An all-in-one solution to support rapid growth
First-Time Home Buyers
Scheduling & Job Costing
About Spruce Homes
Spruce Homes is a fast-growing residential construction firm specializing in custom homebuilding and renovations in Saskatchewan, Canada. Brad Blair and his wife, Kaitlyn, started Spruce Homes in 2016 after discovering a shared passion for flipping houses, completing 3 house flips in their first year as a business. Since then, demand for their services has skyrocketed, prompting them to add four new team members, expand to new builds and remodels, and create a more comprehensive construction project management process.
Rapid Growth Requires Schedule Synchronization
Just two years after founding Spruce Homes, the number of simultaneous construction projects Brad and Kaitlyn took on seemed to double overnight, fueled by increased awareness of their business on social media.
Brad, who manages the business development and operations side of Spruce Homes, was struggling to keep project schedules aligned and craved a more organized project management process to support business scale. By spring of 2018, Brad started using Buildertrend for its streamlined scheduling feature, which was far more advanced than his previous manual processes, including Excel spreadsheets, email and his memory.
“It felt like we went from managing 2 to 3 projects to 6 to 9 projects in just a matter of months, which although was great for our business, it made it very difficult to effectively coordinate schedules with our team and subcontractors,” Brad said. “We looked into a few different construction project management options, but ultimately decided to work with Buildertrend thanks to its streamlined scheduling tool and customer support team.”
Brad quickly trained his team as well as 90 percent of their contractors on how to use the calendar and scheduling tools so they could work on project deliverables independently, which allowed him to focus on expanding the business.
Spruce Homes’ business continued to scale throughout 2018, making Buildertrend’s scheduling feature an essential tool for managing the company’s growing team, subcontractors, project deadlines and more.
Going “All-In” with Buildertrend’s All-In-One Platform
Brad always knew there were more features to the Buildertrend platform than just scheduling, but it wasn’t until he attended Buildertrend University, the company’s monthly two-day educational conference, in April 2019 that he decided to go “all-in.” While attending Buildertrend University at the company’s Omaha headquarters, Brad was able to attend more than a dozen educational classes, have one-on-one training sessions with Spruce Homes’ Buildertrend Coach and network with other builders using the platform. He then chose to fully integrate the company’s financials, estimates, job costing, purchase orders and customer management processes into the platform.
“Although I was content with just using the scheduling tool, attending Buildertrend University really opened my eyes to how the platform could be used throughout day-to-day project management across business functions.”
The Spruce Homes team of six now relies on Buildertrend for all aspects of their business and can’t imagine how they’d be able to manage the number of projects they currently have without Buildertrend.
“If you told me a year and a half ago that we’d be completing 15-20 projects annually, I wouldn’t have known how we would manage them. We simply wouldn’t be able to handle our current volume of projects without Buildertrend,” he said.
“We simply wouldn’t be able to handle our current volume of projects without Buildertrend.”
– BRAD BLAIR, FOUNDER AND OWNER OF SPRUCE HOMES
Brad said one of the biggest benefits of the platform is that it streamlines the bid estimate process.
“Our old process for bid estimates and resulting to-dos required me to do manual data entry between my email and an Excel spreadsheet,” he said. “Not only was this time intensive, but it made it difficult for me to delegate tasks to my team since so many of the details were living only in my email. With Buildertrend’s Bid Request and To-Do’s feature, all information is organized within the platform, which makes it easy for anyone on the team to access, track updates, and delegate tasks at any given time.”
One feature Brad did not expect to be so valuable was the Client Portal, which gives homeowners direct access to project updates in real-time.
“I was surprised by how much our customers have enjoyed knowing the exact time of when we’re putting in tiles or installing windows, which we’re able to provide by sharing the Schedule,” Brad said. “Offering so much visibility into projects makes homeowners feel 100% involved in the process, and it has become a real differentiator for our business.”
Overall, thanks to Buildertrend, Spruce Homes is more organized and efficient, which means the company can continue on its positive growth trajectory and take on more simultaneous projects.
When asked if he would recommend the platform to other residential construction businesses, Brad quickly replied, “as long as they aren’t my competitors, I’d say to absolutely invest in Buildertrend.”