Floating Home Offers Builder a Taste of Reality TV

The Kardashians, the Jersey Shores and the Duck Dynasties of the world don’t have a lot in common with most home builders. But it seems Hollywood wants that to change.

If real life isn’t exciting enough, then reality TV will do everything possible to accentuate any ounce of drama.

That’s one lesson learned by Bob Little, president of G. Little Construction in Port Townsend, Wash. One of Little’s recent projects was featured in an episode of “My Floating Home,” a TV series that airs on HDTV Canada and the FYI channel in the U.S.  

“[The TV production crew] did their best to infuse some drama, and when we saw the final cut, we all had a good laugh,” Little said. “Whatever, it’s TV. You can’t take it too seriously.”

G. Little Construction primarily focuses on its land-based clientele, but in recent years it’s dabbled in the high-end, floating-home market. 

The home featured for the TV series was Little’s fourth floating home project, and light years from your common boathouse.

A spectacular skyline view from the home's kitchen/dining room.

A spectacular skyline view from the home’s kitchen/dining room.

Appealing to the interests of its outdoor-loving owners, the 2,050 square-foot, eco-friendly home was highlighted by such features as a curved glass roof and a basement (underwater, of course) with a window through which the marine life below can be viewed.

“It was amusing how much [the TV crew] focused on dramatizing the highly unlikely scenario of that basement window leaking or breaking,” Little said.

According to Little, since the episode first aired in May, other production companies have contacted him in search of similar projects that might showcase even more drama and excitement. But reality TV isn’t part of his business strategy, he jokes.

Instead, he’s focused on continually growing business with a more traditional approach relying on best practices, many of which he learned through the NAHB 20 Clubs.

“I had thought about becoming a 20 Club member for several years, but for one reason or another, I put it off,” Little said. “In hindsight, I wish I would have made it a higher priority.”

Little described that for small business owners it can be hard to develop a good financial gauge, especially regarding markup, overhead and company structure.

“You don’t often have a sounding board to give and get advice, but that’s the biggest asset of becoming a 20 Club member,” Little said. “I’ve got 20 other builders from around the country whom I meet with and speak to on a regular basis.

“There’s no other resource that can compare to learning directly from others who have already dealt with many of the same issues.”

Interested in learning more about the 20 Clubs? Contact Michael Sutton at msutton@nahb.org.

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