Meet the Team: Chris Smisek

How long have you been with NCC?

This is my second stint here at NCC, I’ve been about 2 years this time. Prior to this it was 17 years before the downturn of the economy, I originally started in 1992. I initially started as a carpenter.

What is your official title here at NCC?

A couple different hats – mainly Project Manager and Estimator, but I also am a Safety Officer.

What does a Safety Officer do?

I work with the team to make sure they are safe – for example taking care of the tools and using them properly, ladder safety, how to clean a job site, put up railings, that sort of thing.

What does a typical day look like for you?

For the most part, I manage and work on the projects. Take the calls or get assigned the job. I meet the customers and run through the whole phase of the project. I will be involved with the design usually, some I design, others I have a draftsman come in for new additions or new homes. Sometimes people walk in with the plans, more so with commercial. Up until a certain point I am the point person for questions unless there is a foreman on site, then we work together. Counting jobs in the design phase and in the queue along with working jobs, sometimes we have as many as 18 at once. Typically its 6 or 7 working jobs. We generally travel within a 50 mile radius.

What are your favorite types of projects to work on?

I like a little variety – both commercial and residential. It’s nice either way. It is really interesting to meet new people and new clients. It’s fun working on projects that might not be the norm. For homes, typically we do custom and work with the clients. For kitchen remodels I will do some of the designing of the interior space which is fun. I work with the cabinet guys on the CAD drawings which makes it an enjoyable aspect of the project. Working on older homes it is always interesting trying to match the original uniqueness of the home.

What is it like working for NCC?

I like being able to take a project and run with it. Being a part of it from start to finish. I like seeing all the hard work paying off at the end. Rewarding when the owners get to see their dream as a reality.  I worked with a lot of the guys before I left so it is nice knowing where a lot these guys are and how to work with them. They are all great.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Seeing a project up on its feet and going. And then seeing an end project that is functional for the owners. Then you stand back and look and say, “That place looks nice.” Getting things done ahead of or on time, and on budget is always great.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Communication. Understanding how much their know about building and how they are interpreting what we are explaining. Schedules are also always challenging, sometimes it is hard to find good labor to get the job done. We also really need to work the schedule to keep the project moving forward and maintain timelines.

The internet can sometimes be a deterrence – new products aren’t always available or may not work with their project. There is a lot of explaining and learning that goes along with it. Explaining that one thing sets off a motion for other aspects of the projects – sometimes it’s not that easy. On the flip side, sometimes I encourage people to go online and look things like layouts. It is also a good reference for people to bring in ideas from Pinterest, Houzz, or Plans.com.

What do you like about the industry?

I’ve always been interested in things I can look back on and see the changes each day. It’s great to get to say you helped with that.

What do you like to do in your freetime?

I enjoy fishing or taking trips up north to our cabin near Hayward, WI. I have a son and daughter in their early 20’s.

 

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