W.A. Coolidge Company is a full service construction company serving the Seacoast of New Hampshire, Maine, and Northern Massachusetts. The owners, Wayne A. Coolidge and Wendy A. Wentworth Coolidge have been partners for over 30 years. We specialize in high quality residential and commercial building, renovations, and restorations.
The Coolidge Company is about flexibility, innovation, and results. Our company will focus on your precise wishes in order to deliver cost-effective solutions to any project. We strive to offer superior quality by using and overseeing the best and reliable subcontractors and suppliers in the area. We believe that every project that we undertake will be completed within a timely fashion as if it was our personal home. We offer first class craftsmanship and attention to detail from start to finish. We want to make your dream project a reality along with providing a fun and memorable experience.
Out with the old and in with the new… new oak floors, new cabinets, new quartz countertops, and custom backsplash. (Dover, NH)
By: Wayne Coolidge
Wendy and I were traveling home from a trip recently and came across a commentary as we were channel surfing the radio. The narrator was saying how every successful business person has had a mentor. I turned to Wendy and scoffed, “That’s not true – I never had a mentor.” She looked at me in total disbelief and said, “Of course you did!” She could tell by my expression that I didn’t believe her so she said, “Rich Correll”.
What? Rich Correll? How could he be my mentor? He was an architect from Hampton that I started working with back in the mid 80’s, whom over time became one of my best friends- but certainly not my mentor. But as I started thinking about it, the memories flooded back…
When I first met Rich, I was a young cocky builder in my early 20’s who thought he knew everything. Rich required a specific format for submitting qualified proposals and mine were anything but that. He brought me into his office numerous times to explain the format and help me fine tune the process until I got it right.
It wasn’t long before I was awarded one of his projects and then he really became a pain in my ass. I was pretty good at reading blueprints, but his were very detailed and intricate. There was definitely some “on the job training”. But that was the easy part of the job – the behind the scenes paperwork was daunting. Through trial and error, he taught me how to prepare: RFI (Requests For Information), weekly job reports, construction schedules, the etiquette of working in people’s houses, and most importantly billing (in triplicate and notarized).
After being awarded a couple of his jobs, I learned another lesson and his motto – if it is drawn on the plans then the client owns it. Then, for all the future projects that I bided on, I began digging deeper into the drawings than I ever had before. I started counting every piece of wood, every nail, and anticipating the whole building process better.
My estimate detailing got so good under his tutelage, that he would hire me to meet with his clients during the design process to make sure the project was on budget. I would sit for hours in meetings with his clients working on pricing and interacting with design ideas.
Hummm… so he taught me how to read plans, detail project costs, prepare and submit proposals, interact with clients, schedule projects, prepare all the behind the scenes paperwork and billing. Wendy was right – he was my mentor. How did I not see it? Maybe it was because I was too close to it? After 30 years of working together and endless hours of meetings and phone calls – he became one of my best friends. Many people think that an architect and a builder are adversaries – but not us. We were a win-win team that ended up building some beautiful homes together.
Unfortunately I was never able to tell Rich ‘thank you’ for being my mentor and making me the man I am today - because he passed away on July 12th, the week before Wendy and I heard that commentator on the radio.
SNIPET1 (after pushing Rich for a few years to learn CAD)
Rich: I’m going to learn CAD tonight
Wayne: How did it go with learning CAD last night?
Rich: It took awhile – but I finally figured out how to turn on the computer
SNIPET2 (after Rich tried trimming out an interior window in his house)
Rich: can you come over and help me trim a window?
Wayne: of course
(next day after ripping everything apart)
Rich: I’ll call you sooner next time…
SNIPET3 (at the end of a long phone call)
Rich: I’ll talk to you later, I love you, bye.
(30 seconds later the phone rings again)
Rich: I…well… uhhh…I think I just said I love you…
Wayne: I know. That’s ok – I love you too!
Tip of the Month: December
Prepare Your Mailbox for Winter. For many of us, mailboxes are out of sight, out of mind when it comes to maintenance. However, it is a good idea to tune up your box before the snowy days of winter. Mailbox damage can not only occur from a plow hitting it, but by the force of the snow on a loose mailbox. One state has even declared a "Shake Your Mailbox Day" to help eradicate the high volume of complaints to town offices of mailbox damage. So, get out and shake your mailbox- tighten any loose screws, check the post, and keep getting your mail all winter long!