Steven believes in the term "old school". Steven still remembers being told at his first construction job working summers as a mason tender in the early 70's: "Don't bother buying gloves. Just let your hands bleed and save your money."
Sure enough a pair of gloves would last just days when used for carrying cement blocks to feed the hungry masons so they could stay productive. I can still hear them screaming, "Mud!" The advice was correct, and sure enough, within a few painful weeks, a nice row of calluses developed and using gloves were no longer a thought. This is old school.
When I am interviewing a carpenter for employment, after we have discussed their level of skill, I like to ask them: "Now, show me how you lay this skill saw down after you've made a cut." I want to know how they were taught. A simple test such as that tells me if they were taught by a true journeyman that has been in the trade and has been trained in one of the basics of "old school". There is a right and a wrong way to lay a saw down, not for the saws sake but for one's own safety. Old school is slowly diminishing along with many old school and talented tradesmen. After all, Steven believes that most parents aren't encouraging their children to learn a trade as opposed to getting a higher college degree. "I am not proposing that anyone encourages their children to go into construction vs. a higher college degree and or career."
It is unfortunate that the old days of learning a trade in school or a separate path for those that are not interested in social studies or science have that opportunity to explore. I was one of those fresh out of high school my next trade was learning to plaster exterior houses in Florida. Florida has a lot of sand I still remember pushing the wheel barrows of mud on a narrow track of wood. Again starting at the bottom working my way up for a few years and became a journeyman plaster. Moving to California in the mid 70's, started out working with a concrete contractor and learned the basics of foundation forming and concrete work. "I always liked wood over concrete." After my stint in the world of concrete I decided to get into carpentry. Again starting at the bottom beginning as a laborer for framers. I spent the next number of years working on a number of the tracks that now surround me in the So. Orange Co. area where I have lived since moving here from Florida over 35 years ago. Carpentry was very fulfilling; when you finished framing a house from the ground to the roof line you could walk away and see the fruits of your labor.
Staying with carpentry for a number of years, Steven became a journeyman carpenter learning how to do it fast, as most track work was paid by what you got done (piece work), not by the hour. "I believe the best carpenters, or any tradesman for that matter, are the ones that have worked both track to gain speed and learn how to be efficient, and then also honing their skill by working on custom homes where the level of quality is a step above track work. If a tradesman has spent time in both track and custom building, you wind up with someone that is efficient and gets the job done in a quality manner." In 1981, with a substantial number of years in different trades, Steven took and passed his California State Contractors license test and began his quest to build a successful construction business... the rest is history.
Though our focus is on quality home remodeling, we have an extensive list of commercial contracts that have included work in California, Hawaii, Oregon, Chicago, and New Mexico. We have completed projects for many restaurants at LAX, as well as retail projects including those on the left.
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