construction business beginning

Hey everyone. This is Daniel Quindemil with I AM Builders. We’re here at I AM Builders HQ. And yesterday I told how we all began, how I AM Builders started, my journey to go into construction, how I started in architecture. And today I want to share with you, there was one story I want to talk about a little bit, one of the moments that really got me into construction. So let me paint this picture for you.

 

There was this $20,000 potential painting project that I actually gave up. And that’s what led me to start, to go in the direction of construction, which led me to go in the direction of growing I AM Builders into what it is today. So I want to tell you about that time.

 

My background is architecture. I went to FIU, got my bachelor’s in architecture. I was working at this interior design firm called Fanny [Heiman 00:01:07] Associates, and I was one of the architects. What I used to do there is I was the guy that did the plans. So we would have the designers that would, we would all meet with the clients, but the designers would come up with the themes, the ideas, the concepts, everything for the designs. And I’m one of the guys that actually put it together in plans. They would come to my desk and tell me, do this, do this. They would draw a little sketch, and I’m the one that actually made the plans.

 

And in that time, it was my first architecture-related job. It was a time, I graduated in 2010, when that recession hit and there was like no jobs. Architecture and construction was one of the worst hit. So I remember all my friends were like, they couldn’t figure out how to get a job. I was working at this firm and to me it was really important because it was my only opportunity to work in a design firm.

 

While I was there one of the things I used to do was I would go onto the job sites, and we always represented the owner. So I would go into the job sites and I check the quality of the work being performed to make sure that it matched with what we expected, the quality and then conformance to the plans, so that was part of my job.

 

And I remember I really loved being on the job site. I was this guy with my little nice button shirt, slacks. And I would go to the job site while the guys were working. And I liked that, I thought it was good because I used to have to take my tape measure and measure everything. And in the beginning I didn’t know how to build anything, I was an office guy.

 

And around that time, my father-in-law, before I had gotten married, he wasn’t my father-in-law yet. He was just my girlfriend’s father, now he’s my father-in-law. But he had just recently retired and he was a painter for 30 or 35 years. And I remember he was making $80,000 a year as a painter. And this guy had, I love my father-in-law, but he’s the… He grew an $80,000 a year business painting with very limited business experience and kind of figuring it out.

 

And I said, man, if this guy that doesn’t have that great of a, doesn’t have a degree, he doesn’t have all this business experience, he doesn’t have like this background of business. If he is able to build, if this guy is able to build such a successful business, then I can definitely do it. And I can do it times 10 or times 100. Because I’m going to go online, I’m going to figure out how to do online marketing. I’m going to figure out all these things. And that’s what I was thinking about.

 

And he tells me, one day he goes, “Oh, this guy called me, an old client, that he has a big house to paint. And I told him I was retired and I can’t do it.” And I go, “What, how much was the deal?” He goes, “Oh, it was like $20,000.” And I go, “What do you mean, $20,000?” In those days $20,000 to me for a construction project or a painting project was like ridiculous. Like, it’s a lot of money for painting, just painting.

 

So I was like, freaking out. I’m like, “Man, call the guy back, call the guy back. Like, I’ll do it, I’ll do it part-time, I’ll subcontract it. You could teach me.” Those days I didn’t know anything about painting, I didn’t know anything about anything construction related, just designing and architecture. So he calls the guy back and the guy says, “No, I gave the job to somebody else already.”

 

And I was kind of bummed, but that was like that spark that I needed. And I said, “Man, if this guy in one deal can sell $20,000 bucks and make $80,000 a year, then imagine if I, with my knowledge of reading plans and building the plans and this. I can meet with clients, I could do the plans. I could do house remodels. I could do all the things they want to do and I can coordinate it all.” I can make 10 times that, I can make a million dollars a year. That’s what I was thinking.

 

And so that was like the launching pad. That was the launching pad that I needed to start everything off. So my first attempt was to get my painting license. I wanted to have a painting company. So I said, “Well, before I become a GC, let me do painting. I know painting works. He did it, I could do it.” So I go, I applied for my license here in Miami-Dade County. I call it I AM Builders. And then they reject it. They say, no, you can’t call it I AM Builders because you’re not a building company.

 

I go, oh man. So I go, I change it to I AM Painters. That was the first name of this company was I AM Painters. And I go out, I go on Home Advisor. I figure out a couple of creative ways using the zip codes of the most expensive houses and things like that to get the best jobs. And I landed four projects.

