Above: Squash blocks installed to support load from above. Right: Load from above without squash blocks or blocking panels caused this web to buckle.
Everything in Writing
Like many of his peers, Ross Friedman began his career as a carpenter.
Like many of his peers, Ross Friedman began his career as a carpenter. Now president of Windward Builders in Lake Forest, Ill., a Chicago suburb, he has learned the business side of custom home building along the way.
Knowledgeable and efficient in their own fields, his high-end clients expect a greater level of sophistication than most other builders offer, he says.
Windward responded with the Windward Way, a proprietary project management and customer-care system developed about three years ago. The Customer Care Guidebook is a customized leather binder distributed at the project launch meeting. The client’s road map, it contains everything from team contact information to milestone meeting schedules and agendas to frequently asked questions.
Meetings occur at every construction milestone or every 30 days. New documents, meeting and field notes, and digital photos are added to the binder at each meeting, which is shepherded by the job superintendent. The binder becomes a keepsake, record and word-of-mouth marketing tool.
After move-in, the last pre-planned contact is the satisfaction survey, on which Windward has 100% willingness to refer.