An archive of conversations with Ripley Beckman clients and friends with a special emphasis on how we go about training the next generation of carpenters, electricians and others in the trades.

Years ago, I realized that our clients are tied together by two things: they are nice people, and they love their homes.

These “clients-who-became-friends” interact with respect and thoughtfulness with the different people who are in and out of their houses and lives. They endure the huge stress of having their homes temporarily destroyed while answering a million questions from us as we re-build their environment.

In spring 2021, I started interviewing our “clients-who-became-friends” about the experience of loving your home, what makes working with our company enjoyable and what it’s like work with the youngest members of our team.

Two conversational threads have emerged. The number one theme that stands out for me is What it takes to master a skilled art, whether you’re a carpenter, jazz musician, surgeon, engineer or professor.

Another theme is The value of a face-to-face conversation between human beings. Chris Sigrist (our key company leader) is the master of this, and so are our clients.

We also talk about the intricacies of being a carpenter, keeping homes clean in the process of renovation, completing projects, making construction more enjoyable, creative improvisation, mastering skills and long-term thinking.

These are long conversations. So, I’ve created notes with time stamps that link to specific topics of interest.

As someone who has deep love for authentic, often older, homes and what can be done with them, it has been an honor to be able to work creatively in both my own homes and in my friends’ homes. I’ve enjoyed these conversations enormously and learned so many things.

Best, Doug

John D’earth

We met John when he needed help with a foundation problem in his home in Charlottesville. In this conversation we talk about how we became fast friends, what he means when he says working with Ripley Beckman was a magical experience, and what it takes to be a master, in his case a Master Jazz Musician We also talk about how the way we work at Ripley Beckman is like the way a good jazz band works.