5 Things You Might Not Be Doing With Your Instagram Right Now

Austin NARI member Cate Black Photography has this useful information to share about using Instagram for your business:

1. Post your IG feed images in three’s.

Projects may vary in style and color palette, so grouping similar photos helps the flow of your profile. Your audience can see 12 images at a time on your feed, so you want each group of 12 to flow – 3 images from left to right, and 4 images down.

Group: 12 images
Micro Groups: 3 images
4 micro groups of 3 images each = a 12 image group

The goal is to create a complete group of 12 images, by creating 4 sets of 3 micro groups that all compliment each other. You can pull similarities with the images to help them flow (ie images are very colorful, similar color palette, have wood detail, large windows, black accents, modern minimalist style, etc.) Feed photos typically need to be limited to professional photos only.

Pro Tip: If you’d like to share content that does not compliment your profile aesthetic, you can post the image and then remove after 48 hours (this allows the image to hit people’s scrolling feed without living on your profile forever).

2. Mirror your feed images on stories.

People hang out two places on Instagram: feed & stories. There are pro’s and con’s to both, but my best recommendation to ensure your audience sees your post, is to use both.Posting to your feed (where your images stay forever), is great because you can curate exactly what your audience sees when they click on your profile. One of the draw backs to feed posts (due to IG algorithms), is that not every follower is going to see every post, and not in moment (and order) you post it.

One of the things I love about stories is that your audience will see exactly what you post, the moment you post it and in chronological order. So try using both! You can mirror the content from your feed right to your stories. If someone misses your feed post, you can try to capture them on stories. Stories is also a good place to post images that are not professionally taken. (ie smartphone photos of ‘before’ shots, construction shots, job sites, behind the scenes, etc.)Remember: story content only stays up for 24 hours, so if you are posting content that you want to live forever, create a ‘highlight’ to capture and preserve that content.

3. Use a highlight album to document & share the progress of your showstopper projects.

Highlights are essentially albums you can save story content to so it can live on your profile forever. In the design + build industry, this is a great place to document construction and design progression. Create a highlight album for each featured project and bring your audience along for the ride as you design/build it. Give the album a title like ‘Tarrytown Remodel’ or ‘Modern Farmhouse’ or ‘Minimalist ADU’.

4. Make sure your IG profile is complete and gives your audience a full scope of who you are:

  • Your name
  • Your business name
  • What you do
  • What area you service
  • A custom hashtag (if you have one)
  • Recognition (Top publications you’ve been featured in or awards you have won)
  • Website
  • Address
  • Call to action (Direct them to your website, landing page, email list etc.)

If you are strategic with your wording & spacing, you can fit quite a bit of information on your profile.

5. Use Linktree to house multiple links within one link on your IG profile.

We only get one link on our profile. You want to make sure you have a strong call to action that directs people to click the link. However, if you have multiple places you’d like to direct people, you can embed one Linktree link on your profile that when clicked, pops up multiple link options they can choose from. This can be used on any of your social media sites.

BONUS TIP: Use Later For Instagram to batch create your IG posts one week or month at a time. (Thank you Click & Co for referring me to this awesome tool I’m able to share!) I like to schedule a repeating time block for IG content creation – I like to create a week at a time so I can integrate reposts and share content my clients have tagged me in throughout the month and brag on their behalf. (Who doesn’t love that?)

Don’t Frame Your Deck Without Considering These 3 Things

How much joist spacing do you need between your deck framing?

One major reason your deck could fail sooner than expected is due to poor framing. Having a solid frame is key to an even decking surface that doesn’t bow over time.

As a rule of thumb, most decks will require 16″ on center joist spacing, which means there is 16″ from the center of one joist to the other.

Beyond that, there are three things to consider when deciding the spacing on your deck framing.

Decking Material

First is the decking material. Composite and softwood decking will follow the 16″ on center rule, but hardwood decking can handle greater spans with similar dimensions. For example: 5/4 x 6 cedar can span 16″ on center, but Ipe can be a 1 x 6 dimension for the same span. 5/4 x 6 Ipe can actually span 24″ on center.

Decking Material Thickness

This brings me to the second thing to consider: the thickness of the decking material. Most composite brands have the same thickness, but softwoods and hardwoods will range from 1″ to 2″ thick for decking. Softwoods should be at least 1 1/4 inches thick for a 16″ on center span. 2 inches thick will allow for a 24″ on center span. 1″ thick Ipe will have a 16″ on center span, an inch and a quarter will have a 24″ on center span, and 2″ thick can have a 32″ span.

