The Elements of Building

February 9, 2015

A new book out called ‘The Elements of Building: A Business Handbook for Residential Builders and Tradesmen’ by Mark Kerson is a valuable read. If you are thinking of starting up a homebuilding or trade business, have a relatively new business, want to develop your staff or just have a resource book on hand this is a great book to have.

Marks book and many of his quotes strike a strong chord with the focus of this blog on Quality.  For example he points out that “Quality, like honest is not optional. Nearly everyone knows the difference between a mediocre and a quality product; the best employees want to produce it and the best customers will pay for it. Selling quality instead of price will bring more interesting and more profitable jobs. Make it a cornerstone of your business.” (p7)

Another phrase Mark uses reminds me of the value of the National Housing Quality Award process, “See excellent builders as motivation and inspiration, not competition.” (p39)

The book is what it seems, the wisdom of builder created over a period of 30 years. Tips and notes on working with employees, clients, subs, creating contracts even sample forms.

I will finish with this quote that Mark cites. “Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution’ it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.” William A Foster

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Denis Leonard has a degree in construction engineering an M.B.A. and a Ph.D. in quality management. Denis is a Fellow of the American Society for Quality, a Certified Quality Manager, Auditor and Six Sigma Black Belt. He has been an Examiner for the Baldrige National Quality Award Board of Examiners a Judge on the International Team Excellence Competition and a Lead Judge on the National Housing Quality Award. A former Professor of Quality at the University of Wisconsin, he has experience as a quality manager in the homebuilding industry as well as construction engineer, site manager and in training, auditing and consulting with expertise in strategic and operational quality improvement initiatives. His work has achieved national quality, environmental and safety management awards for clients.

Denis is co-author of 'The Executive Guide to Understanding and Implementing the Baldrige Criteria: Improve Revenue and Create Organizational Excellence'.

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