The new Shadowline Construction website is up and running and all the people standing in line to read my prose must be satisfied!
So, let's get this thing started...
The other day I received an email from a client who's "cabin" (we call all the homes we build cabins, no matter the size; it's kind of a standing joke) is mid way through construction. We'd had a meeting on site the day before to go over the progress made to date and to talk about any issues going forward that needed to be resolved in the next couple of weeks. In the email the client said she just wanted to thank me for "having so much personal ownership" in their project. I don't think I have had a client say that in quite that way before, but it's perfect. For years I've tried to verbalize how the relationship between client and builder (or designer/builder) should develop. For me, a successful project ends with a home that not only reflects the owners, but that I love as well. That "personal ownership" is the glue that makes this process work.
I know it's a possibility that this objective will be taken in the wrong light. This isn't MY home we're building, so why should I take possession of it? The truth is that after a year of planning and construction, I'm typically deep into this thing that we are creating together, and that reality is a strong, positive force for the evolution of our creation.
In the beginning there are just mental sketches of an idea, a feeling the owner wants to express. Working together we define a physical reality based in concrete, lumber and metal. Ideas that start in the ether come to earth as covered porches that protect, as entryways that draw you in, and as features that inspire.
By the end of the process, we hope to have a home that is truly a custom representation of the proud owners' desires and needs. And for my crew and I, a home that gives us a sense of pride, a desire to get up in the morning because our work has value, and maybe, on a good day, a chance to experience that "smarter than the wood" moment, when because of our commitment, a simple detail becomes more than itself.