Episode 3: Building Your Team with Jeremy McFarland

Jan 13, 2023

In this episode:

Heather struggles to get permits and sort out the issues without proper guidance.  The couple becomes increasingly frustrated with the obstacles and wonder if maybe they are in over their heads.

Curtis and Jeremy discuss the importance of building your team right from the beginning of the project. Getting a team assembled to coordinate all the elements is key to having a successful project because it is a collaborative process that requires proper planning.

About our Guest: A native Texan, Jeremy studied Environmental Design at Texas A&M University and then received his Master of Architecture from Arizona State University and has 25 years of experience in the architectural profession.  At Brickmoon, Jeremy has built one of the most visionary and innovative design firms in the Houston area.  Throughout his career, Jeremy has been singled out for his remarkable listening skills, his strong personal relationships with clients, his willingness to go the extra mile, and his creative solutions to practical challenges.  He is passionate about great houses and happy homeowners.


Guest: Jeremy McFarland
Business Title: Managing Partner, Architect
Company: BrickMoon Design
Website: https://www.brickmoondesign.com/

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Full Transcript


Welcome back to the Your Project Shepherd Construction podcast. I’m Curtis Lawson, thanks for joining us again. Last week, Brian and Heather’s demo plans were cut short with a bright red stop-work order taped to the front door of the house they were tearing down with big holes in the roof and walls.

The demo guy packed it up and told them to find somebody else to finish – no mention of the $12,000 plus they’d already paid him. Heather was undeterred, undeterred, and she has already taken the day off work. So she decides to figure out the next steps. First thing, she calls the city to see about obtaining the demo permit, a permit clerk on the phone tells her that since they’ve already started work without the permit, they have to pay double permit fees.

Heather’s stomach drops and the clerk goes on that they’re also going to need a gas disconnect, an electrical disconnect, and get a plumber to pull a sewer disconnect permit. The clerk is kind of picking up on Heather’s naivete to the process and advises that the demolition company usually takes care of the sewer permit. She adds that most of the demo companies in town should know the proper steps because they do this all the time.

They then wonder out loud why their builder wasn’t handling all this for them. Heather tries to briefly explain and mentions that the pool also needs to be filled into the backyard and the clerk’s like “that’s another permit and the city requires something called compaction testing to be performed by an engineer. As the dirt goes back into the pool hall just eight inches at a time.”

He also says that every piece of concrete has to be broken up and removed, which comes as a shock to Heather because the demo company told her that he was just going to poke holes in it and collapse it in on itself and cover it with dirt. It seemed legit at the time because the pool is made of concrete and a concrete solid right.

Heather’s opinion of the demo guy is going down more and more, with each new item added to the to do list. So even though she’s more slightly rattled than she was in the morning, she’s undaunted. She makes the necessary phone calls to start checking boxes off the list that the permit court gave her. She spent about 3 hours on the phone with the gas and electric companies and basically gotten nowhere.

The call center apps on the phone have no idea how to take these kinds of requests. She knows there has to be a department that deals only with construction, but she just can’t seem to find it. So she decides to pivot and calls a large, reputable plumbing company who should know about sewer disconnects. Right. So after agreeing to pay the $125 callout fee, she has an appointment on the books for tomorrow morning.

So the next morning she’s waiting patiently at the house and a plumber walks up and with his eyes just kind of glassy, fixed on the house and says, What do you want me to do here? And Heather goes on to explain that the city requires a water and sewer disconnect for their new construction. The service plumber just kind of shakes his head.

He doesn’t even know what this means. His job is basically unclogging toilets and fixing leaky sinks. But he says he’ll talk to his boss about it. So as the plumber drives away, Heather starts to get that sinking feeling again in her stomach. And maybe she’s in over her head on this one.


Curtis: Hi everyone, Thanks for tuning in once again to The Your Project Shepherd Podcast. I’m your host Curtis Lawson with Shepherd Construction advisors and as you’ve heard us say before, the purpose of this show is to teach that there are four key components to every successful construction project which are illustrated by a very 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, protecting the whole thing is proper execution. Today, we are going to talk about the importance of Building your Project Team, it is that left wall of the diagram that I just described.

