Episode 13: Home Builder Warranty with Chris Bolio of Alair Homes Houston

Feb 17, 2023

In this episode:

As the story of Brian and Heather continues, they encounter more problems with their home, even now after they’re living in it for a couple years – this time with MOLD! How will they deal with this issue?

We talk with Owner / Partner of Alair Homes Houston, Chris Bolio, about building here in the Gulf region, builders warranties, having a strong relationship with your client and trade partners, focusing on the clients’ experience, and much more.

Tune in to find out!

About our Guest: A love for building, that may have started with Legos™, has turned into a lifetime of creating incredible structures that have been built with passion, integrity, and skill. He is a Texas A&M graduate, has been building custom homes and renovations since 2003, having owned Bolio Custom Homes before joining the Alair family in 2017. Chris serves as the Vice Chair on the Custom Builder’s Council for the Greater Houston Builders Association. Having moved to Houston when he was four, he has spent his life admiring the fiercely independent, fiercely loyal, and extremely friendly people that call Houston home.

Alair is about changing the lives of our Clients, Partners, Trade Partners, and Employees by focusing on the human experience, not the products or services. The end result will be an exceptional business, custom home, or renovation project, but far more importantly, a life changing experience.

Guest: Chris Bolio
Business Title: Owner / Partner
Company: Alair Homes Houston
Website: https://www.alairhomes.com/houston120/

Bonus: Accompanying every episode are show notes with links to guest speakers and other helpful sites mentioned in the podcast.

How to get in touch: Please let us know what questions you have and we will address those on our final episode of the season, Episode 16. You may email us at info@yourprojectshepherd.com.

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Full Transcript


 Curtis: Hi everyone and welcome back to The Your Project Shepherd podcast. I’m your host Curtis Lawson and as we always say at the beginning of our show, every successful project has four key components and those are represented by a simple child’s drawing of a house. The foundation is planning. The left wall is your team, the right wall is communication, and the roof is execution. Have all four of those components in place and your project will succeed.

Today on the show, we were talking to Chris Bolio. Chris is the regional partner for Alair Custom Homes. Alair is a little different because you guys are a homebuilding franchise and before that, you owned Bolio Custom Homes.

Chris:   Yeah, that’s right.

Curtis: So, tell us a little bit about Alair and kind of how that works.

Chris:   Yeah, so a little bit different, I think it may be an understatement. Yeah, it’s a lot different, right? We’re not used to seeing home-building franchises. A lot of people think of franchises like McDonald’s or Chick-fil-A, that’s kind of a top-down franchises where the franchise dictates everything. This is exactly the opposite. So, Alair Homes is a network of custom builders and remodelers across North America that have decided to join forces partner up and improve processes, improve systems, improve quality of life, share in the expenses of marketing and back-office support and just really build businesses that we can be proud of that are some of the most successful, most valuable, least risky construction businesses in North America.

Curtis: Awesome. Yeah. So, when I first started doing this podcast, and I told people I was going to have other builders as guests, people asked me, you know, what, why would I do that? Because, you know, I’m a builder of a custom-building company. Although my consulting company Shepherd Construction Advisors, producers of the show and I always tell them, you know, in the city, in a city, the size of Euston, there’s more than enough work to go around for everyone under there’s no shortage of work, and I would rather see other companies whom I feel are doing things the right way. Get the business rather than somebody who, who’s not

Chris:   Oh, 100% man. I mean, that’s one of the biggest issues with our industry, right it’s this idea of competition versus collaboration and I think, just like you, it should be exactly the opposite. If we collaborate and support each other, if we help lift each other up, it’s going to improve the entire industry. Yeah, and that’s just the reality of it.

Curtis: For sure. So, I love having other builders on the show. It’s always good to just swap ideas before and after and hear how people do things. So today, our topic is something that’s not normally thought of as an exciting topic. It’s builders’ warranties. You know, we’ve been working through kind of this whole start-to-finish production of a custom home, you know, site selection, design, planning, execution. So now we’re kind of toward the tail end of that we’re talking about builders’ warranties and again, that’s not something that usually gets a lot of attention. People don’t think about it maybe until they need it sometimes. So, it’s almost an afterthought, so just for people who are listening and watching about this, tell like what kind of builder’s warranties are generally out there for a customer?

