O.L. (Bud) Turner came to Atlanta in 1954 to work
with Navy SeaBee buddy, Charles B. West (West Lumber Companies) in
an effort to help populate the eastern borders of metro Atlanta. Bud Turner
developed subdivisions throughout DeKalb, Gwinnett, Fulton, Clayton and
Henry County during his career as homebuilder and developer. As an Electricians
Mate on Guadalcanal with the 26th SeaBees, as well as serving in the Aleutians to build airfields
on very difficult terrain and soils, my father chose to honor his fellow
veterans by providing first homes for Veterans under the construction standards
of the Veterans Administration. Many SeaBees (CB for Construction
Battalion) came to Georgia to work for and with Bud Turner, using the
same work ethic that they once employed on the other side of the world under
impossible conditions. The by-line for O.L. Turner and his fellow
SeaBees has always been:
I learned the industry by my summer jobs with my
father and countless encounters with crafts and tradesmen of the 50s and 60’s.
Having learned everything there was to know about home building, I later moved
into the field as a General Contractor in 1971.
However, before the end of 1971, it became apparent that I
truly did not...nor ever would I know as much as my father and the other true
builders, crafts and tradesmen of that era. My education “in the field” between
school years was just the beginning of one of the more interesting careers that
anyone could choose.
After fifty years with the SeaBees,
general and subcontractors, inspectors, bankers, lenders, realtors, purchasers,
developers, materials manufacturers & wholesalers, closing attorneys and many a
pretty Sunday sitting in a lucky old
purple chair, spending the afternoon waiting
patiently for that lucky customer to stop by has
been the life long education that O.L. (Bud) Turner advised me to stay
involved in prior to his passing in 1987….Can Do!
First and foremost, HOMEBUILDING IS A
BUSINESS that interrelates with hundreds of timing conflicts that is
continually subject to hundreds of various influences by the availability
and sub-contractors. Compound all of this with an interest bearing clock that
started ticking at the execution of the Construction/Acquisition/Development
Loan....the potential for financial disaster is always there. However the potential for
compromise based upon the coordination of materials and labor (or a lack
thereof) as influenced by the “Interest Bearing Clock” has always been the
leading threat to the ethical
homebuilder and remodeler.
This “compromise” in quality and ethic eventually
leads to a loss of control and assurance between general contractor and subcontractors with
the end result being a product of diminishing quality. There are too few qualified
subcontractors that are dying out along with qualified builders that presents a major
problem to the soundness of the industry. The culprit will be an educational system that chooses to promote
high tech careers over the rough, fine and finish trades of home construction.
It may be more peers correct to be able to say,
“I plan to be a lawyer for the job satisfaction and the money...”
instead of a fine trim carpenter, cabinetry builder or ceramic tile craftsman.
Yet if one has
to look at the reality of the hourly rate for that lawyer…hopefully, lucky
enough to get 8 hours per day (less rent, staff, insurances, office furnishings
and equipment) on the clock against a homebuilding trade such as a Brick
Mason...not only is there job satisfaction...but a reasonably good earnings per
project. There aren’t enough qualified brick masons in the metro
Atlanta area and those that are qualified are charging a tidy sum per brick.
Count on at least 7 bricks per square foot of the outside area of any structure
(ex. 1,000 s.f. floor plan; 9ft ceilings = 12,000 bricks or $13.89 per s.f./ 700
to 1000 bricks per day per mason multiplied by xx homes per month -
The old joke of the attorney and brick mason when
the attorney gets his bill:
Attorney: “$1000 for 3 hours work? That’s
more money than I make as a Lawyer!!”
Brick Mason: “Yeah, funny isn’t it. That’s
exactly what I said when I was a Lawyer.”
....is not only laughable, but applicable when
comparing rates and per diem expense between the two occupations.
As a long time homebuilder and developer, my experience has been put to the test
not only on the jobsite, but also as a civic volunteer willing to assist the
general public as Planning Commissioner Chairman for zoning and land use
applications. The Georgia Land Planners Association awarded Daniel Turner
Builders the Citizen Planner of the Year for studies and thesis on the
implementation of “Creative Development” and the “Village Concept.” Working with
referrals from the “Homeowners Against Deficient Dwellings”
(http://www.hadd.com/) HADD, I offer free service and advice to regional
homeowners and builders that are attempting to find a resolve prior to calling
in the lawyers.
I’d much rather see them spend their money on the
masonry work…the end result is tangible and longer lasting.
Daniel Turner Builders, Inc. uses many years of experience and common
practice in providing residential designs and drawings that meet or exceed
current building codes and standards. Custom drawings as an exhibit to the
construction agreement will give a common understanding between builder and
owner as an assurance to the applicable standards and codes for the permit
address. I continually attempt to stay current with codes and amendments which
provides for continuing research thru the IRC 1&2 Family Dwelling Codes (formerly CABO ),
Uniform Building Codes, Standard Building Codes and amendments brought through
the annual Code Congress for changes and enacted via the DCA to distribute and
go into effect in each county & municipality in Georgia. I have been and currently a professional
member of the SBCCI, ICC and ICBO and reference many details verbatim to current
building codes, spans and acceptable construction practice in both design,
practice and as expert in my chosen field.
Turner Builders, Inc., starts a new chapter in the Turner family of
homebuilder by providing
project management, valuations of work, compliance to agreement & codes,
compliance to the designs, expert witness to findings of the as-built and
reviews of work in progress. Much of this work runs in parallel with
construction knowledge as gained over many years, but also as a means of
location, identifying and specifying compliance issues of construction, quality,
cost valuation in weight to jurisdictional building codes and acceptable
standards. Daniel Turner Builders, Inc. has provided expert
testimony on the behalf of sellers, purchasers and builders in pursuit of
resolving matters prior to costly litigation since 1994.
legacy of O.L. Turner can be found in his homes of the 50s, 60s and 70s; many of which
appear to be in better shape than some of the modern construction techniques
over the past 20 years. My dad was in control of his projects from the beginning to
the end. Like many of the builders and developers of that era, if you wanted to
find O.L. Turner, he was not at the golf course, Waffle House or the office.
You could always find my father where his investment in time and money was
located…on the job. Lenders, materials creditors, county officials and
purchasers respected the fact that their money, lumber, tax rolls and new homes
were under the control of one guy who carried the CAN-DO attitude of the Navy
Sea-Bees back to Atlanta.
I know where O.L. Turner is buried. I visit his grave
alongside the grave of my eldest brother, a good Marine that did not survive the
Tet Offensive in 1968...Pfc Michael Turner
each year on Memorial Day. However, when I'm drawn to look for a memory of my
dad, I can find him while walking the streets that he once paved. I can
hear him walking and talking from house to house; keeping tabs on the progress
and quality of work, offering up some necessary wisdom and motivation in a tone
that raised the level of work up a few notches. It's a grand feeling to
know that these subdivisions gave thousands of families a place to call home
while giving thousands of jobs to craftsmen and labor; materials suppliers and
their work force. It's my honor to continue his work.