Building the Best Life, Means It’s Always Under Construction

My Life Lessons Learned From Almost Forty Years of Building


It is amazing to me the similarities of building a quality structure and an excellent life. The longer I do it, the more amazing it becomes. These parallels have been in place since the beginning of time. When God made the world these building principles were used. These time-tested practices work for physical buildings as well as great lives.

At an early age we begin the process of planning our lives. We have an image of how our life is going to look, what we are going to do, who is going to enjoy it with us, etc. Sometimes those plans are well thought out and designed. They come with pages and pages of blueprints including all types of details, complete with engineering calculations. Some plans are more the ‘scribbled on a piece of scrap paper idea’. Either way we have that picture of what we think our life should be.

It is important to note that we have access to the ‘Master Architect’. He offers this design service at no cost, it has already been paid for. If we will take advantage of this offer, we will end up with the best finished project.

Like building, the better the plans are before we start, the less problems we will have during construction. This doesn’t mean that it can’t be built without plans, it just means there may be more change orders needed.

A solid foundation is the next thing in the process. A good foundation is what supports the building and keeps it straight and standing tall. The better the foundation the better it weathers storms. This doesn’t mean that some storms won’t come along and knock it down. Even if a storm scatters our lives, a good foundation will still be there to rebuild on.

Once we complete the construction of a building, it doesn’t mean that we’re finished. Nothing in this life is permanent. Everything wears out or deteriorates over time. If we use better quality building material it will last longer, but everything needs maintenance. Often people neglect this part more than any. It is easy to get in a rut and forget to periodically do a checkup, whether it is a building or a life. We need to be good stewards of what we have been given. If we intentionally keep working on it, it will be better in the end.

Remodeling and additions are common in construction. We come across something new that will be an improvement, or there is a change in our circumstances. These things are true for our lives as well. If we aren’t working to improve then we are deteriorating.


A message from the Master Architect’s Blueprint –

…but you are citizens together with God’s holy people. You belong to God’s family. 20 You believers are like a building that God owns. That building was built on the foundation that the apostles and prophets prepared. Christ Jesus himself is the most important stone in that building. 21 The whole building is joined together in Christ, and he makes it grow and become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in Christ you are being built together with his other people. You are being made into a place where God lives through the Spirit.

Ephesians 2:19-22


Let us know if you need help finding solutions for building your dream life.

Building Your Business Is Critical to The Survival of The Business

Just Like the Construction of a Building – You Need a Blueprint for Your Company


If you own your business and aren’t being intentional about the organizational operation of your company, it is likely that you won’t make it past your 5th year. This is according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Just think about the number of businesses that you have seen come and go.

Whether you are a solopreneur or you have a team. It doesn’t matter if you have been in business for 30 years or just starting out. Regardless of the kind of work you do, the organizational plan is just as important as the work you do…maybe more.

I know in my 40 years of being in business I have learned some lessons the hard way. Let me tell you, the tuition for ‘The School of Hard Knocks’ is expensive. There were times when I got behind on taxes to pay bills and times that I got behind on bills so that I could pay taxes. Neither of these is a very good business plan. One of my SHK professors once told me, “that when you steal from Peter to pay Paul, you make Peter a Paul bearer”. If you want to avoid the need for a pallbearer for your business…you need a plan.

It is common for people to start a business without a plan. Generally, someone has learned a trade or a craft and for whatever reason they decide to go into business on their own. Most of the time they have given little, if any, thought to business structure. They show up every day working hard and then…surprise, you owe some taxes and haven’t saved any money to pay them. They needed a plan, a blueprint for building the business.

Being in the construction business I see a lot of similarities in constructing a sound building and a constructing profitable business.

  • Both need to start with design plans – the thing that gives you a clear direction of what you want the outcome to be.
  • Both need an architect – the person that can see the vision of what the finished product will be.
  • Both need a good solid foundation – the thing that will support you when the storms come.
  • Both need good framework – the thing that holds everything together.


  • Both need a builder – the person that reads and understands the plans and puts all the different pieces together correctly.
  • Both need the proper tools – these are what allow the pieces to be shaped and fastened together in the right places in the right order.
  • Both need a good team – these are the different people with the different skills and knowledge needed.

It doesn’t matter if you have been in business for years or are just starting, YOU NEED A PLAN. If you would like to minimize the time you spend attending ‘The School of Hard Knocks’, then keep following our blog. We are working on some Business Building Solutions for just this purpose.


What areas of building your business would some ‘higher education’ be helpful.

Window Shopping…Really I Mean Shopping for Windows – Part 3

Even More Things to Consider When Buying Windows


I know that it seems that I have written a lot about windows in this ‘Window Shopping’ series. I think one of the issues with construction in general and this topic of windows specifically, is the lack of information people have before deciding what to buy. There is no right answer for everyone, but the more you know the more likely it is to find the best one for you.

In the previous two blogs in this series, part 1 and part 2, we discussed materials used and construction options for windows. In this final one we will talk design.

3-st_brigide_church-doorway-montreal_2013-ticklebear4u_comDESIGN – When considering design, it is more about function and appearance. There are a huge variety of options available to choose from. This is one reason to start with a clear why. Design is an area that can make a big difference in the finished project. You need to be careful though because it is easy for the ‘bells and whistles’ to push the price beyond your budget.

            Shapes – There are a lot of shapes available; curved tops, circles, triangle, trapezoid and custom shapes. Depending on the manufacturer, some size limitations and how much you want to spend, shape is open to your imagination.

