What a Long Strange Trip It's Been

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My apologies to Jerry Garcia and the boys, but at this time of year I’m always thinking about the words from an old  Grateful Dead song.  During the holidays and at the end of the year, we take the time to look back and see where we’ve been to help decide where we’re going. It’s especially interesting because this month we celebrate 10 years of Solluna Builders.  And what a wild ride it’s been. We’ve weathered ups and downs in the economy and changes in the building industry, and we’re still having fun. While looking back, I have to ask myself a few questions:

Are we accomplishing our goals? Yes. Construction is underway on some lovely energy-efficient homes, and more worthwhile projects are in the planning and design queue. We value the wonderful, savvy clients who are eager to roll up their sleeves and work with us to plan and build or renovate their homes.

Would we change anything we’ve done? Yes. I’d be a damn fool to say I haven't made mistakes.  The great thing about what I do for a living is I’m constantly learning. While earning my Graduate Master Builder and my Certified Green Professional designations through the National Association of Home Builders, I gained new insights into the industry. By staying in touch with homeowners after I've built or remodeled their homes, I gain insight into the efficiency and durability of the systems, products, materials and techniques we've used so we can constantly improve as we go.

Would I do it all over again? Absolutely. I’m very fortunate to be in a part of the industry that’s leading and changing the way we build houses. As I tell potential clients, just because folks have been building a certain way for hundred years doesn’t make it right anymore. We can make our homes more energy- and resource-efficient. I’m very proud to be out front helping to make those changes and educating customers about the possibilities.

Where do we go from here? “To infinity . . . and beyond.” Ok, I stole that line from the movie Toy Story. But the possibilities are truly limitless. In the 15 years I’ve been in the building business, I’ve seen a lot of changes. New materials, products, vendors and techniques are entering the market every day. As in the past, some will stay and some will go. We love trying new ideas, but we must take care to vet them carefully because we want to make sure they will work and perform as promised.

Mary and I really enjoy writing these newsletters and blogs. We appreciate our contributors.  And we appreciate the feedback we get from you all. Now here is where we need your help. As the year winds down, we’ll be putting our feet up to think and plan for next year’s newsletters. What would you like to read about? What interest you? What do you want to know more about? Please send us ideas, suggestions, or if you're interested in writing, let us know. Remember -- keep those cards and letters coming.  Ok, emails will do.

Now let me take a moment to appreciate how I got here. A big thank you to thank all the clients, potential customers, vendors, suppliers, trade contractors, fellow builders, educators, and everyone else who has been a part of our success. I appreciate the obstacles and difficulties that have presented themselves -- without them I wouldn’t have grown stronger from lessons learned. Also, a very special thank you to my business and life partner, Mary Simon.  Without her contributions -- the website, the newsletter, managing the business, client relations, keeping me sane, and all the other stuff I don’t have time to do -- we wouldn’t be enjoying the success we have.

During this holiday season, I hope you get to spend time with family and the special people in your life. Try to bring new people into your life and add joy to theirs. In the coming year, take the time to have more fun, listen to more music, create more art, and enjoy life. I’m going to make more music and do more motorcycling. So for now, I’m in the wind.