Producing the Katz Roadshow has provided benefits I never imagined. One reward has been the almost electrical experience of meeting carpenters who share the same passion for craftsmanship—which in our business also means a passion for productivity and solid profits; a passion for education and teamwork; a deep distaste for waste, and an eye for almost microscopic detail—all of which can be summed up in a single word: Respect. Since we first began publishing THISisCarpentry, our mission statement has been “Honor Your Craft.” You could just as well put it: Respect Your Craft.
Lately we’ve taken the experience of meeting like-minded tradespeople to a new level—visiting those folks personally, touring their jobsites, learning more about how other contractors operate their businesses.
Scott Wells and I recently met a company that shares that same passion and respect for carpentry. Shortly before an event in Denver, CO, Randy Haas, the General Manager of Austin Hardwoods (@austinhardwoodsofdenver) introduced me to the president of Nine Thirteen Interiors, Trevor Deutmeyer. Trevor was kind enough to organize a full-day tour for Scott and me, the day after Austin Hardwood’s Roadshow event.
Through Instagram, I had a fairly good idea what to expect, but photos and video never have the impact of a face-to-face, on-site experience.
We met Trevor and his key managers at their office/shop location, then drove off for jobsite visits, touring one nearly-complete project, another in the midst of trim installation, and one more in the early stages of development. Yes, it was a perfect combination of tour sites. (Follow Trevor on Instagram @ninethirteeninteriors)
At each of those locations, we had the privilege of seeing deeper into the culture of a 21st century finish contracting company: how they depend on technology—from jobsite tools to digital drawings, to project management to tools and state-of the-art hardware—to improve both quality and efficiency; how they control typical chaos on the jobsite by solving design and production problems in the shop, ensuring that their installation crews are able to focus on their part of the job; and how they depend on top-notch suppliers to support their entire team.
Selected as a member of the Wood Industry 40 under 40 Class of 2018 and described as a “visionary” for his untiring effort to develop a team of devoted managers and carpenters, Trevor is representative of the many young and driven professionals now active in construction throughout our industry.
Lots of companies have laudatory mission statements—Nine Thirteen Interiors has one, too.
But few companies actively pursue the same lofty goals. The folks at Nine Thirteen do. As they put it during our visit: “If we can’t find the perfect employees that share our commitment to craftsmanship, then we’ll make them.”
Which means Nine Thirteen doesn’t hesitate to hire untrained carpenters and invest in training those new hires: “We find bright young gentlemen and we train them, we put them with experienced carpenters, they learn our methods, and by doing that we promote growth in the trade and in our own business, too.”