Surface Board Angle

The last thing to consider when figuring out the correct joist spacing is the angle of the surface boards. If you are laying the boards at a 45-degree angle to the framing then you need to shorten the span. 16″ on center would drop to 12″ on center, 24″ would become 16″ and 32″ would become 24″ on center. If you are installing a commercial project, it can be a good idea to shorten the framing spans as well since the deck will have significantly more traffic.

These considerations are just guidelines, so reference your local building codes for specific span and spacing ratios.

This tip-filled post comes courtesy of Austin NARI member TimberTown.

Members Spotlight: Erica Volkmer of Evensen Design

Erica Volkmer, owner of Evensen Design, is a local NARI member, who not only values professionalism, but is also committed to providing a high-standard of design and supporting the growth of NARI in Austin.
Erica started Evensen Design in 2013, since that time, she has had the honor of appearing on HGTV’s House Hunters Renovation, been named an Austin Top 10 Designer by Austin Architects and Culture Map and has earned Best of Houzz for Design and Service.

“Our firm’s experience with turn-key projects allows us to become an advocate for our clients throughout the design and construction process. Taking on a supportive, hands-on approach we work with the team involved to develop a personalized plan for each client.” – Erica Volkmer

Erica’s resume includes everything from new construction in Tarrytown, a historical renovation in Pemberton Heights, to modern penthouses downtown. Her unique collaborative approach helps to streamline the process for an array of luxury projects. “Our goal is to create a collaborative environment so that construction is as seamless as possible.”

We asked Erica a bit more about her design aesthetic and business:

Q: What do you credit your trendsetting design aesthetic to?

A: My design aesthetic comes from my love of travel, layering different styles and understanding that first and foremost, homes are meant to be lived in and enjoyed.

Q: What’s your specialty?

A: I specialize in new construction & renovations, I specifically enjoy working with a client who can appreciate a fresh edge on a transitional project.

Q: How would you describe your portfolio?

A: Casually elegant and curated for our client’s individual personalities. You’ll find clean lines, bright spaces and luxurious details throughout our projects. We are passionate about designing homes and boutique spaces that are inviting and maintain a keen eye for quality and workmanship.

Q: What is your favorite part of being a NARI member?

A: I love that I am able to connect with other like-minded professionals, who are all interested in the success and growth of each other’s businesses. One of my business goals for 2019, was to improve my visual brand identity and website – to better align with my portfolio and client demographic. It was no small feat, but I was able to find a NARI member who not only helped me develop a strategy for doing so – but also was able to bring it all to life with my brand design and new website launch. Thanks Nikki and Shanan at Click & Co.! I am beyond pleased and you made the process so easy.

Q: What’s the best way to connect with you?

A: evensendesign.com / erica@evensendesign.com / 512.815.2740 / @evensendesign

Photo Credit: Aaron Dougherty Photography

Remodeling association helps father who lost wife to cancer

Austin NARI’s partnership with Wonders & Worries is very special to us. It provides us an avenue to assist folks going through tough times, as noted in this feature from the Austin American-Statesman:

David Davidson of Realty Restoration read Duroy’s story in the Statesman, and, “it really touched my heart,” he said. “We’d like to get involved.”

Davidson is a past president of the Austin chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry as is his son Christopher Davidson, who is an architect. Davidson reached out to the association’s Austin board to see if the organization could help Duroy move from recreational vehicle to finished barndominium. “The board approved for us to get involved and help in any way we can,” Davidson says.

The group and the Davidsons have a special connection to Wonders & Worries. The Austin chapter holds an annual home tour and it benefits Wonders & Worries, and like the Duroy children, Christopher Davidson knows what it’s like to have a mother with cervical cancer. His mother is a cervical cancer survivor. “Isn’t it odd that we have this opportunity, and we know what they’ve been through,” Davidson said his son told him when they were talking about getting involved.

Read More →

Help Austin NARI Help The Duroy Family

Please consider donating to help Austin NARI complete our efforts to assist the Duroy family by using the PayPal donation button below.

Billy Guerrero Leaves CG&S

Billy Guerrero stepped down as owner of CG&S Design-Build at the end of June, retiring after over forty years of service. His ownership passes to his sister Dolores Davis, CG&S’ General Manager and wife of owner Stewart Davis. The move makes Dolores CG&S’ new President.