 

And my thought is, my naive innocent beginner mentality, I said, well, I have a full-time job. All I have to do is, I could do my estimates, meeting clients, going to their houses after work and on the weekends. And people work anyway, so they’ll probably appreciate that, that I don’t have to go at 2:00 in afternoon. I could go at 6:00 PM and that’s okay. And then when I hire the work, I’ll just subcontract it and they’ll do all the work. And they’ll do a good job. And you don’t have to supervise them, because contractors do everything right the first time. You don’t have to supervise them. You don’t have to check on them because they’re just really honest, hardworking quality, detail people, right? We all know that, right? No.

 

So that first job, terrible. I didn’t know what I was doing. I figured my painter knew what he was doing, but he kept getting into issues with the owner. Oh, I already painted it, I already painted it. And the owner didn’t like the work, and the quality wasn’t good, and this and that. And I remember one time I had to leave my office to go fix a problem. And I took like a three or four hour lunch and I got in big trouble when I got back. They thought I had just left home. And so I had to explain myself, like what took three hours, that you needed a three hour, four hour lunch break. And I kind of had to tell them what I was doing.

 

Anyways, fast forward, I decided to, I wanted become a GC. I decided I want to go into construction. So I started doing painting and I eventually figured it out. After the fourth job, I kind of figured it out. And I go, you know what, if I’m going to do this, I’ve got to become an expert. So I’ve got to go get trained. So I went and I found a job as a general contractor, working for a GC as a superintendent.

 

And that’s really where it all, this is the launching pad, but that first GC job was where my expertise and training and I learned how to build. I learned how to manage crews. I learned how to negotiate with the people in the field to get things done. Because you’ve got to, it’s like an art to get these guys to do a good job. I don’t understand it, but it is what it is.

 

But anyway, so that’s the story of how a $20,000 deal lead me to leave architecture, become a general contractor, and eventually start I AM Builders. I hope this was a nice little story, but if you guys want to check us out, I’ll tell you a little bit more about us. Give us a call. You can visit us at iambuilders.com. Thanks.

 

Published On: March 25th, 2021 / Categories: Featured /

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construction business beginning

Hey everyone. This is Daniel Quindemil with I AM Builders. We’re here at I AM Builders HQ. And yesterday I told how we all began, how I AM Builders started, my journey to go into construction, how I started in architecture. And today I want to share with you, there was one story I want to talk about a little bit, one of the moments that really got me into construction. So let me paint this picture for you.

 

There was this $20,000 potential painting project that I actually gave up. And that’s what led me to start, to go in the direction of construction, which led me to go in the direction of growing I AM Builders into what it is today. So I want to tell you about that time.

 

My background is architecture. I went to FIU, got my bachelor’s in architecture. I was working at this interior design firm called Fanny [Heiman 00:01:07] Associates, and I was one of the architects. What I used to do there is I was the guy that did the plans. So we would have the designers that would, we would all meet with the clients, but the designers would come up with the themes, the ideas, the concepts, everything for the designs. And I’m one of the guys that actually put it together in plans. They would come to my desk and tell me, do this, do this. They would draw a little sketch, and I’m the one that actually made the plans.

 

And in that time, it was my first architecture-related job. It was a time, I graduated in 2010, when that recession hit and there was like no jobs. Architecture and construction was one of the worst hit. So I remember all my friends were like, they couldn’t figure out how to get a job. I was working at this firm and to me it was really important because it was my only opportunity to work in a design firm.

 

While I was there one of the things I used to do was I would go onto the job sites, and we always represented the owner. So I would go into the job sites and I check the quality of the work being performed to make sure that it matched with what we expected, the quality and then conformance to the plans, so that was part of my job.

 

And I remember I really loved being on the job site. I was this guy with my little nice button shirt, slacks. And I would go to the job site while the guys were working. And I liked that, I thought it was good because I used to have to take my tape measure and measure everything. And in the beginning I didn’t know how to build anything, I was an office guy.

 

And around that time, my father-in-law, before I had gotten married, he wasn’t my father-in-law yet. He was just my girlfriend’s father, now he’s my father-in-law. But he had just recently retired and he was a painter for 30 or 35 years. And I remember he was making $80,000 a year as a painter. And this guy had, I love my father-in-law, but he’s the… He grew an $80,000 a year business painting with very limited business experience and kind of figuring it out.