I am joined by my friend from BrickMoon Design, Jeremy McFarland, thanks for coming on the show.

Jeremy: Absolutely, thanks for having me. 

Curtis: Jeremy is a native Texan. He kind of checks all those native Texan boxes: you know born in Texas, grew up in Houston, went to Texas A&M., Yes, waiting for that.

Jeremy:  Yeah, I knew it was coming

Curtis: And he’s owned BrickMoon design for about 15 years now is that right


Jeremy: 15

Curtis:  All right man, we are getting old tires. No time is flying.

Jeremy:  When we met you weren’t as good-looking and didn’t have as much gray hair. So, there you go.

Curtis: I wish I could say the same. No, Jeremy. I know that you’re a big proponent of the team approach because we’ve talked about it before and I’ve heard you stress it when you’re speaking about it, some GHB, some industry events, and luncheons. So, let’s talk about that – How many different people first off or involved in the planning of a construction project come before? It starts.

Jeremy:  Well, there is a lot, right? And it really takes a great team to pull this thing off, and so it is not just architecture, and it is not just building; there is a lot of people that touch a project and are part of that process. So, from real estate agents to lenders, to architects, engineers, both structural and civil. You’ve got geotechnical soil reports that have to get done, and you’ve got some survey work. There are a lot of things that come together right on the engineering side: you really got to look at foundations’ soils, how those come together and how that interacts and coordinates with the architecture and the structural engineer needs the soils test, before he can do that, and before we can even start with that work, we need a survey, right? So, there is a lot of people that have to do a lot of things up front and really, the team that the custom homeowners are assembling right, has to manage and coordinate all that work, right?

Curtis: And so which of those people that we just talked about, do you try to bring in under your umbrella and manage yourself?

Jeremy:  Absolutely, so it kind of depends on when the client arrives to see us, right? A lot of times clients come to us before they have anybody else: sometimes they come with the builder already, but ultimately, we have to manage and coordinate all of that, whether it is under somebody else’s umbrella or under ours, or collectively under the team’s umbrella. So, most clients come to us, and they have a piece of property, right? Whether it is an existing house that they are trying to remodel or a piece of property, they want to tear the house down and build a new piece of property. So, we’ve got to say we need all of these tools for us to be successful and lead them through this collaborative process. Or, if they do not have any of those things, guess what? We are going to bring them in, we are going to tell them what they need, and we to assemble that team so that we can remove all the right information.

Curtis: What are the pitfalls of somebody that tries to do all that themselves? Like they are like, hey, I’m going to go out, I’m going to find my architect, engineer, builder, soil test, survey… I mean, they try to do that all themselves, what? What are the pitfalls there?

Jeremy:  Well sometimes they do not get the right information, for example, I’ll just talk about a survey, so they purchase a piece of property, or an existing house and they get a survey with the closings

Curtis: A boundary survey

Jeremy:  It is a boundary survey, and it could be a survey from 2004, right? Well, they think they are ready to go; well, that survey is not adequate. So flood maps have changed, setbacks could change, and city codes could change.

Curtis: There are a lot of types of surveys too, right? We talked about this the other day, like you got to have power lines in the survey and, you know, how many homeowners know that you’re supposed to capture the power lines on your survey?

Jeremy:  Not very many. So, there are a lot of pitfalls, right? But it is really What you got to think about, is a design or construction professional, this is what we do all the time, so we have really good relationships with all the people that do these things, right? So, we typically get better pricing than the homeowner does, we also know the right questions asked and the information that’s needed for those items and so, we just fill in the gaps, right? A lot of times, if they have some of those pieces, we are analyzing some of those pieces and seeing if it is adequate, if it is not, we are figuring out how to make them correct, right? 

But my best advice is to hire professionals, right? And they are going to lead you through a very collaborative process and make sure that you have everything that you need when you need it, and it also minimizes doing it twice – which usually costs more money.

Curtis: There are also little handoffs back and forth: they are right, you know from you to the engineer, from you to the builder, the survey, or the soil tip. I mean there are so many different handoff points and usually you know, just like in basketball or anything else football when the ball gets handed off, that’s when it gets dropped, oftentimes.

