Testing this block out.
Welcome to the capital improvement blog! My name is Dan Sulewski and I am the owner of the website capitalimprovement.org. I wanted to start with a little history about myself and explain my vision for this blog. I have been working in construction for a great general contractor – W.E. O’Neil Construction, for 15 years. I started with them right out of college and have been with them ever since. In my “free time” I never really stop building. When I had real free time (i.e. before marrying my fantastic wife and having our beautiful and wonderful daughters) I loved to dabble in home remodels: remodeling my condo from floor to ceiling and working on the current house I live in with my family. I still love to do it but pick my battles – choosing projects that take hours rather than days, and selectively hire out the work that I know I can’t afford to “redo” later. In addition, I have also been “building” in the internet world for about 8 years. I started with a small website about aquariums back in 2011 and have been created and maintained websites since then. At this point I have about a half dozen active websites and another half dozen waiting to be built.
So what brings about this blog now?
First of all I would like to start with the name. In my experience working with W.E. O’Neil I became the Director of Special Projects. In the commercial construction world that means my group manages all of our tenant improvements, remodels, and additions to existing buildings and spaces. We don’t call the group “Special Projects” anymore but in trying to find our identify I came up with the idea that the projects we build all tend to be “capital improvement” projects. What is a capital improvement you ask? Here is an excellent definition straight from Investopedia:
A capital improvement is the addition of a permanent structural change or the restoration of some aspect of a property that will either enhance the property’s overall value, prolongs its useful life, or adapt it to new uses.
The main difference between what I specialize in and what other contractors perform is that I really like to enhance whatever I am touching. We don’t “fix” or “maintain” properties. When we come into a property we are there to change the use of the property, enhance the building and finishes of the property, or build square footage to the property: and therefore build the value of the property. Hence, what I specialize in and have for the majority of my career is “capital improvement”. I felt that it is a fitting name for my blog and can help to describe what I have been doing for the past decade.
How does tie into my personal live and what I do with my websites?
When I was at the bank the other day the teller asked me “how is business”. I first started in about how my “day job” was going, but then got a little bit into my hobby of building website. During that conversation it occurred to me that what I do with websites online and with my house is exactly the same as what I do with work: I am builder. I build, grow, and enhance whatever I am my project is so that it gains in value and becomes a “capital improvement”.
Why write this blog now?
I have created and written many websites. When I choose a website domain name, theme, and article topics I usually choose something that I am interested in already or that I would like to learn more about. An idea occurred to me after listening to a Pat Flynn’s “Smart Passive Income” podcast – he mentioned the book “Crush It” by Gary Vaynerchuk. After reading the book I felt like it didn’t have a ton of content to it but there were a few great themes in the book. One theme in the book that hit home was regarding the choice of a website and a brand. Gary had written that the website theme needed to be something I was passion about and that I could write “at least 50” blog posts about. Well after spending 15 years building out buildings and building website I figure I have PLENTY of knowledge and passion about both commercial construction and about building a strong website!
What you can expect in this blog
As I mentioned earlier I have written a number of posts about a number of different topics but none of my websites have ever been so personal and that I have been so passionate about. For those reasons I am happy to say that you can expect 1) truly unique and personal stories from both parts of my life, 2) all posts to be personally written by me, and 3) hopefully I can put some of my experience to work and truly give you expert advice on “building” including commercial buildings, home remodels, and websites!