21 episodes

Coffee Break Q&A is a podcast dedicated to answering questions from builders and tradesmen about their businesses and operations. The main host Nick Schiffer owns NS Builders a custom home and high end remodel and renovation business in Boston MA. Nick gets a lot of great questions through direct messages on Instagram and YouTube. He's going to answer these questions for all builders and business owners to benefit from.

Coffee Break Q&A NS Builders

    • Entrepreneurship
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

Coffee Break Q&A is a podcast dedicated to answering questions from builders and tradesmen about their businesses and operations. The main host Nick Schiffer owns NS Builders a custom home and high end remodel and renovation business in Boston MA. Nick gets a lot of great questions through direct messages on Instagram and YouTube. He's going to answer these questions for all builders and business owners to benefit from.

    #21 Jobsite protection, Using new materials, Sub-contractor call backs

    #21 Jobsite protection, Using new materials, Sub-contractor call backs

    Nick Schiffer answers your construction, renovation, and business questions in-depth on Coffee Break. This week the questions are:
    00:20 I'm a younger carpenter/general contractor in Connecticut. It's hard to get other sub-contractors who come highly recommended to answer phone calls or get them scheduled into a project. Any tips on getting good subs to work with you? Thank you.
    5:23 How do you stay up to date with the latest materials and technologies? I find it overwhelming trying to research superior products without thinking this might fail over time.
    9:56 Could you go into more detail on how you go about protecting finished material during construction?
    For more NS Builders renovations, new construction, custom cabinetry, and woodworking  | @nsbuilders on Instagram
    Behind the scenes  | @nsbvideo
    For more of our projects check out:
    www.ns.builders
    How do we manage our projects from the big picture all the way down to the smallest detail?
    Learn more here:
    https://get.buildertrend.com/nsbuilders

    • 14 min
    #20 3 Reasons to renovate

    #20 3 Reasons to renovate

    Nick Schiffer answers your construction, renovation, and business questions in-depth on Coffee Break. If you have a question leave it in the comments below. This week the questions are:
    3 reason to build new instead of renovating
    Reason #1 :43
    Reason #2 3:36
    Reason #3 5:45
    John Hourihan owner of Vintage Builders is the Johnny referenced in the episode at multiple points.
    Watch this podcast on youtube:
    https://bit.ly/nsbuildersyoutube
    For more NS Builders renovations, new construction, custom cabinetry, and woodworking  | @nsbuilders on Instagram
    Behind the scenes  | @nsbvideo
    For more of our projects check out:
    www.ns.builders
    How do we manage our projects from the big picture all the way down to the smallest detail?
    Learn more here:
    https://get.buildertrend.com/nsbuilders

    • 11 min
    #19 Building new instead of renovating 3 reasons

    #19 Building new instead of renovating 3 reasons

    Nick Schiffer answers your construction, renovation, and business questions in-depth on Coffee Break. If you have a question leave it in the comments below. This week the questions are:
    You might have an old home that you are torn between renovating or building new these 3 things are should be considered before starting your next project. 
    Watch this podcast on youtube:
    https://bit.ly/nsbuildersyoutube
    For more NS Builders renovations, new construction, custom cabinetry, and woodworking  | @nsbuilders on Instagram
    Behind the scenes  | @nsbvideo
    For more of our projects check out:
    www.ns.builders
    How do we manage our projects from the big picture all the way down to the smallest detail?
    Learn more here:
    https://get.buildertrend.com/nsbuilders