This is a huge change for our company. In many ways, Billy was CG&S. He was here at the very beginning, working with his brothers under his parents, founders Clarence and Stella Guerrero. When it came time to go to college, Billy decided to stay with the company, and began the process of accruing decades of construction experience. In that regard, he is simply irreplaceable.

Apart from mastery of carpentry, his expertise enabled him to become a talented salesperson and construction estimator. At times it felt as if he had x-ray vision when looking at a house; he could evaluate a house’s condition in a moment. Of course you never really know until you investigate, and this too he would do. He has been in countless crawlspaces and attics, and scaled just as many roofs. He has worked every neighborhood and almost every street in Austin, and knows hundreds of shortcuts through the city. He has been the face of our company literally because for many years he was the first person our clients met. He hustled, he was tireless.

Billy was a fearless leader. He didn’t back down when pressure came, didn’t avoid the many challenges that characterize this business, and led CG&S through pretty tough times throughout his forty year tenure. He cared about his employees and treated them with respect and equanimity, just as he did with his clients. Respect was code to him; it was the first principle with which he operated. That respect in turn set the standard for everyone else, extending throughout the company.

He was an extremely hard worker. He gave everything to his work and his business, to make it successful for his employees and the families it supported, and to always come through for his clients. With him, through the example of Clarence and Stella, came the value that we take care of our clients for life.

To these qualities and so much else, we are incredibly grateful to Billy, and extend our deepest thanks and well wishes as he embarks on the next phase in his life. His is an extraordinary accomplishment and career, and it’s really exciting to think about what will come next.

As it will be for CG&S.

Dolores comes to ownership in a profession with very few female owners, let alone female latina owners. This will be a fresh perspective as we look to a new era in our industry and service area. Everything that Billy gave us is embedded in CG&S’ DNA. It is our mission now to build on that, to continue to innovate in our field, provide the most excellent service to our clients that is possible, serve our community, and sustain the work that Clarence and Stella Guerrero set in motion half a century ago. Onwards!

2017 Awards: The Best Night Ever

On Friday, November 3rd, Austin NARI celebrated the best night ever, revealing the winners of the 2017 Contractor of the Year and BUZZ Awards at The Mansion, featuring live music from “Austin Favorite Cover Band” Suede and Austin Chronicle award winner Jane Ellen Bryant. A grand time was had and we offer our sincerest congratulations to the winners!

2017 Austin NARI CotY Award Winners

2017 Austin NARI BUZZ Award Winners

Austin NARI & Rebuilding Together: The Mobility Project

Can you imagine not being able to leave your home for over a year? That was the case for Andrew Wheeler, who suffered a health crisis that left him confined to a wheelchair. While in the hospital, Wheeler asked a handyman to build him a wheelchair ramp for his home. Unfortunately, the ramp was not built to code and Mr. Wheeler was barely able to get inside his front door. He was told by paramedics to never attempt to go down that ramp, and for the next year he tried to find an organization that could help him rebuild his ramp so he could regain his freedom again.

After 6 months of searching, Mr. Wheeler found Cindy Lee of Rebuilding Together Austin. She recruited the help of Austin NARI members to donate labor and materials to build an ADA compliant wheelchair ramp. After months of planning and a few days of hard work, Mr. Wheeler was able to feel the warmth of the sun on his skin and experience freedom once again!

A special thank you to the Austin NARI members who made this happen:

Family built niche remodeling Austin as CG&S Design-Build

The Austin American-Statesman has a nice article about Austin NARI member CG&S Design-Build:

CG&S Design-Build will celebrate its 60th anniversary Sept. 23 with a party for employees and friends of the firm. It’s a business that grew from a mom-and-pop operation to a company with 31 employees working on about 60 to 65 projects a year out of the South Austin house that once held the family of 10, plus the foster children the Guerreros took in.

CG&S Design-Build has seen Austin’s home design style grow from simple and practical to more sophisticated and architectural. The company has won awards for its projects and had homes on numerous home tours. It’s weathered the lean years of 1986, 2001 and 2009 when the housing, building and remodeling markets were flat and years even before that that they can’t name. And it’s helped bring the concept of design-build to Austin.

Three generations of family have helped take Clarence Guerrero Construction into CG&S Design-Build.

Read More →