April 7, 2022

What’s the Best Gift to Give Your Builder for the Holidays?

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in trying to find the perfect gift that we forget the most appreciated one might be the simplest. In this episode of NS Builders Podcast, I’m going to let you in on a secret—what your builder really wants for the holidays. And it just might surprise you!


As builders and contractors, we often feel like we work in a pressure cooker (or the cool, modern version of one—the Instant Pot). We run from job to job, estimating, planning, securing materials, getting permits, having meetings, and are always aware of looming deadlines. The pressure builds to the point where you feel like you’re going to explode some days. But, we take a deep breath and repeat: “Hang in there. Vacation is coming. Vacation is coming.” 

In any stressful occupation, workers take their vacations seriously. They dream about it—sleeping in a bit later, traveling somewhere interesting, spending an entire week hanging out with the kids, devoting time to a hobby, or whatever they do to relax. It means not having to think about work for an entire week—no calls or emails to return, no meetings, no deadlines.  

Now imagine taking away that vacation—or at least a portion of it. Imagine how you would feel. Resentful? Discouraged?

That’s what can happen to a builder. True, a homeowner has every right to expect milestones in the project to be met and for a builder to be responsive and diligent in performing work—per the agreed-upon schedule and delivery date. But pressuring a builder to forgo his vacation time in order to speed up your bathroom remodel before you host a holiday party is unfair and unrealistic.  


So, what does your builder really want for the holidays? It’s simple: Don’t apply unnecessary pressure—begging, cajoling, or coercing them to work on or through the holidays.

I get it—a homeowner would love to be in their new home or remodeled kitchen in time for the holidays. Totally understandable. However, when a homeowner tries to push up the already agreed upon project completion date just because they want to host Thanksgiving is unkind. That kind of pressure is unnecessary—and believe me, we’re already under enough pressure.  

Hey, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with giving a Starbucks gift card or a heated hoodie (New England winters are rough). But the best gift to give your builder is your understanding—understanding that they need time off to themselves. Understanding that they shouldn’t have to sacrifice their family time just to make you happy. Understanding that a week without you calling and texting them is super important. And that you understand they love spending time with their family over the holidays just as much as you do.   


It’s easy to say you’re not going to work through the holidays. It can be much harder to follow through on that. At NS Builders, we take that promise to our employees and our families seriously. No exceptions. Here’s how we do it.

We close down between Christmas and New Year’s—and we spend December 23 together as a company. We talk about the past year and our future. We celebrate individuals’ successes as well as that of the company. And we discuss the struggles we faced. Afterward, we enjoy a great dinner together and have some fun. Then everyone is off to enjoy their well-deserved time off and a solid break from the business. 

NS Builders policy is that we pay mandatory PTO for the entire break, returning to work on January 2. And we repeat this around the week of July 4. (Of course, employees can accrue additional vacation time beyond these mandatory PTO weeks.) This gives everyone a week off in the beginning of the year and in the middle of the year to relax, refresh, and recharge. 

Everyone deserves time off—including your builder. So, when you’re wondering what to give your builder, opt for the simplest and most appreciated gift—a break!   

It’s time to discover what NS Builders can intentionally design and build for you! Contact us today to get started on your custom dream home. Together, we can make it happen. 

—Nick Schiffer


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