This month's blog is featuring our general contractor Dave Davelaar. I met Dave 10 years ago working on a home across the street from a home we had purchased. He had a trim carpentry business at the time and I quickly realized he was not only a great carpenter but a great businessman. He was our trim carpenter for all of our home renovations from 2006 thru 2013. In 2013 he became a licensed general contractor and he has been our GC ever since.
Dave is a problem solver and creative and that is what makes him a terrific person to work with in construction. I remember numerous times renovating homes where we needed to solve a problem to improve the home. For example change a weird staircase or match a trim that was no longer available. I would say to Dave "work your magic" and he did just that and it looked great. That still holds true today in new construction, especially when we need to adjust house plans in the field. He also always has great ideas for small design elements that make a large impact. This stems from his music/creative background. He probably won't tell you this at first but he did appear on "Star Search" as a kid. Another fun fact is when he was a teenager he was in a teen magazine alongside Brad Pitt.
I asked Dave some questions below so you can learn more about him.
1.) What got you into building?
At age 4, my dad brought home some lumber and 4 lawn mower wheels. He helped me build my first push soapbox car, and I was hooked. I began building tree houses at age 6. I started sneaking to use my dad’s power tools at 7.
2.) What's your favorite part of the building process?
I enjoy the creative side of construction, spatial and material design. I love the fact that after a long day of work, you can stand back and see fruits of your labor.
3.) What are some of the biggest changes you've seen in the last few
years (from a builder's standpoint)
Fortunately and unfortunately Nashville is booming. With that comes a tremendous amount of development and revitalization. When I moved to Nashville almost 20 years ago, there were very few lofts and high-rise condos. Downtown Nashville was a ghost town after 6pm. The rapid influx of new people relocating to Nashville has not only fueled the need for new and renovated homes, but has also inspired new architectural and multi functional design.
4.) What are some of the biggest challenges builders face in a booming
Nashville definitely has a shortage of high quality tradesman labor.
It is getting more and more difficult to plan and execute construction projects. One negative side effect of so much new construction is the lack of willingness by sub contractors to do renovation projects. Homeowners are finding it very difficult to get work done, and are having to pay a premium to expedite smaller projects.
5.) If you weren't building what would you be doing?
I would definitely be doing something creative. Music originally brought me to Nashville, and I would probably still be in the music business.