Grateful Homes

Mission

To combine the traditional skills of the craftsman homebuilder with advancements in home energy efficiencies, creating a new homebuilding standard for economically feasible, environmentally sustainable and energy responsible homes.

Vision

Through knowledge, name recognition and service, steadily stimulate the business activity of this company into becoming a reliable economic asset of my local and regional community. 

While Grateful Homes will employ advanced and skilled technicians, it will also provide the prospect for apprentices new in the industry to build the skills and acquire the knowledge necessary for life-long employment.  My goal is that of a viable business that is sustainable for the individual employee, the business owner and the local business community.

From an owner/operator business, my specific goal is to create a home building/home improvement company that employs skilled and apprentice craftspeople, whose primary goal is to build, remodel and renovate residential and commercial structures while, through environmentally responsible practices, providing the opportunity for improving energy efficiencies resulting in increased comfort, better function and enhanced investment. 

The vision of Grateful Homes is the sustainable growth of a home building/home improvement business that enhances the comfort and investment of the individual homeowner, provides employment opportunities for skilled technicians, advances the economy of the energy efficiency industry, stimulates the business activities of local suppliers and professional trades people, creates a new standard for the nature, function and comfort of the home and improves the long-term livability and aesthetic appeal of our homes, neighborhoods and communities.

Philosophy

Within the walls of a home, lives are lived.

Since the earliest days of my carpentry/homebuilding career, I have always seen homes as more than just a job or a construction project or a house.  I have thought of homes as a symbol of security and comfort, a refuge from the world at large, the place where we live our lives and put our treasures, a representation of how we see ourselves, and how we see our community.  A home represents a family’s history and its tradition, it demonstrates and expresses our idea of beauty through colors, textures, rhythm, cadence and proportion, and eventually a home can become the largest part of our identity.  A home locates us and anchors us to our community.

I have viewed my profession as a carpenter and now as a general contractor, as the means through which land, lumber, hardware, and labor can transform two dimensional ideas on paper, into the three dimensional reality of a livable structure.   To me, the builder’s greatest responsibility is the practical interpretation of working blue prints and the application of sound building processes, into a quality home that the homeowner can be proud of.  Therefore, the professional builder’s function, talent and capability are judged between the two essentials of correct interpretation and accurate performance.  The working goal of Grateful Homes is to be regarded as a competent and reliable home building/home improvement general contractor within these standards.

For most families, the home represents their largest investment and essentially the foundation of their financial well being. The builder’s greatest obligation is in the trust placed in them as an agent of the homeowner’s financial efforts.  Therefore, it is incumbent upon the homebuilder to make every realistic effort to present the homeowner with the best possible advantages to protect and enhance their investment.  Fulfilling this obligation is foremost for Grateful Homes.

Finally, as a carpenter, I acknowledge all those generations of carpenters who came before me, and who over time, honed the art and science of homebuilding.  In kinship with them, I pay them homage by practicing my art with skill and honor.

Experience

I picked up my first hammer, as an inexperienced but willing participant on a summer cabin project in Vermont, in the early 70s.   The one blessing of that experience is that we used only hand tools, so there was a lot of time to think about what we were doing.  I learned that I was wired to comprehend the process and logic of simple carpentry, and that I liked it

By the mid-seventies, I had steadily improved my knowledge, experience and repertoire of tools.  Though still an apprentice, I was able to be employed on numerous projects gaining value experience, working my way towards the journeyman level. 

During the late seventies, I was fortunate to work several years for a contractor specializing in historical restoration in the Gold rush country of California.  The nature and variety of the projects stretched my skills well beyond that of a typical carpenter, and deep into the practice of problem solving unusual situations.  We often had to manufacture unique structural members, or make difficult repairs beyond textbook carpentry.  It was during this period, that I began to consider myself a true carpenter.

By the mid through late eighties, I had become a solid and steady member of a custom home building team for a private contractor.  We built very specific and complex custom homes for clients from the ground up, and were expected to function within all disciplines of the home building trades.  From foundation lay-out, form setting, concrete pouring, floor and wall framing, roof construction, siding, window placement and door hanging, exterior and interior trim, through stair and deck building we were expected to function proficiently.  Obviously some members were better at certain disciplines then others, but all team members were interchangeable and expected to fill in as needed.  As my skill levels continued to increased, my responsibilities did so also.  I was often asked to supervise land development projects or take over certain phases of residential building projects.

By the early nineties, my reputation as a highly skilled carpenter/project manager was well established, and I was able to choose which construction projects I wanted to pursue.  I capitalized on this situation, by taking on difficult renovation projects for owner/builders whom were mostly well over their heads.  In this manner, I was able to work both independently and steadily for people who were highly thankful for my comprehensive skills, practical management skills and patience manner that made their projects possible.  While highly proficient at carpentry, I was now being asked more and more to manage projects from inception to completion.  Essentially, had have advanced my building skills until, for all practical purposes, I was fulfilling the function of a project manager or general contractor.

In the mid nineties, an unexpected opportunity presented itself outside the building field and I seized upon it.  From the mid to late nineties I managed a whitewater rafting business at Denali National Park in Alaska.  The demands of the operation were varied and widespread, the operating season was short and intensely busy, and I managed equipment, transportation, and 25 full-time employees while getting nearly 13,000 people safely down an Alaskan river each year.  Though vastly difference then homebuilding, it simply presented a difference puzzle to solve.  The overall experience allowed me to hone the skills and decision making process necessary for managing a large fast pace operation, while juggling the demands of employees, and satisfying the customer.

In 2000, I returned to homebuilding with a position as housing project manager within the maintenance department of a remote Alaskan School District.  For eight seasons, I managed housing projects in remote Eskimo villages in the Kobuk River valley or along the Chukchi Sea coast.  The nature of most of our projects was the total and complete renovation of buildings from an existing use into teacher housing.  As project manager I was expected to produce applicable working blue prints, price and order all materials, hire temporary employees, schedule all material deliveries, schedule and accommodate all sub-contractors, works as a carpenter , run the daily operations of the crews and track and record all required payroll documents.  Basically, I functioned as a contractor, where the total outcomes of the projects were under my direction.

Now, I have established Grateful Homes as a sole proprietor business, willing to present my knowledge, skills and service as an independent, reliable and competent general contractor.