Alright, Alright. I’ll admit it. I may serve contractors every day in my role at CompanyCam but I am a far cry away from being a contractor – especially if I want the job done right.
So this fall I hired out the finish of my basement. And while I had to turn in my coveted man-card for a month and sit on the sidelines as my home got a facelift, it was the absolute right move for our family. Here’s why:
- It actually got finished!
- It was on time
- It was within budget
- And my marriage was still well-intact when all was said and done
The basement finish was a relatively small project. The 1,000 s.f. walk-out basement would include a full bathroom, a couple of bedrooms, a reading nook, dry bar, and an entertainment space. Our goal for the space was an open floor plan that would allow for as much natural light as possible, but we also wanted it to feel cozy and to be a place where we could enjoy time together.
Finding and hiring the right team to get the job done wasn’t as easy as I had originally anticipated. Some contractors were too busy, too expensive, didn’t see our vision, didn’t show up for meetings, you name it.
But when my wife and I met Travis with Marshall Construction, we knew we had our guy. Wanna know what sold us on him? My lovely wife feels very strongly that details matter, much in the same way that Steve Jobs was an absolute madman in saying the inside of his computers should be as beautiful as the outside. My wife had made up her mind on Travis when he said that he regularly evaluates another contractor’s work and will often look at how much care was taken building out and finishing the unseen parts of a closet. Run for the hills if the contractor slops it together; you have a winner if the closet you store your out-of-season clothes is pristine and immaculate.
Any contractor who has ever done work for me will tell you that part of the deal to earn my business is that they have to let me pull their ear about CompanyCam and how great it will make their company! My pitch to them was partly to hawk CompanyCam, but mainly I was hoping I could see the app being used on my own project to experience the value, see the visual transformation and figure out how we could make this product better. And I’ll give you the punchline now: it kicked a$$.
Value Added With CompanyCam
Photos that Tell the Story
One thing that I sincerely admire about the nature of construction is that with each project contractors are using their hands to take something from lesser to better – or at least that’s usually the idea.
In the case of our basement, at the beginning, it was a completely blank slate – a concrete walk-out basement with some random framed-in walls. At best, it was previously an awesome shell of a space to let my kids ride their big wheels downstairs and additional storage space. But in about a month and a half, it all came together to form a comfortable space that our family can truly enjoy and invite others into.
I used CompanyCam’s photo gallery to show the visual transformation of the study nook for our two little girls to create whatever they can dream up, learn about the world, and relax and enjoy a small moment.
Photos that Remember Every Detail
Even as small as my basement project was, I realized that there are a ton of details that go into a successful project – and all of them matter to keep the project moving. We made about 1,000 trips to all of the different building product suppliers to explore the universe of anything and everything that could go into decorating a basement. Shuffling paint swatches, comparing door knobs, stepping on flooring, looking at countertops, lighting fixtures, cabinets, bathtubs.
Remembering all those details can be HARD. Questions arise continually throughout the project like: Which paint and carpet swatch did we finally settle on and what was the exact names of them? How does that color work with the light fixture we picked out? Where were we putting the light switches? Did we want ceiling fans?
CompanyCam was perfect for us to snap pictures of what we had decided on together so we didn’t have to try to constantly juggle all the details in our already-busy, stressed out minds. When we weren’t questioning ourselves so much, we could enjoy a more relaxed process.
Photos that Solve Problems
I’m constantly impressed by contractors’ coolness in the face of unforeseen circumstances. They take it in stride nearly every time and solve the problem. I asked myself, why is that? My only conclusion is that it’s business as usual for them.
Crazy stuff happens during construction projects – and when it does, you want to know who is at fault.
And let me tell you, some crazy stuff happened during our basement remodel. About halfway through the project, I got a call from my wife telling me that the fire department was at our house because there had been an explosion. You read that right, an explosion.
Turns out, it the culprit was a leak in our HVAC unit that had a lot more bark than bite. Still, we needed to get the unit repaired as well as figure out how something like this happened.
I figured with something so unusual happening, it had to be someone’s fault. I only had a few people who had worked in and around that space so I spoke with Travis, a subcontractor who had recently done some ductwork, and finally called the HVAC tech who had been in our house 4 months ago.
After talking to Travis and the subcontractor, my wife and I were fairly certain it had to have been something the HVAC tech had missed. I called him up and explained what had happened, or at least tried to – my HVAC jargon isn’t up to par. After struggling to adequately explain the situation, I had a come-to-Jesus moment and remembered I could just use CompanyCam and send him some pictures calling out the specifics. Sure enough, seeing those pictures was enough for him to realize exactly what had happened and send a tech our way to solve the problem.
Now, it’s easy for me to plug CompanyCam and talk about how awesome it is – it is my job after all, but trust me when I say this thing rocks. It kept us in the loop with our contractor, allowed up to keep track of all the small details that go into custom projects, and prevented us from pointing the finger at an innocent party. I’d say that’s pretty solid proof of what CompanyCam can do. As both a homeowner and a guy who talks with contractors all day long, I’ve seen first hand the kind of time and money CompanyCam can save you. But don’t take my word for it, try it yourself on your next project!