Interview with Co-owner John Baker
Photos courtesy Northshire Construction
Are most of your clients new home builders or looking to remodel?
Over 38 years we’ve done it all; we’ve done commercial jobs, worked on crews with 60 or 70 guys at one time. Right now, we’re doing a lot of renovations. We just did all new windows on a 10,000-square-foot house. That was 50 windows we changed out with trim on the inside and outside. We’re also doing a lot of garages and breezeways in addition to new construction. Whatever the client wants, we are committed to giving the best possible work we can do.
What are the most common questions you get from homeowners or potential homeowners?
A lot of it has to do with energy requirements and the weather here in Vermont. We just did a job for a woman who moved up here from North Carolina. She was not really familiar with the winters up here. We suggested that she add a breezeway from the house to the garage so that she wouldn’t have to go outside. She really appreciated the input. We also get a lot of questions about energy efficiency, insulation and that kind of thing, and a lot about roofs, asphalt versus metal because of the snow loads.
Are your clients mostly primary or second-homeowners?
We have a lot of second-homeowners; it seems like the primary homeowners don’t need the same magnitude of work that they do. These are people who are here only a few months a year so they don’t always see what needs to be done and by the time they do, it takes more work to get it done. But we have a lot of in-house guys, painters, and sheet rockers, and longtime relationships with other subcontractors so even when they get busy, we don’t get held up and we can get the work done.
What is your approach to your business that differentiates you?
We like working with the homeowners; we really want 100 percent of their input. We recently finished a nice contemporary home. The homeowner wanted to hire an architect but we said put your ideas on paper and we’ll take it from there. He had a vision and we put it together; he gave us his input and we made it happen. It came out great. When we design a kitchen we talk a lot about how the client uses the kitchen, whether they actually cook a lot, that kind of thing. It’s their kitchen—they can design it any way they want—but we will tell them about things we have run into in the past.
Northshire Construction, LLC