By Denny Van Horn, Van Horn Family Building Co.
When people ask me what I do as a homebuilder, I often compare my work to that of a coach or orchestra conductor. It is my responsibility to coordinate or orchestrate all the suppliers and trades people in achieving the final goal of creating a home for a family. This is a sizeable undertaking when you consider all the different systems, materials and trades involved in the construction of a home.
In coordinating the building of a home, a builder needs to have a general knowledge about math. Math goes into many facets of building a home. You use math to figure materials needed, the cost of building a home, cost of materials and scheduling the subcontractors for each job. Simple math such as multiplication and division along with time management play a huge role in completing a home.
How do you learn to be a builder? It is, in large part, the on the job experience which best teaches one the job of a builder. Developing trust and relationships with your clients, suppliers and trades people is the number one most important attribute of a builder. Creating an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust is the foundation for long-lasting partnerships.
The satisfaction I receive in return for my efforts is largely what drives me in achieving my goal. Knowing I am able in cooperation with all my suppliers and trades people, to build a home that will serve a family for many years provides me with an awesome feeling of accomplishment and pride. A home is much more than just a house. It is a place where a family will grow and develop and have many life-defining events over the years.
You don’t have to be an expert in everything, but a general knowledge of all components and systems will serve as a solid foundation. The ability to provide the client with all possible options for the construction of their home will ensure they are happy with the home for many years to come. Sequencing the construction process in an efficient and logical manner will lead to the best final project completed on a “promised” schedule.
In the end, a builder has an enormous task in providing the client with the home of their dreams. When that task is completed, there is an enormous feeling of accomplishment and pride. A good builder will share this feeling of accomplishment and pride with their suppliers and trades people. After all, it is a team effort!