything really does require broad knowledge about materials, installation techniques, project management skills, building science, and interpersonal relations- along with a bit of legal knowledge and street smarts. Fixing a roof leak sounds simple, but it might not even BE a roof leak. The thought that one can hire just about anyone to replace a window, let alone build an entire house, though fairly typical, couldn’t be farther from the truth. While most decisions are based on cost, cost is probably the least important criteria to use when vetting a contractor- and probably the one criteria that, at the end, was most meaningless to a given customer’s satisfaction with the job. No one remembers the money they might have saved, if they are instead focused on the time they wasted, or the cost of paying someone to do it over. Refer back to my post a while back-https://myershomes.comhow-to-choose-a-custom-home-builder/ to help you figure out the kinds of questions you should be considering. Watching the Cavs game last night (Go CAVS!!) LeBron makes things seem easy. Like he goes out on the court, and everything just comes to him. What you don’t see during the game, are the thousands of hours he spent by himself, working on a practice court, perfecting his technique. It looks easy to us because we don’t see the total commitment it takes from him to make that spinning layup look easy-
My wife and I had the great opportunity to join one of our clients for a holiday dinner with their family and friends. During dinner, their friend asked what I thought about the whole process, now that I can see my client’s family living in and growing up in their new home (which is about 6+ years old now!). My answer had to do with a complex of feelings about building a thing- a big thing for sure- that would have such a huge impact on the lives of my client’s family. I remarked that it was satisfying for me-especially when there are storms raging- to know that my clients would be safely ensconced in a home built with great materials, by people that really cared about what they were building. But, really, what I truly think of when I think of homes we build came to me when dinner was over- and the kids all clomped down the stairs into the basement to play. It occurred to me that, with the squeals of laughter and the thumping of kids running back and forth having fun with each other, this home had been transformed. On the last day of the build, when I turned over the keys, the transformation was made complete- from a thing in which we pounded nails and sweated miter joints and crown moldings, into a living thing that would stay in the lives of a new generation forever. We aren’t builders- if we do our jobs well, we are magicians. We’ve learned how to turn wood into dreams-studs into memories.
In an effort to make your life even easier, we have developed the new Myers Homes Service Request app. Designed for either IOS or Android, it’s a phone or I pad app that lets you contact us for service as easily as a few keystrokes. (Of course, we can only respond for you if you’re actually IN our service area- CLE, Akron and surrounding suburbs-sorry to our out-of-town friends!) It’s really easy to download, it’s easy to use, and it’s FREE!! What could be a better holiday time gift? Use one of the links below and get set for a relaxing 2015! To all of our customers and followers-Have a Great and Prosperous New Year. And, don’t forget to call us about a project or two! !
For Android phones: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=insivia.myershomes&hl=en
And for Apple Phones: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/myers-homes-service-request/id945799358?mt=8