Chris: Sure. So, I mean, obviously, builder warranties really vary from state to state, right? They’re state-mandated and in Texas, we have, generally speaking, a 2/10 warranty. So, two years on mechanical systems, and delivery systems in the home and then 10 years on structural, and that’s basic. Yeah, you know, you and I were talking a little bit before and the reality is that there are two main types of warranties, really the warranty, that’s kind of the old ‘crap-hits-the-fan’ warranty. That is backed by a third party that a builder might buy for you and then there’s the warranty that the builder is going to self-perform and arguably, I think that’s probably the more important one, that’s the one that you’re really going to experience more often. If a builder is one, they’re going to want to do the right thing. Right. I think that’s the most important thing and so the kind of warranty that a builder has given their past clients, whether it’s a do the right thing warranty, as I said, or it’s written, it is really the best measurement of how your warranty is going to be provided. You know, the reality is that that your first call if something goes wrong, or you think something’s going wrong, your first call should be to your builder. I mean, you’ve built that relationship. You have established credibility, both ways, from the builder to the client, the client to the builder, and you are kind of married in a way for a very long time as we should be. So, you can call the builder first to get their input, get their feedback, and have their eyes on it. Maybe it’s something minor, maybe it’s something you need to address immediately, but certainly, you know, our clients are professionals in whatever business they’re in, whether it’s attorneys or doctors or whatever and they’re not builders. They don’t they’re not used to seeing what moisture looks like they’re not used to seeing what settlement looks like. They don’t know a little bit of movement in the cabinets, while not ideal Isn’t life-threatening, right? A lot of things really are just adjustments and so in a lot of ways, it’s easy to identify and kind of fix things that way. Then the other type of warranty is going to be crap. My builders are not around anymore. Maybe they shut their doors, maybe they’re retired, or God forbid, something happens. They’re serious and they can’t work, and that’s kind of where the purchase warranty I’ve taken really comes into play because at least you have somebody to go to that’s going to help you with catastrophic issues.

Curtis: So, some builders do both, some builders prefer one or the other. Do you think there’s a right or a right or wrong way to do that?

Chris:   You know, vas custom builders you and I are both high-end custom builders, as custom builders. I think it’s important that we have a third-party warranty for our clients because we are smaller businesses because there is more risk of not being able to continue while I have a strong business and I know you do as well, you’ve been around for a long time. There is that risk. You know, Dr. Horton is not going out of business next year. You know, David Weekley is here to stay. Right? But for a custom builder having somebody besides that custom builder, in case of, you know, the bus scenario, I think I think it’s important. I think it brings peace of mind to clients. That said, in 20-plus years of building homes never have my clients ever had to go to a third party to get that – they’re going to call me. We talk it over sometimes it’s maintenance that we help them with. Maybe they pay for it, but sometimes it’s something that should have been done differently. Building Science changes, common practices change and so, you know, certainly I feel like we are the best and the first line of defense for our clients. But yeah, I think there’s validity, and having both for smaller builders for custom builders, I think it brings peace of mind.

Curtis: Yeah, I was going to save this for later, but since you mentioned that I want to talk about you know, just kind of some common things that people experience or might call you for a warranty on. I would say the most common would be the things they can see cosmetics so our warranty probably years is you know, the first year you know we have every kind of cosmetic issues. We’ll come back out and do a round of crack fixes in place such as those kinds of things at the end of the first year. Most common things, but outside of that what else commonly see or get calls for?

Chris:   You know in the first few weeks or months of a new project you’re going to have little ‘gremlins’ come up with little electrical issues, outlooks not working maybe the switch isn’t exactly where you need to be, and maybe CO is a little bit leaky and you get those types of things and you just really can only experience that through living in the house not through punching it again and again and again because it’s not the same use scenario. So little things like that I think are pretty common in the first year that’s going to get taken care of very quickly, and as you said, it cosmetic the sheetrock crack, the settlement. People often think the settlement is the house is settling. down into the ground and there’s a little bit of that but you and I both know that settlement really is a significant amount of shrinkage because moisture is being pulled out.