    • 10 min
    #18 Construction contract canceled

    #18 Construction contract canceled

    Nick Schiffer answers your construction, renovation, and business questions in-depth on Coffee Break. If you have a question leave it in the comments below. This week the questions are:
    35 Is the money your making as a GC worth more than just being a carpenter? Not looking for a tax return, but are the numbers going through your accounts simply larger or are you actually earning that much more? I understand a single pair of hands will earn you a single wage, but I’ve been a carpenter for 25 years. I’m always torn between hands-on work gratification, sustainability, and money...(notice, I mentioned money last, if you provide a quality product, the money always works out.).
    4:19 If you decide to roll a mistake into your overhead, do you ever run into issues with the increase in overall construction time that the mistake will cost you? I’d imagine that clients wouldn’t mind it not costing them more but they might mind if the schedule keeps getting pushed back.
    6:30 As a non-professional (homeowner), I’ve had a few past experiences with less than ethical builders that have not paid subs, not bothered to get permits and come back with unexplained price increases. I appreciate the company wisdom of a 20% deposit of unearned income to buffer your expenses but how do clients of less reputable builders protect themselves from being taken advantage of in that model? I’m on the verge of another project and assumed a progress based payment schedule with a 10% holdback would be a reasonable arrangement for most builders? Do you have any suggestions for someone living in the wild Wild West where there are still plenty of bandits wearing tool belts...
    11:36 (1) how did that cancellation happen, (2) what’s your practice in those circumstances, and (3) what are the financial consequences for the homeowner? and how do you personally deal with it?
    Watch this podcast on youtube:
    https://bit.ly/nsbuildersyoutube
    For more NS Builders renovations, new construction, custom cabinetry, and woodworking  | @nsbuilders on Instagram
    Behind the scenes  | @nsbvideo
    For more of our projects check out:
    www.ns.builders
    How do we manage our projects from the big picture all the way down to the smallest detail?
    Learn more here:
    https://get.buildertrend.com/nsbuilders

    • 19 min
    #17 How keeping your job site clean can raise productivity

    #17 How keeping your job site clean can raise productivity

    Nick Schiffer answers your construction, renovation, and business questions in-depth on Coffee Break. If you have a question leave it in the comments below. This week the questions are:
    1:16 Was wondering how you manage tools, materials, and installment fixtures on your sites. Also protecting finished surfaces and keeping the sites clean and organized. Do you have a specialized person? Is the site foreman who delegates this to a couple of your in house tradesmen? It's a constant challenge for me and all the sites are different. But I am trying to come up with an economical and efficient system. It eats time and standardizing a process would be great. We clean up every day as much as possible but sometimes it just gets crazy with fine materials, rough materials, fixtures like tubs or vanities that are waiting to be installed..... do a SHOW on that, please!
    7:56 You seem to operate on the notion that the client is paying cash for their entire project as you bill them monthly. Do any of your clients finance their project and if so how do you adjust billing to coincide with bank draws. Most lenders don’t do 30-day draws but progress draws. The progress points could be 45 even 60 days.
    11:18 With the example of $100,000, how would work allowances and contingencies into this? Can you talk about how these typically work in your renovation cost-plus contracts? Do you always recommend the client to set aside a budget contingency percentage on every project?
    Watch this podcast on youtube:
    https://bit.ly/nsbuildersyoutube
    For more NS Builders renovations, new construction, custom cabinetry, and woodworking  | @nsbuilders on Instagram
    Behind the scenes  | @nsbvideo
    For more of our projects check out:
    www.ns.builders
    How do we manage our projects from the big picture all the way down to the smallest detail?
    Learn more here:
    https://get.buildertrend.com/nsbuilders

    • 15 min
    #16 Red flags and underlying client issues

    #16 Red flags and underlying client issues

    Nick Schiffer answers your construction, renovation, and business questions in-depth on Coffee Break. If you have a question leave it in the comments below. This week the questions are:
    00:31 Has a client ever been very cool/normal throughout the project, and then all of a sudden near the end they suddenly begin to point out things they don't like or that they have issues with?
    5:30 How/when does the money flow from the client to you in your projects?
    Watch this podcast on youtube:
    https://bit.ly/nsbuildersyoutube
    For more NS Builders renovations, new construction, custom cabinetry, and woodworking  | @nsbuilders on Instagram
    Behind the scenes  | @designbuildrepeat
    For more of our projects check out:
    www.ns.builders
    How do we manage our projects from the big picture all the way down to the smallest detail?
    Learn more here:
    https://get.buildertrend.com/nsbuilders

    • 10 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
1 Rating

1 Rating

brianpetrie ,

Quality answers from a quality builder

What I like about this podcast is that it dives into questions that everyone has but the answers are not easy to find. Nick is honest and open in explaining his reasons for things and that goes a long way. Always look forward to a new coffee break

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