When a college professor told Jim Spicak he should go to work for a remodeler, the architecture student was incredulous. “I really didn’t want to give up architecture for contracting,” he says, but after a dozen years each with two different remodeling firms, Spicak learned how (and how not) to run a business, from estimating and payroll to honoring commitments. “Some of my bosses would promise the world and give you nothing, and that always bothered me,” Spicak says. “I learned that if you absorb something from everyone you work with, you’ll be better than all of them put together.”
Today, Spicak applies his love for architecture to every project. “Being an old-timer, I go through timber designs, static designs, stress designs,” he says. “A lot of people do ‘design,’ but they don’t always think through the structure.”
Many of Spicak’s favorite jobs include putting additions onto old homes. “It’s so important to meld the new with the old so your job looks seamless,” he says. “That’s our niche.”
- Spicak Construction uses an American Institute of Architects-style contract for each job and deliberately breaks down costs so clients can see exactly what they’re paying for.
- The company belongs to the local Better Business Bureau and Chamber of Commerce.
- Benefits include health insurance, 401(k) with 3% weekly company contribution, performance bonus, and tool allowance.
- Many staff members have been with the company as long as 15 to 18 years.
Notable quote: “I always put more into the job than what’s on the drawings.”
- Lauren Hunter