Renovation projects can be stressful for homeowners. As Project Manager for Struby Construction, Karl Kortemeier works to minimize that stress.
Karl’s role is to manage the day-to-day operations of projects – overseeing subcontractors, assuring craftsmanship, troubleshooting the unexpected and communicating with homeowners. “Maintaining open communication is so important,” he says. “You have to respect that you’re in someone’s home, and they need a clear picture of what’s going on – and what’s going to happen next.”
To aid in communication, Karl keeps a daily project journal, in which he records details and developments. The practice helps ensure that the project team stays on time and on track. It also serves as a reference from worksite to worksite.
A NARI-certified lead carpenter, Karl brings more than 12 years of operations and management experience to Struby, as a business owner and as Project Manager for Small Carpenters at Large. There, he turned his passion for woodworking into a new career: Hired as a carpenter, he was promoted to Project Manager after just two years on the job.
His appointment at Struby marks a welcome return to construction after experiencing the “other side” of home remodeling as a licensed real estate agent. “I really enjoyed helping people find and sell homes, and I gained customer service experience in the process,” he says. “But I knew I wanted to get back to the building side someday.”
Karl’s building experience includes businesses: He and his brother, Keith, started the Jittery Joe’s Coffee franchise in Athens, Ga. in 1994. He later launched a fly-fishing business in Athens, which he ran for three years before pursuing home carpentry and home renovation work.
But he remains an avid outdoorsman. Karl has fought fires in the Everglades and out West, worked as a fishing guide in Alaska and the Bahamas, and explored caves in Alabama and Georgia. He enjoys archery, writing and tinkering with motors and tools in his shop at his home in Decatur, where he lives with his wife and son.