We spend a lot of time discussing specific aspects of the home improvement business. Every other week, we ask our network of professionals to solve new problems by culling from their own experience in the industry and they never let us down.
We wanted to take the opportunity to honor our professionals. Last week, we asked them to send us stories and pictures from their favorite projects, to give us some insight into where all their experience and knowledge comes from.
Our home improvement professionals have plenty to be proud of. Their answers included memories of everything from nerve-wracking first jobs to inspiring stories of personal connections with customers. We’re happy to award our favorite comments below. Later in the week, we’ll compile our expert’s pictures and videos into a montage of home improvement prowess.
What projects are you most proud of?
Which of your projects represented a case where everything went right and something spectacular was created?
Was there a job that was particularly rewarding?
What project turned out better than you ever expected?
Does your first job hold special significance to you?
Were there any jobs you never thought you’d complete?
What projects taught you the most?
"My favorite project was when we decided to build an eco-friendly house in 2003, before “going green” had become popular. Our focus was to use low or non-toxic products, so this was quite challenging considering all the adhesives, stains, and other products used in a house. Even the purple primer for the plumbing was low toxic.
The house was rated as an energy star house complete with a geothermal system. LEED for homes was not around yet, but the fact that we stuck to our guns and limited the amount of toxic products in the house was a true accomplishment. We had to convince a lot of subcontractors and cabinet makers to use the eco-products that we found. Nowadays, it is so much easier." read more
"In this difficult real estate market we had the opportunity to list a property on a lesser known, but spectacular lake west of Minneapolis. Typically, in the last several years, anything that is not close to city amenities is harder to sell. Quite frankly, it’s nearly impossible. I created a YouTube Realtor Hosted Video Tour of the property on a gorgeous spring day. The house had an accepted offer within a few days and, in fact, there were multiple offers which allowed the property to go for nearly asking price. This was a rewarding outcome on many levels for our sellers. Take a look and see my favorite video tour!" read more
"The project that I enjoyed the most was the rebuilding of terminals 27,28 and 30 on the waterfront for the Port of Seattle. We moved three, 7 million pound, ship-loading cranes across the Duwamish River on barges and set them up to load ships from terminal 30.The support wiring required the building and rebuilding of three, electrical, 26 thousand-volt substations and construction of refrigeration facilities for refrigerated foods off-loaded from the ships. The cranes are fed from 5,000 volt feeders that are fed under the wharf. The dredges made the river deeper to accommodate the ships and we rebuilt the wharf to support the added weight. This was done in 9 months." read more
"The project that I have enjoyed the most was a home that I developed in the Pocono Mountains in PA. Because I was the client, I could make any decision that I wanted and not have to make changes solely on the basis of cost or schedule. While those are definitely important aspects to every project, often there is also a value on executing a complete design without compromising. We used only the best quality materials and designed something modern that was totally different from anything that existed in the market. Everyone told us that we were crazy and that it would never sell, but we put it on the market and it sold in only one day at full asking price.
It’s not too often that you take a huge change on doing something different that contradicts all of the available data. At the end, it wasn’t about the money, but more about succeeding when everyone else just wanted to tell me why it wouldn’t work. Sometimes you have to just go with your gut and do things that you know are right despite what others say. I am extremely proud of that project because it paved the way for many future successes and showed me what I was capable of." read more
"A young, technological advanced couple approached me several years ago to be their designer for a home they had just purchased. Through anyone else’s eyes the home would have been a tear-down, but we had grander visions in mind. Over a period of two and a half years, room by room, board by board, and with a lot of sweat, blood (literally) and tears, we restored it into the very beautiful home it is today.
All projects teach me something, since all projects are uniquely different. The one major lesson that I have learned over the past 20 years is that unexpected things will happen. When they do, breathe and don’t get upset (at least in front of the client). In the end, almost everything can be worked out, and sometimes even better than the original solution." read more