Let’s face it. When you go into a contractual relationship with a builder, it’s a lot like a marriage, or at least a very committed relationship for an extended period of time. After all, some would argue that a marriage is a contract, though I’d advise against starting there with a loved one. Like nuptials, contractual relationships begin well enough with enthusiasm and excitement for all parties involved. After a few weeks, or months, you begin to notice certain things, eccentricities, let us say. They are whispers at first, sort of like when the honeymoon fades in those other, more romantic ones. Then the whispers become warehoused as shouts! Before long, you’re shouting at each other: If you don’t pick up your %$# socks and put them in the ….
Oh, wait, where was I?
The simple fact of the matter is that you’re now stuck with said contractor and they with you for the next sixteen weeks (or months or years) and you’ve got to make it work. I think anyone who has ever been in this position—hiring a general contractor—has a horror story to tell, and perhaps more than one. I’m sure every general contractor has a story to tell as well. Like today’s marriages, few seem to last pleasantly for very long.
But then, every now and again, something very special happens, and they endure and become both astonishingly and surprisingly pleasant.
Dacus had not one of those marvelous relationships this summer. Dan Holden (www.holdenbuilding.com) and his crew won the bid for our library renovations project, hands down. While none of us were quite aware of them, we had heard good things. But that doesn’t begin to tell half the story.
In a word, they were very nearly perfect in their rendition of their work guiding our renovations.
Words cannot describe well enough how bump-free our project went. Imagine this picture. You’re a contractor and you’ve got to work with a roomful of geek-like individuals. Our staff meetings aren’t exactly reruns of The Big Bang Theory, but you get the idea. Not to put too fine a point on it, working with academic librarians can be like working with porcupines. No matter how carefully you move, you’re going to get a quill or two (thousand), no matter what you do. We either know a thing ourselves, or we know where to find it. And we will find it and we will tell you what we think when we do.
So, saying that Holden Construction proved wonderful to work with doesn’t seem like enough. Dan and his crew were always pleasant, extremely helpful, and even consoling when necessary. When we went overboard from time to time about first one thing and then another — and we did, weekly — they kept their cool and continued to do a fantastic job. In the end, they have created for us a place for our students that defies description, so I won’t even begin to try to describe it. You just need to come by and see it for yourselves! As a teaser, a few pictures appear at the end of this post.
The point being, if you’re considering changes to your workspace and need a contractor, I don’t see how you could do better than Holden Construction. I daresay if your space is an academic one, especially a library, you really cannot do better. We were luckier than we knew in getting Holden. Now that the project is over, we know it better than ever. This small post does not go nearly far enough as an expression of our thanks, but we’ll say it anyway.
On behalf of Dacus and its faculty and staff, let me spell it out: Thanks to Dan Holden of Holden Construction and all the crew for their superb job on our renovations. I would be remiss for not also mentioning the other fine groups who helped: McWaters (www.mcwaters.com) on our shelving moves, and White Furniture (http://www.whiteofficefurniture.com/). All of you really outdid yourselves on this one and we really are supremely beholden to you!