Archives for June 2011

Just a piece of paper

Most of you probably can remember that fate filled day……for some of you it is a recent memory, for others, well, your secret is safe with me.  It was a day filled with stress, anxiety, nerves, upset stomachs, and even through all of the negativity, there was always a glimmer of anticipation.  The day I am referring to is the day that each of us took our behind the wheel exam for our driver’s license.  For some the test ended in disappointment, for others, a feeling of freedom, happiness, and adulthood beamed from those young smiles.  Sure, it was just a piece of paper, but it stood for so much more.

Many of you may be surprised to know that the State of Minnesota has a licensing program for contractors that operate in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Currently, the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry licenses residential builders, remodelers, roofers and manufactured home installers. To work in Minnesota, these professionals must be licensed.

The Department of Labor and Industry has an excellent website that can be used to check, or confirm that a contractor does indeed have the appropriate license.  The status of a license can be verified by using this quick link to the Department of Labor and Industry.  Additionally, the website offers some helpful tips when hiring a contractor that can be useful for planning a project of any size. 

As it was when you got your driver’s license; homework is a necessary component of a building or home improvement project.  Avoid the fast talking “promise the moon”  salesperson, do your research, and your building project will be a pleasant experience.  Assume that all contractors in Minnesota operate by the same standards, and, unfortunately, you will be disappointed.

The license is just a piece of paper….a house is just a bunch of wood, together a professional contractor will make it a beautiful home for you and your family.

Community Pride

The current labor dispute in the NFL intrigues me.  It has an interesting flavor associated with it.  The perception, I believe, is millionaires battling millionaires, in an attempt to become billionaires.  (I do understand some of the philosophy behind the struggle, but perception among the fans is becoming disturbing.)

The NFL season is 16 games, and from those games they select a Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, an Offensive Player of the year, an All Pro Team, and the list seemingly goes on forever and ever.  Have you ever asked yourself, why?  Why does a person like Tom Brady smile with the reported 26 million dollars per year to play a game, but break down emotionally when he receives an award, a simple plaque, that says, Well Done

Everyone needs to feel that they are appreciated, and that their commitment to the “team” is recognized.  As a custom home builder, that recognition is usually fairly simple.  The new home stands proudly in its setting, and the builder can simply say, “See, we did it…..that is us……our work…..everyone take notice!”

But that is much harder to do in a volunteer based organization.  More things happen behind the scenes, the glamour isn’t there, the lime light is very faded, and the work usually goes un-noticed.  So today, as a proud member of the Hutchinson Community, I’d like to recognize, and say thank you to the tireless workers of the Hutchinson Jaycee organization that coordinate our local celebration, the Hutchinson Water Carnival.  Without their dedication, their commitment, and their seemingly endless levels of energy, Hutchinson would be just another community in central Minnesota.  Sure, people like Kyle Wendling, Sarah Skoog, or AJ Forcier (just to name a few) are no Tom Bradys, but to a community of 14,000 people, they make up the All Pro Team, and for that we thank you!!

Four legged logic

I spend a lot of my off time with my dog, Ellie.  She is wonderful therapy for me; is great listener, and an outstanding companion.  The other day, while giving her a jet ski ride around the lake (that activity and pheasant hunting top her list of fun time events), I realized that I had actually learned a bunch from my four legged best friend and that knowledge, and the logic associated with it go hand in hand in this industry.

Dance with the one that brought you.  OK, cheap cliche’ but in a dog’s life it is very appropriate.  Some dogs are born for laps, others for a field.  Some are trained as public servants, others are happy to brighten the day of a home-bound elderly person.  Each of them becomes passionate about what they’ve been blessed with, and does not judge what others may have.  They are happy in their world.

Now apply the same “happy” logic to a new window.  When we rip a hole in a wall, and stick a window into it, we are “all in” with a large casino-like bet.  Think about it, we want an outstanding photographic connection with the outdoors that allows the sunlight to penetrate.  We expect the window to add refreshing air, but yet keep out rain.  Insects are out, thermal efficiency is in.  We want the the sun to warm us in the winter months, but yet limit that warmth in summer.  It needs to keep our children, pets, and other family members safe, and all of this needs to be accomplished within a budget.

We work on all types of houses, and install windows into all types of openings.  We too are passionate about the remodeling process.  Sure, we’d love every opening to be perfectly square, with no issues, however, I can assure you that we will adapt to our setting.  We apply Ellie logic to every window that we install, and can guarantee that your new window, will be very “happy” in it’s new setting.

Larson Builders