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Bricks & Sticks

by Desi Auciello

Desi Auciello is the 2006 GTHBA President, and is also president of Cachet Estate Homes.

Workers the real dream builders 

Date: September 1, 2006

Most of us look upon Labour Day as that last long weekend before the kids head back to school. If we're not trying to cram in one more trip up north or knock off an item from the job jar, we're busily sorting through the kids back to school stuff while fretting about the end of summer.

If we think about Labour Day at all, it is usually in the context of the organized labour movement, and when we think of organized labour, we tend to think of the industrial sector.

While many trades in the residential construction industry are unionized, our sector is nothing like the manufacturing sector. Home building is still basically a work of art, where human hands and natural materials are brought together on site, and where the elements have to be contended with.

Come to think of it, we have no end of artists in our business, from the excavators and formers to the framing carpenters to the bricklayers and roofers.

We've got the electricians, the plumbers and the heating and air conditioning experts. Then there are the drywallers, the tapers and the painters. Let's not forget about the trim carpenters, tile-setters, carpet layers and other finishing trades. You can see the list goes on and on.

And that's just the site workers. How about all the workers involved in making the bricks and sticks (studs), shingles, windows, doors, gypsum board, etc. Then there's the kitchens, the baths, the furnaces, the fireplaces, the lighting, the flooring, etc. Again the list goes on and on.

Long before construction begins, there's all the people involved in site planning and engineering, not to mention site servicing. Our new homes are truly designed by artists in the architectural and interior design fields. 

Then there's the folks involved in advertising, marketing and sales, the legal and accounting teams, the mortgage specialists. As you can see, the people involved in home construction could form quite a Labour Day parade on their own.

Since the housing boom began, the men and women who form the backbone of our industry have collectively built more than 300,000 homes and condos. Our workers are incredibly skilled and productive, yet as busy as they are, they have been equally attentive to quality and safety.

On this Labour Day weekend, we builders salute all the workers involved in residential construction. For the long hours, the heavy lifting, the risk of working at heights, the hot days, the cold days and the rainy days, we pay tribute to you. You are the real dream builders.

Thinking back to the long, hard recessionary years experienced by our industry during the early and mid 1990s, where so many of our workers were un- or under-employed, it gives me a great sense of satisfaction to see such a sustained housing boom for our workers.

As a builders association, perhaps the best way we can show our appreciation to you is to continue to fight against legislation and regulations that would undermine our markets, resulting in less construction and fewer jobs.

And of course the best way for both of us to thrive is to continue to safely build a quality product backed up by prompt after-sales service to our home buyers in a true partnership between management and labour.

Mikey Network

Apologies to the Heathwood Group of Companies and Heron Homes for some inaccurate information on the Mikey Network last week. Seems our research department got a hold of some outdated source material. We reported that the Mikey Network has raised over $200,000 and placed over 70 defibrillators, while the actual numbers are more like $500,000 and 140 defibrillators.

Raising the Roof

Speaking of charitable contributions, the third annual Homes Publishing golf tournament last week yielded $20,000 for Raising the Roof, a shelter-related charity. Congratulations to tournament founder Michael Rosset, on yet another great example of housing-industry philanthropy.

Fall Home Show

If it's back to school-time, then it's Fall Home Show time as well. Mark your calendars for September 28-October 1, Automotive Building, Exhibition Place.

The Fall Home Show will witness the exclusive Toronto premiere for designers Justin Ryan and Colin McAllister of HGTV's How NOT To Decorate. The GTHBA will present Destination Renovation.  I'll provide a lot more details in a pending column. In the meantime, for further information, visit www.fallhomeshow.com.