Residential Design

Vol 4, 2017

A business-to-business magazine focused on the collaborative process and talented work of residential architects and custom homebuilders.

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PRO-FILE BUILD Calm Down and Carry On Constraint in a good economy doesn't just mean not overspending, it also means not overextending to grab every job. Andy is aware his company has gotten a little too busy of late, and he plans to pull the reins in a bit. "We're in a growth year this year," he says. "We'll try to taper that down to about 12 percent a year. We have four decent-sized residential projects going now—either new construction or major renovation. One is a large estate that will keep us busy for a few years. And we have five multifamily complexes we're working on. The multifamily projects are especially gratifying because they're for regular folks like us." Andy doesn't want to overwhelm himself, his partners, or his staff with too much work just to chase the dollars, because maintaining a good quality of life and great quality of work are key factors in the company's longevity and excellent employee retention. "We have value in- vested in our people. Anybody that knows us, knows that it's not just lip service," he says. "We're not demanding that they work 60 to 80 hours a week like some other companies are. "I built this company not just to make buck. It's great to make money, but I've also not made money." he laughs. "I've built this company to be sustainable and last beyond me. I want it to be a vehicle for people to grow and explore, to find a path. That's what gets me up in the morning. I love being an employer and being a part of our employees' lives. I love sharing that passion for what we do." So, striving for stability and what he calls "mindfulness" are paramount in his approach to business. The mindful mantra extends from internal employee relations to how the company manages a job site or interacts with neighbors. Many of the sites the company works on are difficult or dense, requiring extra care and consideration. One such site was a long, narrow infill project for architect Amy Alper, AIA, in the town of Sonoma, Calif. "It took a lot of thought to figure out how to get material in there and not upset the neighbors," Andy recalls. "So, we built it from the back to the front. But even when we're working on a job out in the coun- try, we want our people mindful of how they're driving—and when they're on site that they're not playing loud music." Andy applies mindfulness to build- ing science and construction as well. Photo: Jeremy Jachym Photo: ©Eric Rorer Photography Above: Earthtone is also known for saving the day when other builders make a mess of things. Such was the case with Modern Timber-Framed Home, constructed of material from an old Texas barn. Right: Working with architect Amy Alper, Earthtone salvaged as much of the existing house as it could to create Vineyard Farmhouse (see full story, page 58) in the Russian River valley of Sonoma, Calif. 26 RESIDENTIALDESIGNMAGAZINE.COM VOL. 4, 2017

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