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Who you calling scrappy…?!‍

Who you calling scrappy…?!

I’ve heard the term “scrappy” a couple of times over the last month.  Isn’t it weird how sometimes a word will come into your life in a flurry?  Scrappy has come to me as an approach to remodeling.  It’s a word that struck me with curiosity, so I thought I’d put my thoughts down in writing.  

Several weeks ago a potential client used this term to describe what we are not.  He ultimately decided not to roll with the Sobo program because he said he’d prefer a more “scrappy” approach to stretch his dollars further.  In other words, he thought he could get more done with his money than our scope of work suggested. 

Then, a few days later I ran into a past client who commented that he liked our “scrappy” approach when we did his poptop back in 2009.  As I reflected back on the project, he was right.  We used to be pretty scrappy.  We hired the cheapest labor, we sought out the lowest bids and bought entry level materials.  The project moved slowly because our project managers were overworked and undertrained.  We cycled through a ton of subcontractors because we’d beat them up on price and they couldn’t perform the job successfully.  And it was painful to pay for the warranties with such little profit in the company.  

So what is “scrappy”?  It is an approach that prioritizes the bottom line dollars above all else.  It’s a philosophy to stretch every variable to the brink of not working.  Scrappy minimizes the value of one’s time.  Perhaps this is the heart of the issue.  If you don’t consider your time and energy as a valuable and limited resource, or that of others, then you can spend as much of it on your project as you’d like.  

The 3rd time I’ve recently heard scrappy is from someone dear to me who lives out of state, when they remodeled their kitchen. They didn’t care how much time they spent chasing down the drawings from an overcommitted designer.  They spent hours and hours shopping for the lowest bids.  And they hired the cheapest GC they could find…scrappy.  The project took twice as long.  There were many errors that had to be corrected.  And there were arguments about money.  In the end, I asked them if all the headaches were worth the savings…and they said YES!!  It blew my mind.

I’m not here to judge people’s priorities.  I’m here to explore why Sobo exists and what drives us.

We are not scrappy.  We try to put together the smartest houses possible.  We believe the Design-Build model is the best way to build a house.  The synergy of design work that is associated with actual costs is awesome.  Our designers know what things cost.  Our project managers and carpenters are in close cahoots with the design team to best understand how to execute the ultimate vision of the project.

Our team strives to be the best in Boulder.  We compensate our people well for their talents.  We are constantly training and improving.  Our design department is energetic and fun and the construction department is top notch.  We want our projects to be full of energy and great ideas and high caliber construction.

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