We all go through transitions in our lives. One of the biggest is choosing or changing a profession. As I mentioned in previous entries, my background for the previous 9 years was doing class action and warranty inspections on residential building products. This meant I became keenly aware of the lack of effort put into the finer details of building homes properly. One of the things I enjoyed (although wasn’t supposed to do) was giving advice to home owners about what to do about the products I was inspecting on their homes. They always seemed to be appreciative of the knowledge that I was sharing. Towards the end of that career, I started to think about how I could take the knowledge I had gained doing the inspections and turn it into a career that not only made money, but also helped people. I thought of starting a siding company (I probably performed 10,000 siding inspections over 9 years); starting a roofing company (everyone at the time was getting a new roof); and even doing consulting for realtors and investors in the residential market. Thankfully I was nudged into my professional by the advice of a multi-millionaire (you tend to listen to those people).
At the time the term “green building” was becoming a hot topic. Because the housing market was so poor, builders were looking at ways to differentiate themselves (and the homes they were building). Because of this, my first certification was as a HERS Rater. Now I could help current and prospective builders create homes that were more comfortable, healthy and energy efficient. My second certification was as a BPI Building Analyst. This gave me the knowledge to deal with existing construction and help homeowners make their homes a more comfortable, healthy, and energy efficient place to live. Since starting my company in 2009, the second certification has been the most rewarding (and not just in a monetary sense).
In the past couple of weeks, two of my best (and favorite) customers have been widows. It’s not that they don’t have the ability to make those types of decisions; it’s the fact that until recently, they’ve had a husband around to handle the tasks themselves (or try to at least). One of the problems with being a man is that most of us always want to be right. We want to be problems solvers so we don’t always ask for help when we really need it. And if it costs money to get that advice or help, then that decision becomes even that much more difficult to make. We want to be able to fix things even if we have no idea how to, because that’s what real men do (see the real man's code book). As many of us find out, sometimes we end up getting in over our head and creating a bigger mess then that which we were fixing in the first place. Building trust with these two wonderful people, while still being able to competently provide a service has been the most rewarding part of completing their projects.
For me, nothing is more rewarding than being able to not only help people, but to share the knowledge that I have gained over the years. Our homes are a huge investment and unfortunately they don’t come with an owner’s manual. With all the bad information and unscrupulous sales people out there, who are people supposed to turn to give them fact (and science) based advice on what is causing the issues in their homes and how to fix them in a cost effective manner.
THAT is what I do. THAT is why I love my job.