GENERAL CONTRACTOR, CHRIS STURBAUM

Chris is the owner of Golden Hands Construction. His hands – or the hands of his crew – have remodeled and repaired our attic (complete remodel), 2nd floor bathroom (gut & redo), dining room (ceiling collapse), kitchen, windows (repair & rehung), siding (tear down old asbestos & replace), and small rental property (everything including the kitchen sink). We’re fans.

Job title: I’m the contractor.

What you do every day: I wake up and have to know where 6 people – my guys – are going. Also the subcontractors, where they’re going, and what time they’re going there.

What were you doing before this interview? I just fixed a toilet.

How you learned your job: Trial and error. Working with carpenters who knew more than I did.

And your learning curve? It’s about 15 years down the road you stop seeing things that you haven’t seen before.

Specialty: Old houses… I have an affinity for old houses. They’re beautiful. The basic pattern is pre-existing to the oil age.

People skills: We’re all dog people (in the crew), so dogs work it out really well who’s in what spot. It isn’t exactly like that, but you have to play well with others.

Remodeling in a few words: It’s a whole series of decisions and discoveries. When we tore open (your) ceiling when you were gone, there was this vaulted ceiling underneath and pshoooo — it was just nice.

Motto #1:  We can do that.

Your relationship to the houses you work on: We’ve worked in lots of houses over the years… It’s like a farmer that will walk his land and fix a fence here and fix this other thing there. I have this weird sense of stewardship for this town.

Motto #2: People get over anything except a bad job.

Motto #3: The only thing we don’t like to do is work for nothing. We’ll get dirty. We’ll do whatever it takes.

Motivation to keep at it: I like what I do and that helps a lot.

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