Expert Interview Series: Niles Erickson on Current Trends in Construction and Contracting

Current trends in construction and contracting

“The most rewarding part of my career in the construction business is seeing customers receive their dream homes. People work hard and want to come home to relax in comfort. Part of my role within marketing is to take snapshots of finished projects, and I love being able to see the beautiful work and the smiles on customers’ faces.”

Niles Erickson, the marketing manager for Erickson Construction, relishes his position in the construction industry. From building green to offering tips for students, he was kind enough to share his insights with us on the current trends in construction and contracting.

Can you tell us a bit about your professional journey to where you currently are now?

I’m sure you can tell from my name that I work for a family-owned and operated company. My father, Matt Erickson, began the company in 1979. I grew up working as a carpenter’s helper throughout high school and into college. My two older brothers did the same, and we’re all here today still.

I worked abroad in China for 5 years and returned to the construction business in 2014. With the experience I gained in an office environment with an international business, I came back well-equipped to help the family business in growing and expanding. While my brothers are design specialists and master carpenters, I have filled the shoes of the marketing manager – although I will occasionally get my hands dirty, too!

What are you seeing as the most current trends in construction and contracting?

Lately, we have been remodeling a lot of residential bathrooms, and in particular adding customized walk-in showers. Upgrading kitchens and bathrooms is very common these days in construction, especially in New England. We have also been assisting homeowners with new garage construction. Winters can be harsh in New Hampshire (we broke snowfall records this past year!), and so I think people are starting to desire cover for their vehicles. All of these types of projects add value to a home as well, which is always a plus for a homeowner.

How is the world of construction changing?

There are always new products available, both for homeowners who may be upgrading their homes and also for contractors like us – from new tools and equipment to innovative technologies. However, the biggest change is in the amount of information available to homeowners, both on television and via the internet. From remodeling TV shows to websites such as Houzz or HGTV, remodeling trends, FAQs, DIY tips, etc., are just a click away.

With all of this information at their fingertips, customers are changing and becoming more involved in their home remodeling projects, offering input and demanding more from their contractors. Another notable change is a lot of emphasis on building green. The environment is an important topic and has made a big impact on the building industry.

What advice would you have to current students in terms of what they should know about construction?

Think outside the box. Keep an open mind. Also, plan ahead thoroughly for each project you undertake. Products are always changing, as are building codes and technology, so do your best to keep up with everything. Lastly, take pride in your work.

What is the most challenging part of a career in construction?

One of the most challenging aspects of the construction business is finding qualified, reliable employees. There is a large shortage of workers in the trade industry throughout the country at the moment, and our company has felt the effects of this as well. That being said, through offering great incentives, exceptional training and steady year-round work, we have been gradually overcoming this obstacle.

What are some of the things that you have learned through the success of Erickson Construction?

Our success stems from the great leadership of Matt Erickson, Sr. His experience in the field is second to none. Although his main responsibility is managing the entire operation, he still throws on his tool belt and gets involved with the jobs as much as possible, as building is his true passion. He loves what he does, and every employee in the company has learned from his character and positive attitude.

Who should be visiting the Erickson Construction website and what can they expect to find there?

Our company now has three divisions, with our parent company being Erickson Construction. Anybody looking to remodel their home or add an addition will find lots of resources on our website, especially within our blog articles. From the website, it’s easy for homeowners to submit forms and reach out to us with requests for free consultations or free brochures.

Our other divisions include Betterliving® Sunrooms of NH, which provides sunroom, screen room and shade products; and Erickson Foundation Supportworks, which provides foundation repair services for homeowners needing to stabilize their foundations. Our main website has links and information regarding all three of these company divisions.

Follow Niles on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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