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:

     Can Do!!

 

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! http://www.karendean.net/turner/forapal.html

 

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 of materials 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 - 11/01/13).

 

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.

 

The legacy of O.L. Turner can be found in his homes of the 50s, 60s and 70s; many of which still 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. 

 

Dan Turner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GCVS   Guadalcanal Campaign Veterans Society (a tale)

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