Bruce Beinlich: Beyond that, when I first started in the business many, many, many years ago, when I was going to college and going to high school and shortly thereafter. What I did most of all was finish carpentry. Which would be hanging doors, installing crown molding, baseboard molding, shelving, things of that nature, and I really, really enjoyed it, especially hanging doors, but it’s difficult to make a living just doing that type of thing. You can certainly do it, but I knew as I got older, as some of you are in here. Just kidding, I didn’t name any names. As I got older as I am now, it was going to be more and more difficult to do that, but I really missed it.
So a couple of months ago I got the opportunity to hang some interior doors on about a 6500 foot house for another builder. So I did that, and it was interesting. It was very, very different to be there and not have to worry about anything else that was going on. I could completely set up, focus on what I was doing and just do it. And all around me other things were happening.
And what was the most interesting was when the builder would show up with the owner. And they would discuss changes. And I would kind of hear them discussing changes and realized, “Oh my goodness, this is the reason why I can’t still do finish carpentry, because they would have a discussion about changing this that or the other, and all I could think was, “Okay, he just spent 45 minutes talking with the owner, he’s now going to go back and talk to a couple of his subs to try to figure out what that change is going to cost. He’s going to present an estimate to the owner, He’s going to wait for the owner to get back to him, and then if they decide to do it or maybe they’ll make changes upon that so they’ll do it again, and then ultimately, if they decide to do it, he’s going to make up a change order get it signed and then needs to implement that into the design and get back to the subs who are going to implement that and make sure they don’t do it the way it was originally supposed to do.”
And all I could think of was that’s eight hours. That 45-minute conversation about a couple of changes he’s going to spend eight hours doing that. And I realized that is why I don’t get to do finish carpentry anymore, because that’s what I do. I manage the project, and when you manage multiple projects, you just don’t have a chance to do anything but that.
While I was working there, there were a couple of subs working there, a drywall guy and stucco guy as well, who happened to be the subs I use as well. And they were actually coming up to me and asking me questions about this project and it was wonderful to just say, “I don’t know anything about it. I’m just doing this, I’m just here to do this,” and it was liberating. It was like, it was… [phone ringing]. That $20 goes to the Presenter that who was interrupted, right.
I’ll put you on the schedule. So it got me thinking about, it crystallized, really, what it is I do. Because I do a lot of different things, I wear a lot of different hats. I’m the project manager, I’m a consultant, I’m a demo guy sometimes, you name it, I do a little bit of everything. But mainly what people do is hire me to manage the project. And it just crystallized it when I was able to sit there and not manage it and just focus on what I was doing, it really crystallized if for me.
I have a project going right now where the first day that we started the project I woke up to five emails from the owner. And by the time the day was done I had ten emails from the owner. Some of that, at the end of the day, was responses back and forth between us, and I had emailed them probably seven or eight times. The next morning I woke up to seven emails from the customer, and the third day I woke up to six. Every single one of them though was a valid question that needed to be addressed. What type of recessed lights are you going to provide.
Nobody had ever asked me that, they’re pretty much standard although there’s are a few different choices, we just put the typical nice ones in there. Well they had done research and said, “Well is it going to be that one, that one or that one?? So I had to get back to my electrician and do that, spent virtually all day on that. Just doing that, but like I said, every single one of those was a valid question that needed to be addressed and pretty quickly.
And by the third day she said, “My goodness, this is so overwhelming to us. There’s so much to do and think about. We’re so happy you are managing this project, because there’s no way we could have done it ourselves. We don’t know what we’re doing.” And she said, “I can’t imagine doing what you do multiple projects at a time. So that’s kind of what I wanted to focus on was the reason people hire a general contractor is to manage their project.
Most people have jobs and lives and most people don’t know the ins and outs of the business and the trades. They don’t know the subcontractors, don’t know the code, so when they jump into it and try to do it themselves, they can get it done. I don’t know how well it’s going to be done, and in virtually every case it takes about a year and a half to two years to do something that it takes us four months to do. So I think that was the main focus was the reason you hire a general contractor is to manage the project.