Jeremy:  Anytime you change, there is an opportunity for a drop, right, so getting that all upfront having it assembled coordinated, and managed properly is really important.

Curtis: Yeah. What are some types of things that often get missed or dropped during that handoff if somebody’s not handling it appropriately? Well, we could talk some on the spot.

Jeremy:  We can talk about a lot, right? If you aren’t thinking, about the survey upfront, you may make a mistake with some setbacks and so, you get further down the road, you didn’t do your due diligence. Now, you’ve got a design in place or an idea that actually doesn’t work, now I got to go back and unravel all that to fix it from an engineering perspective. You know, we have people call Saul time and say we want to design a new house. We want to get started – That’s okay. Where’s it going to go? Well, we do not actually have a lot yet, we are just looking, can’t we just design something and get started? And the answer is no. Unless you have a completely flat piece of land out in the middle of nowhere with no jurisdiction, there are so many things that the team is working through to make sure that your project is successful: orientation, views, context, setbacks, deed restrictions, homeowners associations, City jurisdiction and codes, Soil types. There are so many things.

Curtis: So aside from the design process even once you get into kind of the handoff from architect to Builder, architect to the designer, whatever. There are a lot more opportunities for the ball to be dropped because you know, the overall vision for the project has to be effectively communicated, right? And one thing that we see a lot is if somebody has those parties that do not work together, they’ll have an architect, but they’ll go out and bring in another interior designer or maybe a friend, who is an “interior designer” right? Well, the architect’s vision doesn’t always get translated or communicated to the designer. And so oftentimes that person will come in and try to make a bunch of changes to it, and they do not understand how the project arrived at this point, right? And so that’s a place that we see the ball drop quite often.

Jeremy:  And if you think about it, the more chefs you put in the kitchen, the more ideas are coming into play. So, if you assemble a team up front, you communicate a clear vision of what you’re trying to accomplish, then, that collective team can go to work collaboratively together. It minimizes changes which ultimately saves money, and it turns into a really good project. So, Again, part of this is establishing the right team, and anytime that baton is handed off, there is an opportunity for that ball to drop and when clients go out and try to fit out a project at the very end of design, well guess what? This other team that’s been working on the project has very intimate knowledge about what the clients trying to achieve, and we put together really good drawings, but there is still a brain and a heart that’s represented in these black and white lines, that if the rest of the team hasn’t been brought up to speed and understands why did we make this one decision? Or what’s really important about this detail to the client? That’s a really big opportunity to drop the ball.

Curtis: Yeah. I mean, I’m not a fan of bringing in outside people at the last minute, I mean, I do not pick on interior designers, but it is especially designers at the last year. I know there are a lot of great designers out there and it is not that they are not capable of doing good work but, you know, they get brought into a process, they often have their visions, a new vision which conflicts with the original intent. And I hate to say this, but a high percentage of those do not know construction very well, and so they might bring in something that you just can’t build within the confines of what’s already been designed and established. Of course, the homeowner wants to listen to them because now they are paying them money, and maybe it is a friend and they are like, oh well, I should really listen to the right this person now, right?

Jeremy:  So, what we always say is, “hey, if we are going to start a project: first of all, we’ll just talk about interior design for a second, are you interested in bringing in a designer? So, our company has in-house interior design as well, but we also do projects with homeowners that you know they did a previous house or their aunt or cousin or whatever is an interior designer, we are like, that’s fine, but if they are going to have an opinion on the project, they are going to be one of the collaborators going to have input, we need to get to them to the table early so that that vision – everybody hears the client’s vision, everybody understands the budget, everybody understands constructability, and so as those ideas are coming together, they are being worked on cohesively.

Curtis: So, aside from this, this high level of coordination that has to take place when you have a large number of people involved. Today’s homes are also just more complex in general, so aside from just kind of all the people in the design process the process being you know, confusing for a lot of people and complex, the actual house itself is more complex, and that can be, you know, due to construction methods, the internal systems of the house, how it interacts with the climate, in what other ways is building a home today harder than maybe it was for somebody of our parent’s generation?

