Monday, July 28, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
In photo above: Todd, Kristy and Cole Gorsuch seen with Deborah Way, at a Structures Family Picnic
Monday, July 21, 2008
1) Courage - "takes us out of our comfort zone but also holds the promise of possibility for both personal and professional breakthroughs."
2) Authenticity - "removing the mask and showing up to work as they really are."
3) Service - "realizing the best way to maximize productivity is to inspire and serve the people on their team."
4) Truthfulness - "Being honest is easy when times are good, but the real test of integrity is how the truth gets told when business is more challenging."
5) Love - "Love is another word for "care," and our ability to care about and for the people with whom we work speaks volumes about the kind of leaders we are."
6) Effectiveness - "Not just being a good guy. . . but having the high levels of performance which are essential to survival."
Not many employees of other custom home builders have the privilege of reading the article and saying, "Yep, that describes my boss." Truth be told, Kristy, RP, Amy, Dave, Aaron and I would say, "Hands down, Steve understands and lives out the CASTLE principle and honestly, a lot more. . . And yet even more companies would never consider having any kind of contact outside of work with co-workers, the fact that we actually like one another is also a rarity. Steve has handpicked his team and we couldn't be happier as a Structures Family. We think he feels the same, at least most of the time. :-)
We can't help but aspire to live them out too, as we see these qualities lived out from the Top. It starts within the walls of our office, and permeates our interactions with the "extended family", made up of clients, trade contractors, vendors, and the community around us.Thanks Steve!
Your Structures Family
Monday, July 14, 2008
After 3 years of being the Chairman of the Custom Building Council with Charleston Trident Home Builders Association, I'm looking forward to directing my attention to chairing Charleston's new Green Building Council. Since 2005, Structures Building Company has been building "green" custom homes in Charleston's coastal communities. We are seeing the rise of awareness and interest among consumers, builders, trade contractors and vendors with a desire to become more educated on "green" living and building. Through the Green Building Council, we look forward to helping connect people and build relationships to further facilitate and educate the benefits of "green" building.
Photo Courtesy of Fung+Blatt Architects
Monday, July 7, 2008
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Check Us Out!
Some current blog entries include our Habitat for Humanity Builders Blitz, recent awards, "green" building practices and company stories highlighting one of our trade contractors. Be sure to stay tuned. . .
Of course, bricks, lumber and shingles naturally come to mind when building a home. Leave it to us to add something unconventional like a blog to the building process. Check out our blog and don't forget to add it to your list of "favorites". Check in periodically to see informative and interesting entries about building, our company, as well as other noteworthy items going on in Charleston. We hope to also use the blog to give you an inside look into our talented and fun employees, clients, trade contractors and vendors that make up our incredible extended family!
Q: How difficult is it to move a wall to enlarge a room?
A: That depends. If the wall is non-structural (meaning it is not vital to the home's stability), moving it slightly can be accomplished. If moving the wall affects the size or location of a door or window opening or other feature in that room or an adjacent space, the alteration is more difficult, time-consuming, and costly. The movement of structural walls, especially once the house has been completely framed, is often prohibitive in cost.
When we're on the job site, we want to make the most progress possible on our clients' new home. Building is a dynamic and exciting process; one that we try to make trouble free and easy to understand. Once we get going, things can happen quickly, so we work with our clients to make decisions well ahead of time to help ensure they get the home of their dreams.
Before the first scoop of dirt is moved, we collaborate with our home owners to make most of the big decisions, but that is rarely the end of the process. Once we're underway, owners often think of a few things they'd like to change. Such changes may range from making the house larger to a change in bathroom cabinets, a different floor pattern or material in the kitchen, or just adding an extra light switch or two.
We document such requests, called "change orders," to make sure that we and the homeowners have a clear understanding of the scope and cost of the change. Although our goal is to make sure our clients are satisfied with their new home (with no unpleasant surprises when it's time to pay the bill), it's also important for the homeowner to understand how change orders affect the building process. When owner and builder communicate well, the impact of change orders on construction schedule and budget can be minimized.
A change order made after construction begins always has a cost attached. The cost may be the time (and labor) it takes to make the change or it may be the price of additional materials or products required -- and usually both.
The timing of a change order has a big impact on such costs. Typically, the later in the building process, the more expensive the change order. Some changes, of course, are simply impossible or truly cost prohibitive, such as altering the foundation or adding a basement once we've started building a home's structural frame.
We respect our clients' desires to get exactly the house they want. We know that some finishes (or even floor plans) may be hard to visualize until they're actually installed or built. Changes will happen! For that reason, we've become more sophisticated and systematic about managing change orders. Our process not only ensures good communication and provides assurances between everyone involved, but also helps us maintain the building schedule and minimize additional costs.
The change order process: The most effective change order processes follow a general pattern that creates a paper trail and provides reliable cost information up front, including:
Centralization. Your change order requests are often managed by one person to help ensure effective communication between everyone involved. This includes specialty trade contractors, suppliers, our job site managers, and, of course, our customer. We discourage owners from making special requests directly to a trade contractor, as this is a quick route to misunderstandings and disrupted schedules.
Terms. We anticipate many of the changes our homebuyers make. We have a good idea of the cost and time most changes require. As a result, we can often communicate the terms quickly so that owners can make an informed decision in plenty of time to make the change or decide against it.
Structures Building Company
PO Box 2267
Mt Pleasant, SC 29465
843.856.6901 - phone
c. 2008 All rights reserved.
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