And with that I know you’re furiously working on trying to get that coveted Star Bucks gift certificate. Yes, fill that in. If you can remember, fill it in, put your name on it, pass it forward, and you may be richly rewarded.
Business Growth Innovators Member: I had a question? What three documents were they in?
Bruce Beinlich: I’ll get right on that. You can claim that you weren’t here three weeks ago.
Business Growth Innovators Member: I wasn’t.
Bruce Beinlich: Oh, you can claim that grey hair has an effect on your memory. I wasn’t talking to you.
Business Growth Innovators Member: It’s coming.
Bruce Beinlich: I’m actually getting people, that’s awesome. Mr. Gaidell [SP]7.
Business Growth Innovators Member: The testimonial for Bruce a year ago, he was right in the middle of putting a second story.
I’ve just got to say the communication was spot on. The contractors were as nice as can be, very clean crew, it’s a year later and we’ve got a beautiful second story, beautiful kitchen, where host our entire family at our house for Thanksgiving. He’s a stand-up guy and a real professional. Anybody who recommends anybody.
Bruce Beinlich: Thank you. You were too kind, you were too kind, and if you don’t have the answers I’ll give them to you. Tim Duncan.
Tim Duncan: If you wanted to do a major remodel and, you know, like bathrooms, kitchens, major parts of the house, can you stage it and keep the price about the same or do you have to do it all at once?
Bruce Beinlich: It’s going to be less expensive if you do it all at once.
Tim Duncan: Significant?
Bruce Beinlich: It can be, sure. What you’d like to do is, I always bring up drywall because drywall is a yucky messy part of the project, and it takes about week and a half to two weeks to dry wall. By the time you hang the drywall and you get an inspection and you begin to finish it. It’s about a week and a half to two week process to do that. And to bring those crews out twice to mask everything and bag everything off and cleanup, you’re better off getting it done at one time. But we stage stuff all the time, because people don’t want to go to Europe for a month and a half while we work on their house. I don’t know why they don’t want to do that.
It is, it is, it is. In fact, I’ll make it part of the package. True, for a couple of days. No, we do that all the time, but it is less expensive. You could save 560… $1000 by doing it all at once depending on the size of the project.
Business Growth Innovators Member: If you were doing the upstairs I can move into the downstairs, and then later on I could do [the] bathrooms.
Bruce Beinlich: Virtually nobody moves out, virtually everybody, the [Ballards]
stayed there. It was a pain in the neck. It had to have been a pain in the neck. They’re campers, and that’s a huge deal and I joke with people when they’re going to do something that’s really going to affect their homes. Do you guys camp? And if they do, they’re going to weather it better than if they don’t camp. But I think, I don’t know ladies. Don’t throw daggers at me, I think it’s like childbirth, and guys may be able to attest to this.
Business Growth Innovators Member: No it isn’t. Dagger one.
Bruce Beinlich: There’s the first one. In that, in that. Okay I take that back. It’s like surgery in that the memory fades after a while, but the reason I say it’s like child birth is because, as difficult as child birth is, the memory fades and then you have another child and then another child. Should I get out of this?
Business Growth Innovators Member: Yeah, yeah.
Bruce Beinlich: So… Anybody else wants to throw me a shovel? Okay, I guess my times up…
Business Growth Innovators Member: Oh, yeah, it is…
Bruce Beinlich: I’ve enjoyed my time and I will miss you all. Oh wait a minute, we have another one?
Business Growth Innovators Member: Bruce not only does the work for you on your project here at your home, but he also helps you when you’re buying a new home and he gives you advice and he gives you directions on what to look for what to think about doing, when you should do it versus just jumping into the swimming pool or just jumping into the pond all at one time. He’s into it walking you through it gently and that’s what he has the great confidence in himself and what he knows. [Don’t do that.] That’s why it’s great to have him in our group, because we can trust what he says and he doesn’t steer us in the wrong directions.
Bruce Beinlich: Thank you very much. I appreciate that.
C.R. BEINLICH & SONS CONSTRUCTION CORPORATION
Residential Remodeling Specialists