Monday, November 24, 2008

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Not because of the food, but because of what the holiday represents – a time to express selfless gratitude. In a year naturally filled with anxiety in the custom home building industry, I have personally witnessed many selfless acts performed to help those less fortunate. This past May, 4 local custom builders, John Wieland Homes, I’On Build, J.D Smith and Structures Building Company, their trade partners and suppliers all contributed time, money and sweaty labor to build 4 houses during a 1 week building blitz for Habitat for Humanity. Contributions for our home alone totaled more than $50,000, all during unprecedented economic times when many builders were uncertain of their own personal future. I specifically think of many superintendents I personally know and respect who are now out of work, trying to support their own families during this holiday season. Of course I also think of the mother of our Habitat home, Latoya Palmer and her daughters Dekaliah and Courtney, and their first Thanksgiving dinner in their beautiful new home. Finally, I am grateful for my tremendous staff, not only for their work on this project, but their willingness to work untold hours, day after day, late into the night when necessary, all for the ultimate benefit of our company and clients. I have many things to be thankful for this year!

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The "Model" Home - The Way All Homes Were Intended to be Used

I'll never forget, after returning from his Builder 20 weekend in 2006, Steve announced to us that we were going to build a "green" model home. Though we weren't really sure of all the details, we were really excited as everything came together. Our main purpose was to have a place where we could meet our clients to work out the details for their own custom home. All of this was created in an effort to simplify the complex custom building process for our clients. Our model was such a great asset to us, but it doesn't stop there. . .

She was also known for her open door, to the local school board, planning meetings, book clubs, Habitat for Humanity planning and dreaming meetings and much more, but it still doesn't stop there. . .

If walls could talk, she would also tell of the:

Constant laughter she observed through the constant teasing, practical jokes and belly laughs that come from people who genuinely enjoy each others company. Great memories of birthday celebrations, Christmas dinner when everyone discovered that Amy was secretly a phenomenal cook and southern home cooked breakfasts around the dining room table. Even the serious and honest deep conversations often surfaced since we were among family.

Makes you think for a moment how much more we can "model" our own home in the same way. . . a place to knock out the business of life, reach out beyond ourselves into our community and most importantly, a place to invest in and love our family who lives within our four walls.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Welcome to the Structures Family!

We are so excited to welcome Alan and Kathryn Murray into the Structures family! This week they purchased our model home located in I'On before it was even listed or officially on the market! What a great "challenge" of quickly moving our model home over to 32 Perseverance Street in I'On which is currently staged and on the market. Give us a call and let's schedule a visit if you're looking to buy, build a custom home or just looking around!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Company You Keep

Our NAHB Builder 20 club recently held it's bi-annual meeting at Payne & Payne Builders in Cleveland, OH. Builder 20 is a group of approximately 20 professional custom home builders from non-competing markets. We meet twice a year in one of our member's cities, to share ideas and improve our businesses. We discuss business operations in depth, share financial information, systems and construction methods.

I'm fortunate to have been accepted into this group, which is one of the founding Builder 20 groups started in 1995. Today there approximately 50 such groups around the country. Without hesitation, I can say our group is comprised of the best builders in the country, personally and professionally. Many have been named Builder of the Year in their territory, and a handful in the country. Joining this network is the single best decision I have made for our company.

We were all equally impressed with the operation of Payne & Payne, a family owned building business started by the father, Mike Payne Sr. and taken over by his three sons, Mike Jr., Dave and Eric. It was nice to see this dynamic at play, and I have to admit I couldn't help but think of positioning my company to be taken over by my children. They may have something different to say about that!

Many thanks to the Builder 20 fraternity and especially the Paynes for being such gracious hosts this fall. We look forward to hosting you all in Charleston this spring!