Monday, November 17, 2008

Things that I have noticed.

The contractors that practice their craft with the most competence have a tendency to ignore their own homes. In my industry, I have the chance to meet people from many different walks of life, yet I deal mainly with contractors on a daily basis. These guys are my friends and I try to stick with the ones that know what the Hell they are doing. That makes my job much easier. And leads to this story.

I had a very good friend of mine call me to come look at his house and give him some ideas for an addition. His wife describes it as the "ultimate master bath suite." Yeah, I know what she wants, I use bathrooms every day. Promise. Yes, everyone is hiding money, that is what we do when the morons take control of the government. We do everything in our power to keep what wealth we have created.

The friend is an electrical contractor of the highest caliber. He's a damn fine man that is everything that you want in a contractor or sub-contractor. But, dammit, his lighting in his OWN DAMN HOUSE sucks. This is not the exception, but it is the rule. The best contractors are the ones that do not have time to care for their own stuff because they are too busy trying to provide for the family, offering the very best in customer service, and are killing their personal time taking care of problems on their paying jobs.

So his wife basically puts her makeup on in the dark. And I laugh because it is all too true in everything that my kind of folks do. This is not sacrifice, but must be described as something and I have no idea what to call it. You psychologist types give me a clue what it is called, because it is something that I notice whenever I have the opportunity to see one of these guy's cribs. If it is a custom millwork guy, their cabinet doors are falling off, an electrical engineer that has two floor boxes uncovered in his living room for years on end, a tile man has to shower outside because his tub surround is not completed and he started that job six years ago, and a carpet guy walks around his living room on polished concrete since he bought the house, twelve years ago. There has got to be some psychological disorder that causes this behavior. (No, I have still not raked the pine straw from my roof since Hurricane Katrina blew the old stuff off, why do you ask?)

Also, I have just about got my business site up and running. No, I am NOT going to link to it here, that would be suicide, but I would like to know what y'all think about what an architect's site should be. I want you to dredge your brain and tell me what you would be looking for if you were trying to find information on someone to design your new home, office building, tool shed, or lakefront orgy mansion. Get descriptive. And you can e-mail these in if you would like, because you certainly do not want your idea for the Crisco patio to be stolen. Thousands of words requested.

Thanks for your help in advance. There could be some cash in the deal if you ideas are used for good or evil. I think that we all know that I prefer evil.

Please take the time to comment.


Joubert said...

It's not "sacrifice." I call it conscientiousness. My favorite general contractor's house is also a mess because he is always dealing with some emergency for his customers. He figures he'll do his house when he retires - which he had planned to do 5 years ago but people kept on giving him jobs.

BTW my favorite architect's office is a converted garage. No fancy artwork and froufrou ferns. The walls are lined with shelves full of rolled up blueprints and code books and his "conference desk" is an old dining room table just big enough to unroll a big blueprint. He knows building code backwards and has good friends in the building dept. And he's intuitive about what I want. I can give him a simple drawing and description and he "gets" it right away. Together we turned an old gun shop into a fancy restaurant.

He doesn't need a website because he's already established but I would patronize an architect whose website was just plain basic facts and no salesmanship. You don't have to sell yourself if you believe in your product - but your product has to be special.

Paul Mitchell said...

The main thing that I am thinking is that I do not want to keep saying I can do this, I can do that. That would most definitely fall under the salesmanship banner. It is easy to upload a bunch of photos of my work, but the thing that you are talking about with the intuitiveness is the place that the client and architect have to go. I just cannot strike that into words right now, but dang if your comment doesn't point me in the right direction.

MUD said...

I would also not mix politics and business. You need a separate blog so they will see the quality of your work not the quality/quantity of your ideals. MUD