We recently talked with Todd Pohlig, Co-Founder and Principal of high-end custom home builder Pohlig Builders, about what he’s been learning and thinking about during the pandemic.
How has the shut-down and reopening been for Pohlig Builders?
Construction was shut down almost overnight — we had one day to close up our sites to ensure that they were safe.
I’ve been totally amazed by everyone who works at Pohlig. We have 40 employees, and everyone made themselves available to do whatever, whenever to get us through this. The company’s can-do culture immediately kicked in. Within a couple days, operations, selections and construction management were working virtually — hardly losing a beat. Superintendents continually worked out potential schedules to advance throughput once we were cleared to return to the building sites.
After a six-week shutdown, construction resumed, but was limited to 4 workers onsite at a time — so you can imagine how important scheduling and flex-time became. At the moment, we’re in the “green phase” of recovery restricted only by safety protocols. It’s still challenging, but we’re feeling very fortunate.
We heard you drove to Kansas and back, twice! Is that true?
I did! My wife and I went to go visit our youngest daughter and our newest grandson. We couldn’t take a plane and didn’t want to stay in a hotel, so we drove straight there. Turns out you can do it in 17 hours with 3 gas stops. My wife stayed for a while longer to help out, so I drove back home and then went out again to pick her up a few weeks later.
Wow! How did you get through it?
It was fine. I don’t mind driving, and I had a steady supply of audiobooks and country music. But I will tell you I was a bit of a mountain man for a while there without being able to get a haircut! I put the money I saved from the barber into a beer fund, so it all worked out ok!
How has your day-to-day life changed during the pandemic?
I’ve been enjoying spending more time with my wife since things have been a little less rushed all the time. It’s nice to reconnect and relax together. Not that I don’t still wake up early and excited for work. That’s a 40-year habit that isn’t going to change.