A day in the life of a carpenter at MAC Renovations
As a full-service remodelling team in Victoria, BC, we use the best tools, technology, and talent available to make each project perfect. Whether we’re designing a home renovation to add more space for your family, or we’re updating your home to help you enjoy it for as long as you want, it’s our people who make it possible to turn your dream into a reality.
Over the next few months, we’ll feature some of the professionals who take your home renovation project from concept to completion, starting with the pros on our construction team.
What does a typical day look like for a carpenter at MAC Renovations?
“With renovations, our construction crew can expect to see a wide variety of tasks and challenges throughout the week,” explained Shawn Jacobson, MAC Renovations production manager and Red Seal carpenter. “Renovations are a different platform than new-build; we regularly find houses that are out of level, spaces that were built to a different – or non-existent – code, including poorly executed DIY projects buried under layers of drywall and old flooring. Our crew has to be able to follow a plan, but they also need to think on their feet to come up with a long-term solution to seamlessly marry the old to the new.”
Adrian Winter, Red Seal carpenter and lead carpenter at MAC, shared, “with home renovations, we often encounter unique engineering challenges that require creative solutions. On a recent project to lift a house, we were separating the chimney from the foundation when a portion of the basement collapsed unevenly. To give it the support it needed, we built a form and poured concrete through the chimney from the second-floor fireplace. There was no other way to get the concrete in there, and this gave us the ability to place beams and columns underneath so we could continue with the lift. Not a typical carpentry technique, but a fun one to figure out.”
What kind of training does MAC offer its carpenters?
Blaise McDonald, Owner and Operations Manager, said, “we have a fantastic employee education program and have made a serious commitment to investing in the development of our people. We offer a $1000 training allowance to every employee, per year, to help them develop their skills and further their career. We also pay the tuition for our apprentices, with the time they work applied towards their apprenticeship hours.”
What kind of career path can a carpenter or framer expect with MAC?
Shawn said, “many of our guys have come in green, and we’ve helped them learn to work in and around a job site. They learn the critical importance of clean up and safety, then start being trained to work with the tools in a supervised environment. As they build their experience and demonstrate initiative and competency, they’re assigned more responsibility.”
“If someone on our team comes to us with a training opportunity relevant to the business, we do our best to make that happen,” explained Blaise. “We’ve sent team members through leadership courses, time management seminars, and project management programs where they earn credentials and develop skills and knowledge that improve our ability to serve the homeowners of Victoria.”
How does MAC promote a safe working environment?
“On every jobsite, every person can tell you where the Red Book is – it’s a binder that has everything we need to know about that specific project,” said Shawn. “It covers the scope and the materials being used, as well as the safety aspects: where the shut offs are for water and gas, where the electrical panel is, how to control the alarm, and a hazardous assessment checklist. And on the back of the main door, there’s another document that provides contact numbers and the fastest route to the nearest hospital.”
How is MAC different than other renovation companies in Victoria?
“One of the things that makes us successful is that we have formalized policies and procedures,” said Shawn. “We’re not shooting from the hip – there’s an established way to do things, and this helps us be efficient with time and resources and consistently provide high-quality renovations. With everything written down, our teams know exactly what we expect from them and what they can expect from us. That’s just one thing that has made us Victoria’s leader in residential renovations.”
Whether we’re updating a bathroom or replacing kitchen cabinets, or completing an entire home remodel, when it comes to home renovation there are many aspects that need to be effectively aligned to ensure your project is completed on time, on budget, and to the level of quality you expect from Victoria’s most trusted renovation team. And we keep you connected throughout the process with smart solutions, such as Buildertrend.
Our team of professionals have the experience, education, and creativity to do it well and do it right, bringing you the home you’ve always wanted.
Give us a call to find out how we can help you.