Curtis: Right.

Chris:   Framing materials are settling onto themselves and shrinking a little bit, trim molding doors. You know that kind of thing. Yeah, you used to build your cabinets. You have joints that would kind of open up sometimes.

Curtis: Sure.

Chris:   So yeah, it’s that cosmetic stuff. I think beyond that. The most common issues are questions that we get they’re fewer warranty issues than they are questions that are really maintenance. Items, right? Why? Why do I have a settlement? Why is why are these plants dying? Why is my fence moving? Just little things that come with super expansive soils, like we have in Southeast Texas, and really comes with educating homeowners on how to maintain homes, right? The sealants and windows cracks, especially stucco, oh my goodness.

Curtis: Yeah.

Chris:   So, it’s that kind of stuff.

Curtis: Yeah, so home maintenance is actually the next episode that we’re doing

Chris:   Oh ha-ha, I will stay away from that one Curtis

Curtis: I’m a big proponent of having a home maintenance contract. We’re going to be interviewing Erich Kleine from GoodSmith. I’m not sure if you know Erich, but he has a fantastic program that we highly encourage people to sign up for. They’ll come out and check those kinds of things that most homeowners don’t ever think about, like caulking on their windows, you know, how many times does the average homeowner go out and you know, look around the windows and see, hey is my caulking in good shape?

Chris:(Sarcastically) What is what is caulking

Curtis: Yeah, what is it supposed to look like, what’s a good shape? Yeah, so having money to help you maintain that stuff is important if you can’t do it yourself. Same thing with tankless water heaters, supposed to be flushed a couple of times a year. That’s right. We have people that call us they’re like, oh, I’ve never flushed this thing.

Chris:   What about maintaining our ACs? It’s not like they get any use in Houston. Right, right. Yeah, so it’s not working when is the last time you maintained it?
Curtis: Yeah, I mean, it’s more than just changing the filters. You know, certain maintenance items really must be done for the home to perform as intended. But also, some of those can affect the warranty even which is why I brought that up. Right. If certain things aren’t done or aren’t maintained, it can hurt your warranty, you know, you and I might honor it. Let’s say another builder might say no, you know, you didn’t do that so now I’m not under warranty in your house. Honestly, there are certain situations where I may even do that.

Chris:   Sure, if somebody pulls out three trees around the house and doesn’t account for the moisture difference, you can’t possibly take care of the foundation movement that is going to occur, you can’t.
Curtis: So, I would say the biggest thing that I see is grading and drainage issues.
Chris:   That’s right and that’s the most dangerous as well, right? For sure. It’s going to move your house it’s going to affect it potentially structurally.

Curtis: But yeah, I mean, throw in a flower bed, and sprinkler system after the fact maybe you’re adding some more flower beds up against the house. Now you’re spraying a lot of water on the side of the house all the time or maybe you don’t like the way the yard drains you go in and regrade the whole yard afterward and now you cause the whole world of problems

Chris: “Why do I have this whale on the side of my house.”

Curtis: Yeah, I don’t like that dip in the side, I’m going to fill that in. It is always muddy down there – my dog’s feet come in the house and it is muddy or something. Are there any other items that you can think of that are like, hey, if you don’t do this, this is going to cause some warranty issues?

Chris:   Yeah, I think I think you hit it. That’s, that’s the most important one is definitely moisture management around our foundations, right? You take the expansive soils in Houston, add a massive concrete slab that may be floating on grade, or maybe it’s set on peers, and those peers are 12 or 14 feet down. But still, we have expansive soils down to I think 5000 feet around here, right? Yeah, it’s people who forget that Houston is a swamp.

Curtis: Rice fields ha-ha

Chris:   Totally That’s exactly right and so maintaining that moisture content in the soil around our foundations, I think is the most important thing, so that we don’t get differential movement from one side to the other, so our foundations don’t fail so they don’t move excessively. There’s always going to be a little bit of movement in the soil, just moves.

Curtis: That’s true.