Jeremy:  Well, there are a lot of things. I mean, I’m going to touch on some things you already mentioned, right? But building science is at a completely different place than it was, and we build houses completely different than the way we used to write houses used to breathe a lot – now, we build Yeti Coolers, right? We say, hey, nothing else in! We are going to protect this environment, right? Especially in Houston where we are today, right? Hot wet, moist nasty climate, right? Does anybody else want to move here? It is amazing.

Curtis: But it is great for three months out of the year.

Jeremy:  Absolutely food is great here, by the way, but it is really how you treat that envelope, that changes things, so that’s one idea. The other thing is, we are all so connected in this generation, we used to – to get vision it was either what we saw in our street or something that we saw in a magazine – and now with the internet in our hands and all these, I call it architecture candy websites and showed all these amazing houses and everybody’s looking at all those houses they come in wanting all these amazing things, right? So that causes some challenges for us and the whole team because most people are trying to execute their expectations at a very high level and we have to align that with a realistic budget, but they want to spend, right? So that’s another complicated piece of the puzzle. And then it is also a very litigious society that we live in today that didn’t use to be that way. So, we really have to dot our “I”s and cross our “T”s and make sure that these balls aren’t dropped because nobody’s looking for a way out when there is a problem, right? And What? I always communicate to all of our clients is everybody that you as the homeowner assembling should have the same mission and vision: a great house and a happy homeowner and that everybody on your team and you truly are assembling a team to make this happen so that team needs to be communicating. Well, listening to each other thinking proactively thinking ahead of you, the homeowner, you do not know the right questions to ask all the time, but we do because we do this you know always tell people no matter what size, how expensive how sophisticated what style we have to go through the same process because we can’t skip steps. After all, that’s where the problems exist. If you skip the process, it equals a problem,

Curtis: Totally. You mentioned budget a second ago, being one of those items because people come in, they are like, oh man, I saw this house in a magazine with this amazing sliding doors opening to the pool and got to have that here, in Houston at least nice to open my doors and let the outside in

Jeremy:  Let all these mosquitoes and it is going to be amazing.

Curtis: Yeah, Big Love Fest mosquitoes. How often do people come to you with a realistic concept of budget?

Jeremy:  Very rarely. People, I do not know where it comes from, they have some preconceived idea of what things cost. I’ll give you a classic example I had that happen today: Sitting down with a homeowner, they come in, it was we were interviewing for a potential project, I asked them, because I always ask them, first of all, what are your goals? What’s important to you? How big do you think the house is going to be, and what style lot? A lot of the standard questions, right? And then I say how do you hope this costs? And you know, everybody kind of doesn’t like answering that question for some reason they

Curtis: Look down, shuffle the feet.

Jeremy:  Look at each other you know and honestly, what I always try to communicate to the homeowners is your team has to look through the right set of lenses. If you tell us, you have a budget of x Versus X plus 2, we are going to think and lead you through the process differently because we have to as a team, lead you to a solution that you love and that, you understand what it costs, and you’re comfortable with it and that’s a successful project. So very rarely do people know what it costs, or they are comparing it to the house that they did 12 years ago or 15 years ago and pricing is not the same today as it was 12 or 15 years ago

Curtis: Or they compare it to what they’ve seen, maybe out in the suburbs. They are like, oh man, I saw a 4500 square foot house for sale out there, for five hundred thousand dollars. Why can’t, why can’t I do that?

Jeremy:  And so, I go, we probably can but let’s look at the differences of that house versus what you’re communicating and telling us and if this vision and price align with what you’re trying to do, well then maybe we can get there. But very rarely is that the same set of lenses.

Curtis: Yeah, and you should probably go try to hire that production builder to build this house in town because I can’t build it for 150 bucks a foot.

Jeremy:  Honestly, when they come in, they probably can’t either, right? So, they can get a lot closer, but it is a completely different house.

Curtis: Yes, different product altogether

Jeremy:  Absolutely

Curtis: Why are people scared, to be honest about their budgets?

