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Builder Architect Article

The following is an excerpt from an article by Angie Yurch  that originally appeared in Builder/Architect Magazine:

“Many of us relish in the fact that we are still living in the same home where our children grew up. As you pour that cup of coffee, you look around and remember all the occasions the family spent in the kitchen celebrating different events or discussing hot topics of the day. These are precious memories we all cherish, however, we also realize the room has become quite dated and the normal wear and tear of a busy family is beginning to show significantly. Although we would never think of moving and leaving our established communities where ties run so deep, we would like to update our home adding amenities that reflect the modern times.

Remodeling is the perfect option for homeowners wanting to freshen up an older home or wishing to expand an area of the home by adding an addition. Craftsmanship by John, Inc. is the superior full service remodeling company in the Houston area. John Gillette, President and company's founder, strongly believes that a reputable company is built on the principles of "honesty and integrity with attention to detail."

John Gillette began his residential remodeling company believing that people would respect and prefer a company that had the highest standards and was honest and loyal to its convictions. He was right on that assumption, and his business and upstanding reputation has been growing in Houston for the last seventeen years. His talented team of project managers, lead carpenters, and lead painters offer the highest quality in craftsmanship with the greatest attention to detail. They work on the west side of Houston, mainly in the Villages, Tanglewood and River Oaks areas with prices ranging from a thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands.

Most homeowners remodel kitchens or bathrooms specifically asking for stone or granite countertops, custom cabinets and tile flooring. Others call on Gillette's expertise in fulfilling whole house renovations and additions. Craftsmanship by John believes that "every addition must look fabulous while staying in design with the original house." Gillette says "an example of this would be that we locate or make the same moldings as used throughout the rest of the house and we keep cabinets and other moldings appearance the same but with better working parts." This gives the home continuity and an appearance that all parts make a whole instead of them looking as if they are separate. Only the strongest building techniques and materials, such as I joists and versalam beams, are used to make a quality product that will last. Craftsmanship by John employs individuals who are highly professional making the remodeling process run smoothly. After the job is awarded, prospective trades meet at the jobsite to evaluate the scope of work and submit a bid. A detailed item-by-item estimate is submitted with pricing allocated to each phase of the task. The company is committed to staying on schedule and keeping homeowners aware of the progression of the project. A pre-construction walk-through is conducted along with a schedule for weekly meetings when the project manager and both homeowners are present to discuss the progress of the project and any thoughts or ideas. The homeowners are then given a calendar of events on how the project should progress and when certain items and selections need to be supplied or finalized. Homeowners appreciate this constant communication and are very satisfied with the progression of events and the final outcome.

Gillette never believed he would make a career of the building trade. He knew he enjoyed constructing and making things and he says, "I decided that I should do what I am good at and what I enjoy. I then began doing side jobs and one thing led to another." After gaining experience with others, he believed he could start his own company. "I wanted to work for myself so I could decide the quality and craftsmanship that I believe is acceptable. My standards are high," Gillette proudly states. With the unwavering support and devotion from his wife, he diligently worked and researched as he faced his biggest challenge; fulfilling the financial and legal provisions necessary to start a new company. Through asking questions, reading and much legwork, Craftsmanship by John, Inc. was established. With much determination and drive, Gillette has become a Certified Master Builder and a Certified Graduate Remodelor. He stays current with the latest in materials and technology by being an active member of the National Association of Home Builders, National Association of Remodelor Industry, and the Remodelors Council of the Greater Houston Builders Association. He was Vice President of the Remodelers Council and is still active on the board of directors.

In looking at the building industry today, Gillette believes that the qualified labor pool has diminished from when he first began. He says that individuals "with the proper skill level and attention to detail are dwindling. There seems to be a lack of interested people to follow this line of work as a living." He believes there is a new push for larger franchise companies. For those with his same ambition wanting to become successful in the business, Gillette advises that you "stand behind what you believe in and perform the best work you can. Try to find a mentor and join an organization such as GHBA." He feels the future looks bright with new technologies in software and design programs "that will expand the abilities of the contractor.

"John Gillette is a man of honor and integrity who has built a company on this same foundation. On the future, the former Junior Warden of his church simply says he wants to "enjoy a full life with my family and friends while performing and developing my company to be one of the outstanding places to work in regards to a Christian base and moral ethics. I would like to be known as a company that did what we said when we said, and that we added something to the lives we touched other than just a beautiful bath or addition. Life is too precious and wonderful to not enjoy it along the way."