 

And I said, man, if this guy that doesn’t have that great of a, doesn’t have a degree, he doesn’t have all this business experience, he doesn’t have like this background of business. If he is able to build, if this guy is able to build such a successful business, then I can definitely do it. And I can do it times 10 or times 100. Because I’m going to go online, I’m going to figure out how to do online marketing. I’m going to figure out all these things. And that’s what I was thinking about.

 

And he tells me, one day he goes, “Oh, this guy called me, an old client, that he has a big house to paint. And I told him I was retired and I can’t do it.” And I go, “What, how much was the deal?” He goes, “Oh, it was like $20,000.” And I go, “What do you mean, $20,000?” In those days $20,000 to me for a construction project or a painting project was like ridiculous. Like, it’s a lot of money for painting, just painting.

 

So I was like, freaking out. I’m like, “Man, call the guy back, call the guy back. Like, I’ll do it, I’ll do it part-time, I’ll subcontract it. You could teach me.” Those days I didn’t know anything about painting, I didn’t know anything about anything construction related, just designing and architecture. So he calls the guy back and the guy says, “No, I gave the job to somebody else already.”

 

And I was kind of bummed, but that was like that spark that I needed. And I said, “Man, if this guy in one deal can sell $20,000 bucks and make $80,000 a year, then imagine if I, with my knowledge of reading plans and building the plans and this. I can meet with clients, I could do the plans. I could do house remodels. I could do all the things they want to do and I can coordinate it all.” I can make 10 times that, I can make a million dollars a year. That’s what I was thinking.

 

And so that was like the launching pad. That was the launching pad that I needed to start everything off. So my first attempt was to get my painting license. I wanted to have a painting company. So I said, “Well, before I become a GC, let me do painting. I know painting works. He did it, I could do it.” So I go, I applied for my license here in Miami-Dade County. I call it I AM Builders. And then they reject it. They say, no, you can’t call it I AM Builders because you’re not a building company.

 

I go, oh man. So I go, I change it to I AM Painters. That was the first name of this company was I AM Painters. And I go out, I go on Home Advisor. I figure out a couple of creative ways using the zip codes of the most expensive houses and things like that to get the best jobs. And I landed four projects.

 

And my thought is, my naive innocent beginner mentality, I said, well, I have a full-time job. All I have to do is, I could do my estimates, meeting clients, going to their houses after work and on the weekends. And people work anyway, so they’ll probably appreciate that, that I don’t have to go at 2:00 in afternoon. I could go at 6:00 PM and that’s okay. And then when I hire the work, I’ll just subcontract it and they’ll do all the work. And they’ll do a good job. And you don’t have to supervise them, because contractors do everything right the first time. You don’t have to supervise them. You don’t have to check on them because they’re just really honest, hardworking quality, detail people, right? We all know that, right? No.

 

So that first job, terrible. I didn’t know what I was doing. I figured my painter knew what he was doing, but he kept getting into issues with the owner. Oh, I already painted it, I already painted it. And the owner didn’t like the work, and the quality wasn’t good, and this and that. And I remember one time I had to leave my office to go fix a problem. And I took like a three or four hour lunch and I got in big trouble when I got back. They thought I had just left home. And so I had to explain myself, like what took three hours, that you needed a three hour, four hour lunch break. And I kind of had to tell them what I was doing.

 

Anyways, fast forward, I decided to, I wanted become a GC. I decided I want to go into construction. So I started doing painting and I eventually figured it out. After the fourth job, I kind of figured it out. And I go, you know what, if I’m going to do this, I’ve got to become an expert. So I’ve got to go get trained. So I went and I found a job as a general contractor, working for a GC as a superintendent.

 

And that’s really where it all, this is the launching pad, but that first GC job was where my expertise and training and I learned how to build. I learned how to manage crews. I learned how to negotiate with the people in the field to get things done. Because you’ve got to, it’s like an art to get these guys to do a good job. I don’t understand it, but it is what it is.

 

But anyway, so that’s the story of how a $20,000 deal lead me to leave architecture, become a general contractor, and eventually start I AM Builders. I hope this was a nice little story, but if you guys want to check us out, I’ll tell you a little bit more about us. Give us a call. You can visit us at iambuilders.com. Thanks.

 

Published On: March 25th, 2021 / Categories: Featured /