Jeremy:  You know, I think it stems from You know, there are horror stories out there on doing a custom home or remodeling – and all those stories exist, because a good team was not hired, and they are out there…

Curtis: Every day

Jeremy:  Every day, it is happening and so I think people have a hard time trusting people and so if I tell you what my budget is, you’re going to spend all of it and the reality is – I’ve been doing this a long time – and almost every single person that sits in my office, I rarely use the word always, wants more than what they want to spend. So, the team that you’re assembling isn’t trying to spend all your money, they are trying to make your project successful. And that success is a great house that you love that comes at a price that you understand and are comfortable with and that is a process that leads to a science. Not the reverse, right? So, I know you love this question, Curtis you get that phone call: How much does it cost to build a custom home? 

Curtis:             Ugh.

Jeremy:  Yeah, how much does it cost to buy groceries? Depends on what you put in the bag. Right, so that’s what the team is doing. So, for example, client in our office today, we had this conversation, of course, their budget was not at a level that supported the vision that they were trying to accomplish. So, then I started the education process which is part of every process. There is education throughout this whole process and that’s where a great team comes in handy because they can educate you. So we talked about why this budget was not aligned with what I wanted to do, so we walked through that and so over the series of that meeting, I was able to explain to them, look we care what the budget is for sure because we want your project to be successful, but whether it is here or here, You have to tell us what you’re capable or willing to spend. Now it is our job with the team that you assemble to build the puzzle that checks as many of the boxes that you’re trying to accomplish, within a budget that you’re comfortable with. I always say we can – every single decision is an opportunity to add or save money in a custom home. It is not like we pull out the granite board and these are your three options, right? A, b, or c, a is included, and these are the upgrades in a custom home. You truly can pick anything that you want, but the team has to align you to make decisions at a price point that’s going to work with your budget expectations. And for us, it is not even worth us starting the design process if the vision and the budget aren’t even possible. So, I will tell a client “I would love to design your house for you unfortunately if these two things are that far out of alignment, everyone here is set up for failure: myself and you, as the homeowner.”

Curtis: Unfortunately, I think sometimes people do not believe that and so, they go and try to find it somewhere else. It is like “Jeremy, I know that you’ve been doing this for 20 years, but I do not think you’re right. I heard there is another builder, another architect, who can do it for this price”

Jeremy:  You know what I’m saying, “Well, good luck, right? Call us. If we can help you, we wish you the best.” That’s all I can do, right? And I can tell you, I’ve had people call me back and said we should have listened and we, honestly, I’ve had people leave, go try that other way, it fails, they come back and say, “how do, we, how do we fix this, or solve this?” And then, it is a whole other series of problems, but then we jump in and go back to education. What have you learned now? How do we appropriately redo this? So, it is a success.

Curtis: I mean, I get hired on Consulting cases all the time more and more where somebody has hired that very cheap Builder and usually, that’s coupled with a very cheap home design as well.

Jeremy:  Correct.

Curtis: And then six months after their living at it there they are calling, you know, me or Toner, friend Toner, to come and figure out why the house is not performing or why there are finishes that are terrible or whatever. So, you know if you have a trustworthy, experienced team, we are going to shoot you s straight with what things cost. You know where we are in business to make money – we are not in business, you know, we are not staying in business by ripping people off – and so you know what we are telling people is honest feedback on their budget and what they can achieve.

Jeremy:  We can’t say this is for everybody, but I know you and I know our company: We all want a great house, and we want our homeowners to be happy because it pays forward from there, right? So, if we were out ripping people off, even if they had a really nice house, it is not going to pay forward. So, Honesty is the best policy in that old saying, right?

Curtis: Yeah. So how does going back to the team concept for a second? How does having that complete team early in the process or through the process, affect the budget? How does that help us make sure that the budget is being adhered to?

