Practical, direct, no-nonsense. Wish I'd had this when I was starting out. . .

It is a very good book. . .

Mike Reitz, the founder and editor of The Journal of Light Construction (JLC)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

leave material

Leave small amounts of each item used on a job for the client. This might include a bundle of shingles, a roll of wallpaper, a few pieces of siding, a can of paint, or a box of floor tiles, for example. If clients need to patch or replace damaged material, they will have an exact match, and in the future if they add or redo something, they will have a sample and the product information to make the best possible match. Leave the items in a cool dry location.
EOB, Customer Notes 

One reader wisely suggested attaching a business card to the items you leave, as a marketing tool.


Sunday, August 06, 2017

sub note

Contractually require subs to obtain, pay for, and comply with all permits and inspections. And require each sub to meet their trade’s inspector on-site if someone must be present. If you or a foreman are going to be there, you might do the sub a favor and meet the inspector, but as standard procedure the trade is responsible for meeting inspectors and taking care of any issues that arise from the inspection.
EOB, Subcontractor Notes


Tuesday, July 18, 2017


Work with people who share your values. The attitudes and actions of those around you directly affect the quality of your life and the success of your business. Therefore, work with and around people who model honesty, hard work, optimism, and a generous spirit. Avoid those who don’t.   EOB, from Builder Notes


Monday, July 10, 2017


There is no such thing as a perfect job or a perfectly satisfied customer. The world is not a perfect place. Therefore, strive to provide excellent quality and service—to exceed expectations—while leaving perfection to others.

“Striving for excellence motivates you; 
striving for perfection is demoralizing.” 
Harriet Braiker

EOB, Builder Notes

Monday, July 03, 2017

pre-construction information

Do not give away your pre-construction products to potential customers. This includes estimate line item details, specifications, material take-offs, subs and suppliers, schedules, and ideas. Some people are educating themselves at your expense and will use as much of your time and all of the information you give them without ever using you. Design your sales process so that clients sign a contract before receiving this information.[1]

[1] A friend tells of a time he designed and drew an addition for a potential client, only finding out that he was not getting the work as he drove by the home and saw the addition being built using the plans and specs he had provided for free.

EOB, Customer Notes 

Monday, June 26, 2017


Use professionals as advisors and to solve specific problems in specialized areas. Setting up a computer or an accounting system or developing a safety program are good examples of areas where professionals can help develop and improve your business. They are generally far too expensive for day-to-day tasks.
EOB, Professional Notes

Monday, June 12, 2017


Addendum (Addenda) is a supplement, revision, or clarification to the construction documents developed and published by the designer or engineer. Addenda are issued during the bidding process or when the job is underway. They are distinguished from change orders in that they do not refer to time or cost and clients do not generally sign off on them. Addenda issued during the bidding process must be read carefully by each bidder because they provide answers to questions put to the designer by every contractor bidding on that job. 

From the Terms & Definition section of EOB