28 Jun There is No Off Season Part 1
As with every job it all starts and ends by having a great team. For years, I had always isolated myself from any other pool companies to try and protect our way of doing things. There is always power in number’s. No one person could pull off a project of this magnitude alone and it wasn’t until very recently that I learned that. Collaborating with the Tributary team, and increasing our network of knowledge, is what has made this monster sized project such a success.
Kurt Kraisinger, a Tributary Founder, reached out to me and asked if I was interested in building a pool out of state and shared the design he had come up with. I immediately fell in love with the design and knew it was something I wanted to be a part of no matter where it needed to be built. Jeromey Naugle, another Tributary Founder, also had a huge influence on the hydraulic design as well as most of the spa details. He rounded up some of the best contractors Arizona has to offer including Luke and Amy Denny of Alpentile and Justin Bowie of JMAX Companies to make the journey to Oklahoma. So just in the preliminary stages we had a team of players assembled that were ready to tackle anything this project wanted to throw at them.
When you are working out of state it is important to look at the logistics for putting together your price and knowing what you are getting into. Having a set of detailed building plans is imperative to getting pricing. There are just too many variables when working on large projects and out of your comfort zone at that. I am lucky that my crews at home are willing to travel anywhere I want to go, so that is always a great starting point. Sometimes the per diem charges and travel expenses can get high and price us out. We chose to assemble the dream team of contractors on this job to ensure it is built to the highest standard possible. Through the Tributary Revelation network, I could basically find every contractor for every aspect needed to build this project. We then started sourcing and pricing material to make sure everything was available, and get cost to give the best prices possible. You cannot just bid from what you are used to spending at home because the prices vary drastically across the country for both labor and material. Working in different states also gets tricky because of state and local licensing.
We were always faced with a tight deadline and I knew that we would just get it done one way or another. This was all getting started in December and was expected to be finished by April 1. That is a very tight schedule to follow all the cure times and install mosaic glass tile on the interior and exterior of the spa, pool, exposed beam and tanning ledge. We had budgeted for a tent so we could continue working every day on the tile and not have to worry about the weather. Looking back now I wonder if all the local builders just did not want to work on the freezing lake in the winter time.
Even when the weather called for 28 degree highs they did not account for 20 mph winds blowing off the freezing lake in all directions. Sometimes, I just thought to myself what in the world are we doing here building a pool, however I always knew we had to get the job done and so many people were depending on me. I used to joke with the guys and tell them it wasn’t that cold and it could be a lot worse. We just had fun with it! You absolutely could not let your skin be exposed for any period without getting severe frostbite.
Everyone was always on the same page and just wanted to get the job done. Maybe because it was so cold and everyone wanted to go home so bad they worked faster. I still always had a good time because I love my job and seeing these projects come to life. Plus, there is usually always a good watering hole close by to keep your spirits up.
Flying to the jobs got tricky sometimes because no matter how much extra time I gave myself it never seemed to be enough. Looking at a schedule, thinking we would have shotcrete on Friday and then we would hit rock or the weather would delay us. That should always be planned for. I made sure I was there for every major piece of the puzzle. Once we had the shotcrete installed, I felt a relief that we were almost home, at least for the 28-day cure time. I have had the best time traveling and seeing how other contractors work differently across the country and meeting new people. It also puts into perspective how your team is performing at home after working with such skilled teams. I have implemented many things in our company at home to try and make it run better, as I learn more from being on the road. There are things we can improve or plan better for the next out of state job, but I feel like you should never stop learning, and the challenges are what keep us as entrepreneurs interested. We are currently installing the tile and I am planning on being back in a few weeks to set the pool equipment and pebble Tec the pool. To be continued…