Jeremy:  Yeah, so it is checks and balances. So, architecture by default is Artistic and our job is to always tell people we are professional puzzle builders. The homeowner gives us the required puzzle pieces and it is our job to do a great job of listening and leading to assemble that puzzle. So that all those things happen. When you have a team assembled, you can do pricing exercises, you can check things in schematic design so that you’re not designing all the way to the finish line. You’ve hired the structural engineer and all these consultants, and then you get a price. And everybody goes, oh my – now, what do you do, right? Well, what we did, effectively in that kind of scenario is we went way too far. So, you’ll hear this in my office all the time. Slow down to speed up. That extra time that you spend getting a good team and doing pricing along the way, takes a little longer but it ultimately saves you money in the long run because you get a really good set of drawings that are coordinated, the price that you ultimately sign a Construction contract with because the team has been working on it and you understand what I’m getting, the price reflects what you’re expecting. So, it actually reduces stress and then everybody downstream from the drawings gets to follow the drawings, instead of interpreting the drawings. When you interpret things, you’re only as good as The Interpreter, right? And so, that’s where problems happen. That’s where that nasty word “change order” comes from. What I always tell homeowners is a change order isn’t the Builder trying to screw you? It is because projects happen a lot of different ways, if somebody races to the finish line and what the Builder is able to price out based on the information that they are given reflects what they’ve interpreted or understand it to be. If it was misinterpreted It or a homeowner has a different vision of what was interpreted, there is a gap. What do you do with The Gap? The Gap is the change order. Because guess what? You have to stay in business, you can’t do changes for free, and I know that you guys do try to accommodate as much as you can, but again, a great team, a great set of drawings that defines and includes what is expected so that the price reflects what the expectations are, it just makes everything smoother for sure.

Curtis: So, having the team involved, or having the team assembled early in the process, you know, is the ideal outcome for me as well. I mean, I love being at the table during design. First of all, I just love watching you guys work, and I love watching the drawings “on the fly” and things like that, it is so fun to watch. But for me and my team to kind of have our ears open and know those conversations are about, you know, how people were going to use the space, how they are going to live is key for us being so successful as well.

Jeremy:  And we’ve done several projects together and a lot of times clients, every client is unique, right? So, every house is different, that is one of the things I love about this business, is even though we are going through the same process, and we are using similar tools and techniques to end up with a product, they are all unique. So, in the process, sometimes to solve one of the puzzle pieces, we’ve got to think outside the box. One construction technique, what kind of material are we going to get there? What kind of connection is going to make that look the way, it needs to look, having a team assembled, you can talk through “what’s the best way to construct this Do you have any other ideas that we could accomplish this? That’s more cost-effective, or is going to look better, right? Or is easier to assemble and is going to have fewer problems later?” That’s where the team really comes in handy up.

Curtis: So those budget discussions among the team or our key, because again, it may be a difference in construction technique, we might call the engineer and say, “hey, we are thinking about designing it this way. Do you see any problems with that?” Because it could save us some money. And again, we are not waiting until we are all the way to the end, with a full set of plans, and permits in hand. And then what’s like, oh crap. This is expensive.

Jeremy:  You know that book never works out very well. There are just too many surprises, right? The other thing is, sometimes, it is not just about the cost or the constructability, right? We are also thinking through the durability, or the performance of the house and so certain s solutions are done better in a certain way once we understand the full vision of what the budget is, and what the homeowners are trying to accomplish. What’s the best way to get there? Also, even if it might cost a little bit more for this thing, it actually is going to last that much longer which again, ultimately saves you money in the long run because it is not something you have to come back to later and fix it.

Curtis: Yeah. The only performance can occasionally cost a little more upfront but if you look at the life cycle savings or even just the time that you’re going to own the house which may be, you know, five years, which can be cost savings for sure.

Jeremy:  Sure. Yeah, absolutely. 

Curtis: Having the team assembled early is the right way to do it and we love when clients come to us that is on board with that approach. What else do you that makes kind of a dream client, this is a question that I’m asking for asking all of our guests. So, what’s your ideal client, Jeremy?

Jeremy:  Well, for us. It is somebody that is interested in a quality house – that doesn’t mean it is crazy expensive – they are just interested in design, they want it done well, and they want to assemble a team to help them get there. So, it is successful, so that’s all-different styles, all different locations, all different budgets, but they need to be an engaged participant in the process because we are designing your house, not ours. So, we are not out there building monuments to BrickMoon design, right? We are out helping design custom homes for homeowners that they are going to live in, do life, it is a, it is a forward giving thing that makes a huge difference in people’s lives. So, a great client comes asking good questions, wanting help, excited about the process, and his elbows up at the table, wanting to do this process. I mean, let’s face it, it takes time, and it takes money, as with most things in life. You get what you pay for – So the perfect client is willing, able, and ready to do that.