Chris:   But that is typically designed for indoor conditions, indoor structures, and luckily, our wood structures are relatively flexible. So, most of the time, it’s not a structural failure. That said, you can’t get a lot of movement and that’s kind of the number one most important maintenance thing to maintain the moisture on the foundation. I would say the second thing also dealing with moisture is making sure that you maintain the sealant around the exterior envelope of the house so windows siding joints, around your pipes around electrical connection even a trophy any penetration. Yeah, because as soon as you start getting moisture into that wall, you’re not going to see it right away. You’re not going to see it until it’s a big problem and once it’s a big problem, every single insurance policy I’ve ever seen says any issue that’s been persistent and hasn’t been addressed in a timely manner is not covered. So, there is that Catch-22 is like, well, if you didn’t maintain your house, it’s really hard to fix these issues – this isn’t a poor install. This is a lack of maintenance. So that’s where it can get a little bit gray and a little bit difficult for homeowners.

Curtis: So, if somebody has a warranty issue, let’s say maybe their house and they’ve got a warranty issue that arises you know, what, what is the normal procedure for that to be addressed? I mean, every builder is different but what’s kind of a normal procedure, hey, I’ve got an issue. What do I do?

Chris:   Again, I think the most important thing is you call the person you have a relationship with you calls your building. Call your builder and say hey, got a quick question, this is going on, I don’t know if it’s a big deal or not, but I’m concerned, and would you come out and take a look at it? I mean, I think it sets up any builder again, that’s worth a damn, should drive out there, take a look at it, at the very least a good, qualified project manager to look at it. Start there and assess the situation. Figure out first what’s going on; Is it an issue or not? How can we help address it whether that’s addressing it completely or just helping solve the problem through the homeowner if it’s out of warranty or if it’s maintenance or cosmetic? Whatever the case is, we’re here to help. We should be here to help and then address it that way, and then if it’s something larger, let’s say it’s a large manufacturer I’m not going to name names. There are a lot of expensive appliances. I’m not going to name names, but there are a lot of expensive ones.

Curtis: Yeah.

Chris:   They all have qualified local representatives that are service contractors, right and so we’re going to have to go through those service contractors. But again, your builder should be a great place to start. They’re probably going to go to the person that they got it from first, and then and then kind of go up the chain that way. Yeah.

Curtis: So technology has really helped manage the warranty stuff for us, at least I’m sure for you too. We use project management software. You’re going to do that as well?

Chris:   We do so we have a project management software, this proprietary, okay. For all of our projects, you know, one of the things that we were chatting about before or discussing was warranty sometimes people think of it as, homework, or something that they don’t want to have to do. But the reality is, this is a client that has already spent money with you and our clients, as custom builders, and renovators. Our clients are our best source of business.

Curtis: Yeah, they are cheerleading referrals, marketing, all of it.

Chris:   Yeah, absolutely. Right. So those clients when they need a little bit of help, you got to make sure that you don’t drop the ball, whether it’s the principal handling it or a project manager or a warranty professional in that company. You need to have a system to make sure that you’re tracking, make sure that everything is organized, make sure the clients are being communicated with in a timely manner consistently, and that you’re not dropping. It is just as important as people. Everybody thinks of having a CRM, right, a client relationship management portal, but not necessarily a way to track warranty. Yeah, if you have very little warranty, maybe it’s less of an issue, but as you grow and you have more and more homes that have been completed, even if it’s minor stuff, I mean, give it the attention that it deserves, and get it done.

Curtis: You guys track your warranty stuff through your software

Chris:   Yes, we do, we create a part of your portal. It is so we create a warranty job just in case for every project, and it allows us if anything ever does come up, it allows us a way to communicate with the client and was this a way to track costs, schedules, different things
that has to be done and it’s just as robust as our project management software.

Curtis: That’s great. Yeah, we use CoConstruct which is one of the big software’s out there and, you know, our customers can log in yet. They have a warranty claim. Sometimes it’s easier than calling just to say, hey, I log in, click take a picture of it. Hey, here’s a faucet that’s dripping. Upload it, then it comes to us the next morning or immediately, and we can schedule the plumber. Then once it’s done, the customer can mark hey, this is done. I’m happy with it. We’re good, and so it’s just a great way to track kind of those to-do items for warranties and make sure that it’s getting followed up on 100% and create a good record of it.

