The number of things going on at construction sites can be very overwhelming to those who are unexperienced or just being curious community members outside the fencing. However, one job in particular plays a major part in the entire process as they are the tie between office, field, and community – the Site Superintendent. Their role stretches into every piece of the project and every team member making them one of the most liable and reliable. This mindset alone takes a very special individual to have confidence in completing daily goals and deadlines, while also managing a large team with many different personalities and assigned work.
Superintendents are typically assigned to projects with scopes they understand best such as restrictions and rules set in place by local governments or communities, or others working largely with outdoor projects as they understand environmental factors and materials. However, that doesn’t mean that this is a niche job. You can be assigned any type of project, sometimes multiple at once, which really makes this position interesting! Throughout the project, Superintendents create daily reports that are viewed by PMs and other team members. These daily reports provide insight on what the field team accomplished, any obstacles they may have run into, and other useful information. Superintendents are also in charge of making sure the contracted work of each subcontractor is being completed with 100 percent accuracy and effort, on top of maintaining a safe work site. They have OSHA certifications and are experts in recognizing, addressing, and solving any safety violations so everyone can return home safely. They may also be included in conversations with architects, teams that may be handling the budget, companies that provide necessary materials, etc. For instance, when bidding a project, the Superintendent may be the one who will talk the most during presentations as they are the leader of the project during construction.
The most rewarding part of being a Superintendent is building or renovations that changes the community.Art Jones, Laux Super
Here at Laux Construction, we refer to our Superintendents as ‘Super’ as that’s exactly what they are – super! They are diverse in their different skills and trades which allows us as a company to expand our range of markets to service while also maintaining that personal connection to the project. Tim Warfle, Laux Super of 9 years, explained it best saying ‘[Superintendents] are the boots on the ground. Communication is key.’ When issues arise with deliveries, necessary schedule changes, and other obstacles, Supers are typically the first person to know about it. From here, they will notify anyone necessary and begin solving the issue immediately. Meanwhile, they are still finding ways that they can continue the project because time is truly limited. Supers also keep the owner in the loop of the entire process. By keeping them involved, this not only builds trust in our team, but the Super themselves! The owner knows they have someone they can wholeheartedly trust to provide the best outcome possible, thus building a bond that can last long after the project is completed. A great example of this is David Underwood, who recently celebrated his first year with us this week! His first project with us was supervising the sanctuary renovations at First Baptist Church in Charlotte, which became one of our favorite projects of 2022!
The church was a perfect candidate for a complete makeover as their community and entertainment abilities were growing, and the physical features were outdated and worn out. This project also had a strict deadline as the church was hopeful for an Easter Sunday service but were graciously understanding of potential changes to lead times. With David’s instruction, he aided the subcontractors in finding the best way to work around each other simultaneously to continue moving the project forward despite hiccups. Most importantly, he consistently kept communication with the owners on any changes or obstacles that came about, and even gave walkthroughs alongside the PM, Brandon Garred, to explain their processes. By David keeping the owners involved with the project, he built not only our company trust in him to perform, but also the church’s trust in us as a GC! The church was so pleased with the outcome that at the beginning of their first service back in the church, on Easter Sunday at that, the congregation took a moment to thank all the workers who created the new sanctuary and provided gifts to the architects, subcontractors, and David! Supers take great pride in building relationships with those not physically involved as much as the project team as it is their dream space we are building.
Although gifts are not necessary, we greatly appreciate the honor and graciousness of those we’ve helped grow by building their dream spaces. Building is more than just a job to Superintendents, but a craft itself. Greg Post has been with us for 21 years and has managed a wide variety of projects from high school cafeterias to prisons. He has been involved with the construction industry for more than 35 years and has special experience in carpentry. After the renovations at Waverly Middle and High School were completed, Greg personally handmade frames for the new artwork that would be displayed! Kind acts like this showcase the true dedication and passion workers, especially Supers, have for the project to those who will enjoy it long after we’re gone. Although this industry can be a lot, our Supers all agree on one thing. When asked what the most rewarding part of their job is, they had similar answers with a common theme – project completion. The joy and feeling of success that comes from completing a construction project is unmeasurable. They have guided apprentices in their trades, mentored new Supers in markets they haven’t been introduced to yet, provided alternative options to PMs on other materials due to long lead times or budget changes; they truly are the jack of all trades! Along with the team, they have spent months, sometimes years, at the project site. Having earned the ability to say, ‘I helped build that!’ is a feeling that very few get to experience, but we can guarantee if the opportunity arises, you should take it!
Laux Supers are some of our longest running employees with 6 of our 10 celebrating 10 or more years with us in 2023! They have truly seen it all and are still excited to come to work every day as each day is always different. They enjoy spending time with their colleagues while working in an industry they are truly passionate about. That alone is rare today with hustle culture and get-rich-quick schemes, so when you find a position where you enjoy your job even long after the work is complete, you hit the jackpot. If you know someone who is interested in construction, especially a Site Superintendent position, share this blog with them! Also, head over to our Facebook page, and click the follow button to celebrate the amazing milestone anniversaries next year with us!
Paul Bowen – 1 year
Scott Brown – 15 years
Joe Eifert – 11 years
Patrick Groom – 11 years
Art Jones – 1 year
Greg Post – 22 years
Darrell Scholten – 3 years
Mick Sowle – 20 years
Corey Stults – 10 years
Mark Taylor – 2 years
David Underwood – 2 years
Tim Warfle – 10 years
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