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“Like Money for Old Rope”

“Like Money for Old Rope”

The other day I was sitting listening to presentations by my students, with rapt attention I might add, when I looked down at my hands to a sort of shocking revelation. I have my fathers hands! It was as if I noticed for the first time and the impact of this revelation was both moving and strange at the same time. I actually gasped? I am sure the students thought the tears in my eyes were the result of pride in their performance – so, I guess I killed the proverbial “two birds with one stone.”

I guess I should back up a little here. My father passed away some years ago now, and for any…

Back to School…Back to School….To show our Clients we’re no Fools…

Back to School…Back to School….To show our Clients we’re no Fools…

I know it sounds weird, but, I like to ride on back country roads – in the WINTER, in this crazy town we call Canada! It is cold and crazy but I love it and it is where MOST of my good ideas come from. One of those ideas this past season of riding was the idea of ditching our long standing presence at the local Home and Garden Show in lieu of a process that would cater even more to our clients needs by looking after our team first, the idea was to have…a “Deck Training Day!”

I had this thought, that if we could somehow orient all of our current installers to all of…

Carry on My Wayward Son…..and Daughters….

Carry on My Wayward Son…..and Daughters….

It is “Resume Season” at JWS Woodworking and Design Inc. as we look for another member for our team.

First of all, I have to say this. Resume season ALWAYS makes me feel fortunate and thankful and somewhat humbled at times. Fortunate that I have such an amazing CORE team that has been loyal and hardworking and focussed all these years, and thankful that they are already part of my team. Humbled that there are so many people that continue the search year after year after year for that “perfect” job while people on our team have helped create…

Mind Your Manners and pass me the

Mind Your Manners and pass me the

Thanks for the cool bowl Cathie and the idea for this piece, Rich.

Someone told me yesterday that they “read my blog – religiously…” That makes TWO people…my Mom and them, I guess and maybe my lovely wife… What struck me about what they said, other than the fact that I was a tad bit uncomfortable with the euphemism, was that they SAID it. As in, said it, too my face. Not in a Tweet, not on Facebook, they took the time to hunt me down in my “other – work place” and tell me that with good old fashioned words. I thanked them humbly…

Evil, Entitled Millennials…bah!

Evil, Entitled Millennials…bah!

I’m a teacher first and a contractor second. I can’t help it. I love to teach and I love to build.

I built a business from nothing, by accident when I was looking for a way to help put myself through University in the summer of 1989. (Mom..who knew??) I built all the furniture in our first home from scratch in a leaky garage where you had to put furniture up on skids as it flooded in the Spring. And finally, in the meantime, – with the help of an amazing wife and many many, skilled carpenters and sub trades I have built JWS Woodworking and Design Inc.

As well, I have…

Spring into Deck “Hunting” Season with these Four Tips

Spring into Deck “Hunting” Season with these Four Tips

Yeah yeah….its Spring, almost….. There is at least a few feet of snow on the deck and it is still pretty cold outside, but it is likely time to pick up the phone to start the search for the right contractor for that terrific outdoor room you have been waiting for. When the classic “calling three contractors” is still leaving you feeling unsure. Here are a few tips that might help.

1) Carefully Consider Your Budget: Before calling anyone, I would suggest you carefully consider what you are wanting to invest in your home and be prepared to discuss the budget with…

What we can learn about Renovations from…PINGU??

What we can learn about Renovations from…PINGU??

Have you ever seen the childrens show “Pingu?” My kids are 17years old, and we still watch it.

Although the “language” in this hilarious work of Claymation is basically gibberish, the overt actions of the little flightless aquatic thespian from the Southern Hemisphere are absolutely and unquestionably, clear.

It got me to thinking, in our “Hemisphere of Renovation”, how often are our ACTIONS unquestionably clear? I mean, recently we had our crews to our own home as part of a renovation experience, laughing and chatting nonchalantly as they…

Hug a Contractor…we don’t bite, unless there are cookies

Hug a Contractor…we don’t bite, unless there are cookies

This Valentines Day – hug your contractor! There I said it. Show them a little love!

Without a doubt, there has been a great deal of paper space and text line devoted to the topic of how to find a good contractor and then how to trust them with your massive investment. So much so, that the topic has almost become mundane in nature, landing logically on a mix of gut reaction and common sense mixed in with a few background checks.

As well, TV show after TV show has shown viewers the tragic results of not researching contractor qualifications at best and morals at worst! I…

The Secret of Skinny Jeans and Shocking Reno Bills

The Secret of Skinny Jeans and Shocking Reno Bills

You can slice the Renovation experience any way you like, but the fact is, you simply cannot predict ALL of the costs that are going to be incurred in a renovation, even a simple one. Like buying a pair of pants at the store that are your “regular” size without trying them on first. The truth doesn’t really come out until you are sliding those new Chino’s on at 5am, getting ready for work only to discover you have rudely been indoctrinated into the world of “skinny jeans” without having a choice!

Alas, the good news is, planning for disaster ( and if you…

Essential Job Site Performance…

Essential Job Site Performance…

You may or may not have caught our post on important interview questions that deal with safety and punctuality and skills, this is the last in the series and certainly, if you have ever had to work with any of these “types” of workers, one of the most significant….

The question simply put is, “What type of Job Site Performer are YOU?” Make no mistake here, we are not taking about job related trade skills, we are talking about the all important question, when on the job site, what type of singer are you?

As insignificant as it may seem to some….ANYONE…