I had a jam-packed day at the Remodelers Conference on February 7th. Hosted by the Eastern Massachusetts chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, the annual conference brings together members of the remodeling industry, including business owners, contractors, and project managers from the trades and businesses related to home renovations. We spend the day learning from our peers, attending a trade show, and taking part in continuing education seminars that are required for general contractors to keep up their state licensing.
The day started early with a seminar on the Massachusetts Building Code. Sound a little dry? Well, maybe a little, but being very familiar with the ever-changing code is part of the job. SAFETY is what drives the building code and building inspectors take it very seriously. While contractors and homeowners alike grumble about inspectors, it’s very important that they double check your contractors’ work – especially when it comes to electrical and plumbing behind the walls.
Next up: Lead. Yup, it was time for a second cup of coffee for this one. However, the speaker confirmed our practice at steveworks to always work with a reputable demolition company. This ensures that construction debris is safely removed and disposed of – especially if there is lead present. We always partner with Mark One who are experts in the field of safe demolition and always conduct lead tests before any suspected materials are removed.
I also spent time in a business seminar that was geared towards business owners in our industry. It’s helpful to learn best practices from our peers. Even though we’ve been in the business for years, there are always ways to improve. In this seminar we took a dive into determining labor costs. Of course, that’s something we always need to be thinking about – the more accurately we can estimate each project, the more value we can pass on to our clients.
After we broke for lunch, I spent some time at the trade show where 30+ exhibitors showed off new as well as tried-and-true products and services. Next up was a seminar on Safety as well as an interesting session on “Mindfulness.” You may ask yourself what mindfulness has to do with remodeling, but as business owners, it’s very helpful to learn how to be ‘in the moment’ – especially when we are on a job. As everyone knows, there are surprises involved in each project. After all, no one really knows what we’re going to find behind the walls when a project begins. I find that mindfulness helps me focus on the task at hand in order to make the best decisions as a project unfolds.