Chris:   We want to receive that phone call from the client first but the same thing right I mean, you can get on it right away. You can organize it you can get it done.

Curtis: Yeah, yeah, for sure. So, talking about individual warranty items, you mentioned a second ago appliance that’s usually kind of a big one.

Chris:   Why do my $60,000 appliances need warranty work? Yeah, sure. You’ve never gotten that one.

Curtis: Yeah. I mean when you know when your refrigerator goes out, you want somebody on that. That’s right. Or your 60-inch range or whatever, you know, suddenly you can’t put your Stouffer’s meal in there to warm up

Chris:   Or your washer quits working right and how do people that forgotten how to wash dishes?

Curtis: Yeah. So on those small items, you know you mentioned like having a warranty a sorry a service tech come out from the appliance company and that’s kind of the way you usually do it. But on other items such as plumbing fixtures, and light fixtures. Yes, we’re going to handle that, but what happens if you know like, let’s say a faucet or an icemaker or whatever has a leak, and now it’s something bigger the cabinets ruined because of that the before are ruined because of that, you know, how do you all usually I mean, it’s put you have to come up and do you address it. Or how do you address it?

Chris:   Luckily, I haven’t had it come up. I haven’t had a plumbing leak or something like that ruin something more. We have had an icemaker leak we have had of course after a large renovation we’ve had during the homes and occupancy; roots infiltrated the drainpipe in the house and so then it backs up once they start living in the house again. You know just trees looking for that moisture that was prevalent before now. So, we’ve had stuff like that happen and just put your big boy pants on and get it fixed. I mean, the bottom line right gets the icemaker done pull the strings you have to pull contact as a builder, you are also looking for a great builder, and you’re also looking for those great relationships that the builder has. So, if you’ve got strong relationships as a builder with your supplier houses with the supply houses of appliances, or icemakers, or plumbing, or whatever it is, you’re going to go to them. Yeah, you’re going to go to the professional plumbers that the reason that they’re purchasing plumbing and installing it a lot of times is so that they can want it. It’s that simple. Can they get it? Can our clients get it cheaper at Home Depot? Sure. Is it going to carry a warranty? No, uninstall it and take it to Home Depot. Yeah, right. There’s a reason why we want to install quality stuff that’s not plastic internals, right? I’m probably going to get sued by Home Depot for that. But the reality is that that, you know, that’s where the relationship comes in. Right? Whether it’s six months in or 13 months, then now you got to make a phone call and maybe it’s not warranted, but you got to make that phone call and you’ve got to do the right thing.

Curtis: Yeah, and, you know, sometimes builders have the ability, rather, the suppliers, they don’t, they may not be able to just write us a check for replacing that cabinet or whatever. But if you have a good relationship, maybe that appliance vendor will say, Hey, I’m sorry about that. I can’t write you a check, but I’m going to give you your next fridge for free or a 10% discount in some way that the builder can kind of recoup that loss. If we’re taking care of our clients, they’ll generally take care of us as well.

Chris:   That’s right and that’s the whole point, right is they are doing the right thing by us. They don’t have to right not written that they have to, they’re doing the right thing by us. But we also have to do the right thing for our clients.

Curtis: Yeah. I had that with some windows a couple of years ago where we had some window failures, and you know, we were out of pocket to replace the windows and the window rep that I’ve used for a long time. Like, you know, our company won’t write you a check, but you know, your next two orders of windows, I’m going to give you a massive discount and compensate for it, and he’s like, if I have to, I’ll take out my commission to make that happen. So those relationships are key.

Chris:   Absolutely. Absolutely. Scratch my back. I’ll scratch yours. Absolutely.

Curtis: Yeah. So talking about other things, you know, kind of like that, that can affect the warranty that people a lot of times want to try to do themselves to maybe save some money. Often, we get clients that want to hire their own pool company or landscaping company, or they’re like hey, I got a great deal on Labor Day sale on appliances at Home Depot or the appliance store over BestBuy or whatever. They’re trying to save a buck I get it. They don’t pay them our markup on it, I get it. But when you bring somebody else into the equation, not only are we not managing that to make sure it’s installed properly you know, if that, you know, it goes back to the discussion about you know, the windows and the appliances, if one of those things breaks and causes damage to something else that puts us in a really bad position, right?

