Mike Guertin

Biography

While it may look like I spend all my time writing and talking about construction, I still swing a hammer most days. It's hard to pinpoint when I officially started a career in construction because it wasn't planned.

When I was 7 my parents (non pros) built their own house. It was my job to nail off the subfloor, stain boards and pick up and straighten out nails laying around the building (I got 5 cents for each straight nail I returned to my father). And growing up there was always work to do around their 20 acres; building car barns for my father's antiques (junk), rerouting streams with a backhoe, clearing trees and fixing everything I busted (tools, cars, machines).

I dropped in and out of college 6 times between 1977 and 1984. Answering a help wanted ad in 1980 for a 'carpenter's helper' after bolting mid-semester started me down a different path though it wasn't obvious immediately. I worked construction summers and weekends when I dropped back in school to support myself. While working on a masters of education I was offered a teaching job starting at less than I was making part time in construction; I went for the $$$.

In the late 80's I teamed up with Rick Arnold to form a spec and custom home building company, and a framing and finish carpentry company with about 10 employees. But neither of us was cut out to be an employer and disbanded our workforce by 1997.

Rick got into concrete construction and I teamed up with my brother tackling one custom house a year and several remodeling projects. Bruce and I tackled everything on our projects from foundation to finish except for licensed trades (electric, plumbing, mechanical).

Bruce is off doing his own thing now so I'm back working alone on small to mid sized remodeling projects but I drag him back when I need a hand. Several of my current projects are older homes I bought as investments. Of course they seem to take second place to paying jobs.

For more about Mike, see mikeguertin.com

Want to learn more about Mike Guertin ? Read Mike's green story.

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