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Catskills - Sullivan County - Ulster County Real Estate -- Catskill Farms Journal

Old School Real estate blog in the Catskills. Journeys, trial, tribulations, observations and projects of Catskill Farms Founder Chuck Petersheim. Since 2002, Catskill Farms has designed, built, and sold over 250 homes in the Hills, investing over $100m and introducing thousands to the areas we serve. Farms, Barns, Moderns, Cottages and Minis - a design portfolio which has something for everyone.

April 14, 2023

Strengthening Relationships

This isn’t even a reverse double gainer reverse psychology (maybe the first time I ever spelled that word right the first time) silver lining type of thing, trying to bring to light and the front ‘good things’ that have happened since The Transition. The truth of the matter is that having me out in the field, working directly with the subcontractors not just on big picture scheduling and problem solving but also on the minutiae, the planning, the numerous field decisions.

It’s a big deal, considering this business is about relationships and the attempt to motive and inspire a large team of personalities and talents.  Being in the weeds collaborating helps.  Also, I’m scarier than Amanda ever was, less tolerant of baloney and phoning it in and a lot more experienced so less passed down the line.

Just in the last 3 weeks, by meeting personally with the mechanical hvac contractor, we re-engineered some ductwork in our a Ranch homes that had a material impact on them.  Just yesterday, working with the framer, we engineered then built two dormers in the upstairs of a new home that added views and light to a what was a neat room before but now rocks even harder.

I also get to see who’s trying and who’s not, not secondhand but first hand, which is valuable.  People report problems to me, and I can react, with 20 years of experience to guide the fix.

It’s not perfect - we definitely have lost some of the client hand-holding, but interestingly, that whole process had gotten sort of out of hand and we had allowed a degree of custom design creep into our process that we weren’t really getting paid to do.  We build personalized homes, not custom.

So it’s been interesting, and there is one sure fire way to keep your business out of any danger zones, and that’s being aware of each and every element of it, which I am - always was, but more so now.

This new Barn home on 10 acres with big views was designed a few years ago, built a few times, and then was ready to go for a site in Saugerties until the project went sideways. Here, we found a way to make it even better with 2 big dormers giving more back of house views. Big big improvement for this site.

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