Tim Shigley isn’t afraid of talking about construction with members of Congress and Harvard professors.
Shigley, owner of Shigley Construction near Augusta, was named chairman of the National Association of Home Builders Remodelers this month after decades of serving on local and national builders organizations.
He started as a petroleum geologist in the early 1980s, but when that industry crashed, he went back to Wichita State University to get a business degree. He turned a side business in carpentry into his main business, starting in 1988.
He and his wife, Jan, have a son, Owen, who is in his fourth year of the architecture program at Kansas State University.
Q. How is the home remodeling industry doing?
A. The good news is we’re slowly crawling back. Not double-digit gains, but we are slowly crawling back.
Q. Why have you gotten so involved in industry association work?
A. Remodeling is extremely easy entry. The really tough thing is that many of those guys don’t participate in the professionalism side of this industry. … They struggle and they tear down that industry because they struggle businesswise and they don’t know what it takes.
Q. What’s the hardest construction job you’ve ever done?
A. I’ve gone into every job with eyes wide open, except this one federal government job. I was doing a job at a military base, and it was new construction, and just getting tied up in the minutia of government regulations.
That frustrated me more than anything in my life. … I will never go down that road again.
Q. Do you like working on old houses or new houses better?
A. Over the years I’ll hear people say, “They don’t build them like they used to.” My response is, “Thank God.” Technology and processes have gotten better. We have more of a system today. It’s a stronger, safer product.
Q. What do you like most about the job?
A. I really become friends to a level of getting to know the homeowner a little different than most. I get to interact with the family during the process. You are dealing with their hassle, so to speak.
You have to have an ability to listen and open up and share, and realize they have frustrations.