Chris:   It does, it just causes gray right? Look, I agree with you. I totally get clients wanting to save money. I mean, we do the same thing.

Curtis: Oh sure.

Chris:  We want to save as much money as we can. But the reality is when our clients are trusting us to manage a project, nothing that we do, Curtis as you very well know, is rocket science. It’s not difficult to hire somebody to come and change a faucet. It’s not difficult to hire a roofer to come and change a roof. It’s not difficult to hire a lawn guy to come and put in some new flowers. It’s just not. It’s not rocket science. But everything together, the magic really is in the coordination. It’s in the management of each one of those people right and managing with each other. It’s in that communication and that experience that the client has. So, to that end, when clients ask us, hey, I just want to buy my appliances and you know, I don’t want to pay a markup on it. The answer is “I understand.  I totally get it. If it were one phone call for your appliances. That would be one thing but it’s not.” There’s coordination with the location of mechanicals, there’s coordination with cabinets, there’s coordination with installers and coordination on the countertops. What happens when something gets scratched – you very well know what happens when something drops and scuffs the floor. Who’s responsible for that? We are as contractors we’re not compensated for writing checks. Right? We’re compensated for managing and coordinating and that’s the bottom line. That’s what we’re compensated for, to manage to plan to coordinate to execute a project as project coordinators. We are professional problem solvers often, but that’s what we do. It’s not about who put their credit card down for the appliances or who bought the light fixtures, that’s not the piece that matters. What happens when a client buys a $50,000 chandelier and it’s being installed by your electricians, and it falls, or it doesn’t work? Who’s responsible for it? Who do we go to them? It causes gray – It causes potential strife between the client and builder relationship. I think anything that we can do to minimize the chance of tension between the client and builder is important to do. There has to be one cook in that kitchen, and the client, of course, is the owner of the restaurant.

Curtis: The owner of the restaurant doesn’t generally come in and tell the chef how to cook the steak. That’s exactly right. That’s exactly right. Yeah.

Chris:   Yeah. Well, I think that pretty much covers the warranty topic that I wanted to cover. But there are a couple of things that I always ask all the guests that come on, and I like to hear the different feedback perspectives. It’s funny, I kind of always get not the same answer, but all the answers kind of have a common thread whether it’s a builder or an architect or construction attorney or an engineer or a realtor, all people that I’ve had on as guests. Different answer, but kind of the same, the same feels right. So, the question is, tell me about your ideal client, your dream client

Chris:   Our ideal client is a client who wants to collaborate, who wants to be educated, who wants to be a part of the process, wants to know how their money is being protected and spent, a client who is decisive and open to having someone guide them, right? So not the client that thinks they know how to build better than anyone else. just haven’t gotten around to it. I can do this all the time. That’s exactly right. Okay, great, then do it because that’s not me, buddy. Again, it’s not rocket science. You’re right. You probably can do it. But if you don’t have the time, and you want us to do it, let us do it. Right. So, one of the things that are really important for us Curtis is honestly being very direct with clients and letting them know that it’s okay if we’re not the builder for them. Because they might not be the client for us. Yeah, right, and be really sincere and direct with them, saying I want to help you the best way that I can and that might not be

Curtis: Yeah, definitely. Awesome. So, on the flip side of that, what kind of person is somebody who maybe shouldn’t go

Chris:   So, it’s a long process, right? It’s a lot of work. It should be a lot of fun and should be super exciting. It’s a blessing to be able to build a custom home. The people that shouldn’t build a custom home are people who can find exactly what they want, already made, already built. Why? Like just why, and the other person is someone who must micromanage if you know that you’re a micromanager and that you are going to be in your builder’s hair all the time. If you think you’re going to get a better deal because of that, I will say think twice because you’re not going to win by having a conflict of relationship with your builder. It’s not

Curtis: Yeah, that’s great. I think. I think you know, going back to other guests’ feedback has been I think the common theme is people who want to be a part of a process and people who won’t participate in the process, those are the two opposite ends of the spectrum. People should and people shouldn’t, because if you don’t want to be an active participant in the process and follow the builder’s process without trying to interject your own process under the deal. Probably shouldn’t be

Chris:  That’s right.

