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Construction in America

Mina Starsiak, Star of HGTV’s “Good Bones,” on the Keys to Success in Home Building

What do all first-time home builders need to know? HGTV’s Mina Starsiak offers advice for safe, sustainable, and durable construction.

For you and your team, what is the biggest challenge to any home building project? 

Probably finding reliable, quality contractors. When we can’t control things like weather, we really need to be able to rely on our construction team and know they will get the job done correctly and on time. 

What’s one mistake that every home builder makes on their first project? How can this be avoided? 

They typically go over budget on money and over on time. Optimism is good, but you always need a healthy contingency fund of money and time. 

What tools and technologies are most helpful for you in being able to complete projects on time?

We use an app called Builder Trend that helps keep communication, documentation, and schedules streamlined.

What steps do you and your team take to make health and safety a priority on job sites? 

All of our employee have a PPE budget for masks, eyewear, gloves, and such. It is a daily task reminding our subcontractors of the onsite rules regarding safety as documented in all our of working contracts with subcontractors.

What does green construction mean to you? How has your team tried to incorporate sustainability into every building project? 

Green construction means using sustainable materials when needing new and reusing what you can. Unfortunately, even trying to recycle construction material is costly, as it has to be sorted during demolition into separate dumpsters, which costs time and money. With the tiny budgets and even smaller profit margins we have, we don’t have the luxury to go green. We would love to use solar shingles, but with our budget we’re limited to smaller scale green options like rain barrels.

What are some consistent qualities and traits that every home builder has? 

Patience, organization, and leadership.

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