The Good Job Site

How a House of Good Intention Makes All the Difference

Building a house is dirty work, but having the right team with the right goals and attitudes can make the process a whole lot more pleasant and rewarding. I’ll use the example of our experience during the construction of a LEED certified home in Darien, CT, to give you an idea of what I mean.


Usually I tell clients that starting a project in the winter is no big deal. As long as we can get concrete in the ground, building in the winter generally doesn't cause problems—it’s often just a matter of adjusting the schedule around any inclement weather.  But this year was a completely different story. While this house was under construction, we had 85 inches of snow, and it was absolutely freezing for the first 6 weeks of the year. When the guys could make it to the job site, they were out shoveling foundations, roofs, driveways, and lumber stacks for hours on end. We had 2 to 3 feet of snow on the ground for most of the winter. Once the weather warmed up a bit, everything turned to mud. And then it wouldn’t stop raining or sleeting or snowing and then raining again.

There's also the general sense of chaos that occurs on most big projects. On one of my visits to the job site, things seemed especially hectic. Temporary subfloor had been pulled up to install ducts. Holes were being cut in framing everywhere for plumbing and HVAC lines. It was all dark and mud and sawdust and way too many guys working and way too many holes in the floor to fall through. And of course I was wearing high heels. 

Yet every person on this site was totally cheerful, nice, fun, and happy. It was the highlight of my day to go to the site. 

There is just something better about building a green home. Everyone on board cares and likes what they do. We all believe in what we are doing. Everyone is sort of cut from the same cloth—the contractor, tradespeople, architects, and clients. Everyone is doing a really, really good job. This is a great job. This is the way a job should be. 

People who have horrible building experiences have no idea what it is like to build a house of good intention. This is a completely different world. This is one of the bonuses of designing green homes: whenever we go to job sites we have a great day.


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