November 14, 2006
How do you get the best and "green-est" builder in Austin to work on your project? You beg.
We met Bill during a green building tour this past summer. He was stationed in the kitchen of an incredible house on the south side of town. There was a crowd surrounding him, asking questions about the strawboard cabinets (his cabinet guy hated every minute of it, but they looked beautiful) and the difficulties of sealing a flat roof. It took us awhile to make our way towards him.
When you first see Bill you notice three things: his height (he's very tall), his beard (think Amish or captain of a whaling ship) and his belt buckle (bronze version of carpenter's tools).
We told him about our project and asked him if he'd consider taking it on. We expected to start in August (the best laid plans...) and were days away from making our final choice on contractors. He was already very busy. Several projects in the works. But a plea from a friend of ours who had Bill put a gable on her house 18 years ago caused him to consider us seriously. He visited with us at the site. He spoke old Austin house dialect (pier and beam, shiplap walls, box construction). We sensed he'd be sensitive and understand the soul of the house. A few days and many phone calls later he agreed to take us on.
Our instincts were right. He and his crew really care about this project. They are professional, extremely skilled and FAST. Austin has the oldest Green Building program in the country and Bill was the third guy working with it. He thinks outside himself. He really believes in sustainability and social responsibility. It's not a business model, it's genuine.
And, he has a sense of humor. After all, he posed for this picture with me—a parody of American Gothic, complete with a carpenter's level in place of a hay rake.
Thank heavens he agreed to work with us. He had me at the belt buckle.
(4) CommentsComment on this Blog
Love the little house fairy watching from the tree, too!
hi all the way from the uk, great job you are doing on the house!!
What a great web site!
Especially the "American Gothic" parody/presentation!
My sister in PA would appreciate that, I'm sure!
I just have a condo in CA but our entire building seems to be suffering from foundation failure, with the results as described on your web site.
Keep up the good work!