Curtis: So, on the flip side, what kind of person is the wrong kind of person to go through this process?

Jeremy:  If time is of the essence, and truly, the main driver is a, I’ll call it a very strategic budget, that is unobtainable, that’s a recipe for stress problems and unsuccessful, I mean, just it just a bad product, it is not going to work out. It is frustrating for everybody and so that’s where a good team, is honest with you upfront and is like, look, we would love to design your house and help you get there, but the vision is not in alignment. There is, unfortunately, there is no way for us to get you there and if we take your project, we are going to make some money in design, but it is not going to translate, and then you’re going to be frustrated at us and it it is not worth it.

Curtis: Do you have to say that? Say that the potential clients very often.

Jeremy:  We do say it. Yes, and most people love transparency and like honesty, and when we talk to them about it, we are not saying you can’t afford it. That’s not what we are saying. What we are saying is the vision that you’ve outlined and the budget expectation that you are trying to do that in those do not align. So, we can help you design a house potentially at this price point, but if that’s not the kind of house that you want to live in was it worth going through this process? And for some people that go, this is the budget, we need to do something that works in this budget and then they let the team go to work. They have to make some potentially challenging decisions, and they have to accommodate different decisions or creative solutions and those are still successful projects, as long as the client is willing to make those modifications, roll up their sleeves, make some decisions, let go of some things and always Say every homeowner has a must-have list, like these are non-negotiables. We have to do these things and there has been there is going to be a luxury item list and so our job is we have to slay the must-haves and shoehorn as many of the luxury items into that, that still works at a price point that they understand and are comfortable with and that’s a process.  Does that answer your question?

Curtis: But yeah, totally. That outcome 99% of the time can only be achieved through having that team in place early you might get lucky and stumble through the odds are in your favor.

Jeremy:  It is really not, and I would say the other time if people do not have the time to do it appropriately, they try to skip steps. So even if they have the budget but do not have the time they can still. Equal problems, right? Because that’s the weak set of drawings, or the loose set of drawings, or didn’t do all the right pricing exercises, or didn’t make key Selections in the process and then their interpretations and then there is

Curtis: what’s the old? You can have three of, there are three things. You can pick two, good faster, cheap right? Take two of those, right?

Jeremy:  I always used to say there is the quality scope and budget and it is an equilateral triangle, and they have to stay equal. Can’t be isosceles.

Curtis: Back to Geometry school here, I didn’t pass that class.

Jeremy:  But if you move one of those, the other two have to snap back into place so all those have to stay in equilibrium.

Curtis: Well, that’s a great way to wrap up our discussion today about the team. I really appreciate you joining me today.

Jeremy:  Absolutely thanks for having me.

Curtis: I appreciate you guys as a business partner and friend you guys do things the right way and that that’s the kind of people that we want to associate with if our listeners want to work with you, the Brick Moon team, how do they find you?

Jeremy:  Well, we got to love Google right, or whatever your platform is right just search BrickMoon Design we have a website. We also have a really good page on HOUZZ if you are familiar with HOUZZ, H-O-U-Z-Z you can see a bunch of our work, but BrickMoon as a company, has an office here in Houston, we have one in The Woodlands and we also have one in Wimberley, Texas. So, depending on where your project is, and where you live, we can serve you in a bunch of different ways,

Curtis: And you guys designed houses and other states even, you all have done some work in Colorado. I think some other areas right

Jeremy:  Yes, Colorado, Tennessee, Florida, so most of our work is in you know, Texas we do projects outside of Texas as long as it makes sense and is a good fit for the project.

Curtis: Well, thanks again.

Jeremy:  Absolutely, thanks for having me.

Curtis: And thanks to all of you guys listening and watching. Thank you so much for being with us. As I said earlier, we teach that every successful project has to have the four key components of the planning team, communication, and execution, and those are represented by its the super simple child’s drawing of a house.