We are a family-owned and operated company and I am proud to say that my son, Dominic, is my partner and right-hand man. We make a great team and our talents complement one another. Dominic thoroughly understands and enjoys the beginning phase of construction and the rough trades, while I excel at the final stages which are the finishing details. As General Manager, his primary responsibilities are meeting daily with the subcontractors to ensure a smooth process from inception. His innate ability to understand, troubleshoot and implement allows him to work effectively to meet timelines and budgets. He is a master at planning and a wizard with numbers and therefore is the perfect choice to head up our purchasing department. With a background in fence-building, carpentry and plumbing, Dominic often has the opportunity to exercise his manual labor skills. To round out the team, we use only the best and most skilled subcontractors while maintaining the established budget.
LuAnn's Perspective | Question and Answer with the Builder
Most of my career was spent in direct marketing, sales and public speaking which honed my project management skills. I suppose if you were to look at my previous background, I have always been a part of building something – be it a marketing plan, a sales force or a dream home. In 2003 I began working with a very well-known local builder. Within 60 days, I was working in the field managing jobsites. Six months later he was semi-retired and I was virtually running the company. I was fortunate enough to be able to learn the craft from the very best people possible – the tradesmen in the field. While managing multiple projects, through much blood, sweat and tears, along with a great deal of study, I was able to obtain my General Contractor’s License several years ago.
TRUST! It is important, especially in this industry to trust your general contractor. I work very hard to establish and more importantly maintain that trust. This is a tough business for a woman to be in, not only because it’s a “man’s” world but because it has the reputation of being full of unethical people. I pride myself on my ethics and integrity. It is how I have always managed my life. I am passionate about what I do and it’s evident to those around me. I have a great time working with people and have strong relationships with my subcontractors and my clients. Communication is paramount! That is why my team and I make ourselves readily available to our clients by multiple means. As a client, I think you need to have a truly natural connection with your general contractor; it is like a marriage for the next 9 to 18 months, no joke! You have to enjoy working with them, you have to believe that they understand your vision and trust they can and will deploy it. My passion for building, together with a good sense of design and style, assists me in executing and creating truly exquisite, livable spaces. My portfolio certainly shows this to be true but more importantly my clients can all attest to it. Additionally, I understand the importance of timelines and cost management to keep “on track and on budget.” We run a technologically-advanced project management system, which allows our process to be completely transparent to our clients. Everything from calendars and status reports to budgets and expenditures are available 24/7 in real-time for review. By eliminating the “unknowns”, we help to reduce the anxiety associated with building a home. Building a dream home should not be stress-filled but rather should be an enjoyable experience for everyone. By involving clients and keeping them informed throughout the entire process, we’re able to maintain trust and provide that perfect experience.
Problem solving is more easily accomplished if you avoid overreacting when first presented with a challenge. There are millions of details that go into the building of a home. A methodical approach to “roadblocks” always works best; step away from the situation, gather information and consider all the options. As they say, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” It can and will drive you crazy. It is very likely that you will never get every single detail to fall into place exactly as planned however, there is always a solution. Breathe! Take a step back. Revisit the issue later in the day/week and the right answer will present itself. Oftentimes what initially feels like a major issue turns out to be totally insignificant, especially when compared with all the elements involved in building a new home.
My favorite part is seeing the client get excited as we have completion milestones. These happen more and more often as we approach the end of the project and everything starts to really come together. In the end – all the apparent stress disappears; we hand over the keys; the family moves in and the blueprints, artist renderings, building materials and countless hours of hard work turns into a home. My least favorite part… saying goodbye! I love the end and I hate the end. We create relationships throughout the project that at times may even seem like love/hate relationships, but when everything is said and done, it’s difficult to part ways. We have seen each other day in and day out; we’ve worked together; we’ve sometimes struggled together always with the ‘vision’ in mind. After completion, the daily relationships go away; that is the saddest and hardest part. The only solace is that through our mutual efforts, through teamwork, we are able to turn that vision into reality – the result… an amazing, beautiful home.
I have always loved being in business for myself and have done it to some extent most of my life. What I love about this business is that it is creative, expressive, engaging and ever-evolving. My passion is working with people and by being a General Contractor I get to be a part of someone’s dream home, from inception to reality. To experience the look in their eyes as they realize all their hard work has finally paid off, when they can open their door and know that they have an amazing place to call home; their reaction alone says “good job, well done.” That is my reward! Home has always been important to me and when my family and I are spending time together in our home, there’s nothing better. That’s what life is all about, so when I can help to create that for my clients, well, that truly is a wonderful feeling.