For Tim shigley, life has no boundries and thinking outside the box is a common occurance — especially when it relates to innovative design. So when a referral came in to Shigley, CGR and president of Shigley Construction Co. in Witchita, Kan., he knew he had his work cut out for him. The client had requested an addition onto their Derby home, made to accommodate a 40-ft. putt.
Shigley is not shy of taking on out-of-the-ordinary projects. Being in business since ’88, he’s seen his share of unusual requests.
Shigley Construction employs two lead carpenters and a project manager. “In 1998, I dropped my tool belt and focused on selling,” he adds. “Since then, my life has become so much better and less stressful, too.”
When the referral from a local builder in the Wichita area came in, Shigley qualified the client with a phone interview and then a face-to-face interview. “This process allows me to get a feel for the homeowner and the project itself.” After speaking to the homeowner about the putting green room addition, his head was full of design ideas and so began the five-month project.
Working with a client’s request
“The homeowner, a professional golfer, needed this length of putt to measure accuracy and rate speed,” explains Shigley. “Accommodating this was going to be a challenge, especially without making this look like an ‘addition.’ ”
From the beginning, the homeowners had their own design in mind. They had requested a sunroom under the second-floor deck. With Shigley’s experience and knowledge, he explained that the design wouldn’t look appealing and it would obscure the lush views surrounding the home.
“Essentially, the homeowner asked for a ‘shed’ on the back of their house,” says Shigley. After a quick thought, he requested for some time to design a “better-looking shed.”
He soon went back to the client with three designs. The chosen design allowed for all of the clients’ requests, plus an incredible view of the backyard.
Making room for a long shot
One of the challenges Shigley faced was the height of the structure and the strong southwinds that area of Kansas endures. He relied on one of his many industry friends to erect a “super” steel structure.
“We heavily rely on structural engineers to make sure the design is capable of withstanding high winds, etc.,” says Shigley. “We use our depth chart on every project to find these qualified trade partners.”
Shigley and his team developed a unique depth chart — essentially a detailed calling log of trade partners. “Because I rely on my trade partners, if one was to call in sick or get to a job late, my entire schedule is thrown off.”
He goes on to explain that the idea came to him during a football game. “A football game doesn’t stop when the quarterback gets injured and neither should a remodeling project,” he says. “If one trade partner can’t make it, the team uses the depth chart to find the next available crew — the game or project never stops.”
To date, Shigley has around 170 companies on his depth-chart, and he makes certain that his two lead carpenters have one on hand at every job.
“For example, by allowing one of our trade partners to erect the steel structure, it not only took a lot off of my shoulders, but I knew it was done properly,” comments Shigley. “Our clients appreciate that we get the very best in that particular trade to complete the job, instead of a huge staff that does everything.”
“After the framing was up, we wrapped it in lumber and started installing the windows.”
One request the homeowners felt very strong about was that this addition needed a lot of windows. “Because the rest of the house had green trim, I needed to find a window that complemented that,” adds Shigley.
After several road bumps, Shigley found the perfect window — with green trim and all.
This type of service is why Shigley Construction is known for not being able to get rid of its customer, and this is no exception. Today, Shigley has been asked to design and construct several other products which include a tennis/ basketball court and an addition to the barn.
“Around 80 percent of our clientele are either existing or past customers and that’s something to be proud of.”