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Constructing Brands

Mar 12, 2020

New Trends in Secondary Homes, with Kurt Clason

Building Materials Industry | Evolving with Building Industry Trends

Kurt Clason is the president of K.A. Clason Fine Woodworking, but he has served in many capacities throughout his career. Kurt has been the president of the Maine Homebuilders Association, president of the Lake Region Builders and Remodelers Association, and he spent twenty-four years in the U.S. Coast Guard as well. Kurt is constantly pushing the boundaries of how building materials are used, and he challenges the way the building materials industry operates as a whole. One of the major areas in which Kurt is pushing the envelope is energy efficiency. He is constantly looking for new ways to innovate, increase durability, decrease maintenance, and make his builds more sustainable.

There is Inspiration Everywhere

As we discussed previously, consumers are becoming significantly more educated about the design and construction processes due to the HGTV effect. But contractors are too. While many people take these television shows at face value, professionals in the building materials industry are using them as a source of new ideas and inspiration. Kurt would love to walk around the tradeshow floor gathering information about the latest building products and technologies, but there’s only so much time in a day, and all he has to do is flip on the TV when he gets home from work. These shows fill in the gaps because, for master craftsmen, there is a lot more to them than entertainment.

Technological Proficiency is Key

For Kurt, the HGTV effect also means his team can hold relatively pain-free discussions with their clients because the language barrier that comes with complex technologies and processes is eliminated. Part of the reason for this is because contractors have evolved with technology just as consumers have, so there is a lot more common ground. All of Kurt’s team members operate from a cloud-based system, which is a major opportunity for companies in the building materials industry. Kurt is looking for partners who have the same tenacity for innovation and operating efficiency, not companies who hand them written manuals of stone and chisel. Building materials companies with a strong digital presence have a significant advantage.

About Kurt Clason

Kurt Clason has always been interested in working with wood. Both his Dad and Grandfather had small woodshops in their homes. This love of woodworking continued through high school where he worked with his uncle, while on vacation, building homes. Even while attending the Coast Guard Academy Kurt often did small custom furniture work for customers. The Coast Guard offered him the opportunity of a lifetime by allowing him to specialize in Industrial Management. In this capacity, he oversaw all maintenance, repair, and renovation for the lighthouses off of New England. For 15 years, Kurt managed construction crews doing everything from maintaining the buildings to converting the lights from manual operation to solar control. When he retired from the Coast Guard, he wanted to do something that he was passionate about and would love coming to work every day. Fortunately, he had already been working on the islands part-time, so the decision to go full time was easy.

Today Kurt’s company is a small custom woodworking shop dedicated to working with their clients to turn their dreams into reality. They have a full custom cabinet shop to make any kitchen cabinet or built-in that you want in your home. They also work with you to restore what time has done to your island home. This can range from installing new footings, jacking the house back up to re-level, or renovating rooms for a new use. They have installed closets, built exterior showers, renovated outside porches for use as game rooms, replaced decks and other similar work. They also work with your architect or have partnerships with local architects to design the home of your dreams. As a design/build firm, they can also work with you to take your own design into reality. Kurt’s partnerships with local barge companies, plumbers, electricians, and painters allow them to be a one-stop-shop to build the entire house from the foundation to the Occupancy Permit.

What You Will Learn:

  • Kurt’s perspective on building materials industry trends in the Boston area
  • How the HGTV effect has impacted Kurt’s relationship with building materials companies
  • Why building materials companies need a strong digital presence and technological proficiency
  • How Kurt pulls new ideas and inspiration from television shows
  • How the shift of secondary homes to all-season homes has impacted Kurt’s business
  • How the building materials industry is responding to changes in the secondary homes market