            Grilles – Grilles tend to have more of a connection to the architectural design and that should be considered if you are thinking about painted-windowsgrilles. It may also be that you hope to change the view when looking through the windows. Grilles are a great way to do this.

            Shades – Mini blinds or cellular shades between the panes of glass aren’t offered by all manufacturers, but serve both a design and pragmatic purpose. They also have a big effect on how the window looks. They allow you to let in only as much sun as you would like, as well as provide privacy.

            Colors – This is another area where, depending on who makes the windows, there are a large number of color choices. These choice options will also depend on material; wood, aluminum, vinyl, etc. With some manufacturers it is possible to get one pre-finished color on the outside and a different one on the inside.

Let me give you an example of how this decision making process works. I live in a one hundred-year-old craftsman style farm house, built by my Great Grandfather. It has always been in our family and both my Grandmother and Mother grew up in this home. To me the history and heritage plays a large part in my decisions. It was built with large double hung, single pane windows. Originally the size allowed for an ample amount of natural light and fresh air. There wasn’t much in the way of electric lighting and air conditioning when it was built. We have plenty of artificial light and central heat and air now so we could go with smaller windows.

When considering windows here are the things that I would keep in mind:

      windows-with-shades      Wood – I like its stability and the option of having a stained wood interior.

            Double Hung – Match the original architecture with windows the same size.

            Grilles – Possibly, might give the house an upgraded feel, while being true to the original style.

            Shades – Definitely mini blinds between the panes of glass. My experience with these are that even though they add to the price they are worth it. They are great at controlling the amount of natural light coming in as well as privacy.

            Colors – A neutral aluminum clad exterior with a pre-finished stained interior. These colors will not be too restrictive when considering future painting and finishes.

There is a lot to consider when it comes to deciding what you want when buying windows. As I told you in the beginning, not all windows are created equal and the same is true for installation.

I hope that this gives you some physical insight and direction when shopping for windows. Don’t forget that there is an emotional consideration as well. You can find out about it in the blog about “How Do You Feel About Windows”.

Window Shopping…Really I Mean Shopping For Windows – Part 1

Things to Consider When Buying Windows


Whether you are shopping for new construction or replacement windows, the first thing you should know is, not all windows are created equal. The same is true for installation. As the saying goes, ‘you get what you pay for’. When picking windows this is as true as any other time. It doesn’t mean that if you spend a lot of money that you will get the best deal. It is however a good idea to do some research and know what you’re getting – for what you’re spending.

The first thing that you need to do is to determine why. Are you building something new or adding a room? If you’re not building then why do you want/need to replace or add windows to your existing structure? If you will give this some thought, it will help you to make the best decision. Once you have answered the why question it will help you going forward. For help answering this question read my blog about how windows make you feel.

Once you have determined why then you can shift your focus to the what and how. There are three main areas of research to be able answer these questions, material, construction and design. In this post I will review the material question. I will address the construction and design elements in two later blogs.

MATERIALS – The biggest difference in windows are the frames. There really isn’t much difference in glass manufacturing. The glass choices are mostly what types of insulating gas or sun blocking coatings you would prefer. Some windows also offer a third pane option. The frame material is the important thing to consider. There are a several options, with wood and vinyl currently being the two most common. There is also aluminum, steel and fiberglass reinforced composites and who knows what may be next.

411530104_6f5d483b36_oWood Benefits – Stability is the biggest benefit to wood framed windows. The wood frames expand and contract less with changing temperatures. This means the seals where the glass and the frame are connected are more likely to last longer.

Strength is another benefit of wood. Wood is not likely to be structurally damaged by hail or flying debris. If hit it may be dented, but it is unusual for that to cause failure of seals or to decrease the integrity of the window.

Wood Concerns – The most common concern of wood is the cost. Wood windows, especially good quality windows, generally cost more than the other materials.

Rot is also a concern of wood. It is less of an issue now than it used to be. Most wood framed windows now have an external aluminum, or some type of cladding that protect them from the weather. If an unclad window is used it will need to be painted and then be regularly repainted for the life of the window. Most wood windows now are being treated to help prevent water damage.

V5456092177_4ea777747b_oinyl Benefits – One good thing about vinyl is that it doesn’t rot or deteriorate from exposure to moisture.

Vinyl windows are a less expensive way to get new windows. There is a wide price range of vinyl windows and this is due to various construction practices; i.e. thickness of the vinyl, welded or molded corners, how the vinyl is extruded and/or frame construction. This is an area where manufacturer research would be good.

Vinyl Concerns – One concern of vinyl window frames is the possibility of damage from hail and mower thrown rocks. I have on several occasions replaced vinyl windows due to frames broken by hail. The fact that the vinyl frames were broke and the glass wasn’t is something to consider when deciding. The longer the vinyl is exposed to sun and weather the more brittle it gets.

Vinyl expands and contracts considerably with changes in temperatures. This is also something that you should factor in to your decision.

Fiberglass Benefits – One of the newer window frame options is fiberglass. It is a product is a mix of the benefits of both wood and vinyl. It is stronger than vinyl and expands and contracts less. On the other hand, it won’t rot like wood.

Fiberglass concerns – The main concern with vinyl is price. It will be more comparable to wood in this area.


As you can see there is a lot to consider when it comes to deciding what you want when you buy windows and we only covered a portion of it here.

I hope that this gives you some insight and direction when shopping for windows, be sure to come back and learn about construction and design in the next few weeks.