Curtis: Exactly, yeah. So lastly, do you have any stories that you’d like to share with people about, you know, a project that you seek that you’ve seen, it’s had struggles, and that maybe something that you have done or maybe something that you didn’t have just observed? An

Chris:   Yeah, of course, I’ve been building for 22 years

Curtis: They haven’t all gone perfectly? Ha-ha

Chris:   Yeah, no not all have gone perfectly ha-ha. So, I started building with a production builder, I learned a ton in the production builder. There were a lot of little things I think the biggest problem I’ve ever had with a home is a home recently, it’s one of our most successful projects. l projects. So, I’ll start with that.

Curtis: Good.

Chris:   Because the bottom line is shit happens, right? It just does. We had a home that was overloaded, structurally, by a sheetrock crew, and we had a floor collapse.

Curtis: Oh, wow

Chris:   Big issue

Curtis:   Did they have all the sheetrock stacked in one spot in this house or what?

Chris:   All of it and it was a mistake, right? It was a human error. It wasn’t because they didn’t know what they were doing, they had been doing it for years, and years and years. It was an elevated home and so we had a massive structural failure. The floor was overloaded by eight times the design weight. That is a big problem on the house, but this is a huge win for us. The reason is because of the relationship that we had built with our clients, because of the validation that we’ve given them about how we do things and why we do them that way, and that collaborative, that client-centric approach that we talked about a little bit before. They knew that we were going to take care of it right. They were over there that afternoon. We had dinner with them that night and they were like hey, are you guys, okay?
They were asking us right yeah, we have no issue, like we know it’s going to be taken care of. We are still going to dinner tonight. So, it added a few months to the build, and we worked with insurance to take care of it. The clients knew exactly what was going on every step of the way, and the home was rebuilt completely, without any issues. It even got flying colors from all the inspectors, engineers, and everyone. It was a phenomenal testament to the relationship that had been built by our operations team and that client. It’ll forever be kind of one of the scariest things that we’ve gone through and also one of our proudest things because again, stuff goes wrong, and ultimately, what makes the difference between builders is how they react when that happens, right and it’s a real testament to the type of relationship that you’ve built with your client. When that client is calm, and when that client knows in their heart, that it’s going to be fine and that you’re going to take care of it and you’re going to fix whatever happened. It was an accident. No one got hurt. Let’s m

Curtis: Yeah, that’s awesome. That’s one of the best stories I’ve heard on this podcast.

Chris:   Yeah, I’ll show you some pictures later.

Curtis: Yeah, I can’t wait to see that. Well, I think that’s about all the time we have for today. So, I really appreciate you being here.

Chris:   Yeah man, thanks for having me.

Curtis: Alair is an awesome company; you guys do great work. I’m always jealous when I see your projects on social media and y’all are one of the companies that I’m happy to refer people to, if it is something that is not in my wheelhouse, or if I’m a consultant and I’m not trying to build their house. I’m happy to refer him to you guys and just love what you do.

Chris:   Thanks, man. I appreciate it.

Curtis: So, if our listeners want to talk to you about your process or want to build a house with you tell them where they should go.

Chris:   Sure. So, the easiest way to get in touch with us is to go to https://www.alairhomes.com/houston/ and reach out on a contact form. We’ll get back to you.

Curtis: Awesome. Thanks again.

Chris:   Yeah, thanks, Curtis.

Curtis: Thanks again to all of you for tuning in to this episode of The Your Project Shepherd Construction Podcast. Again, be sure to remember that every successful project has those four key components, which are represented by a very simple drawing of a house.

The foundation is planning the left walls, your team, the right walls, communication, and the roof is proper execution. Have all four of those components and your project will go far. So be sure to check us out again next week. As I mentioned, we’re going to have Eric Klein from GoodSmith Home Maintenance as a guest and we’re going to talk about all those things that you should do to keep your home running in optimal condition and keep your warranty intact as well. So, thanks so much for joining us, and we’ll see you next time.