Best construction blog competition:

daily5remodel site
South mountain company image
Employee owners at South Mountain Company

Leah Thayer’s and the site’s blog at undoubtedly one of the most comprehensive blogs/websites for the remodelling industry. In fact, about two years after she left a major construction magazine to start her own daily news site/blog, she received recognition as the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI)‘s official media outlet.

You don’t need to be a NARI member to read and learn from her blog, though access to premium resources is only available to NARI members (and those who signed on directly with her as “premium subscribers” before February 2012, when she operated the site independently. In reading the site, I don’t notice any sign of any heavy hands from the association restricting or controlling her writing and content, though I imagine the site would not be the place to report critically about NARI. (Nothing wrong with that, of course — my own business has had long-standing contracts with the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association ( and, more significantly, we publish Ottawa Renovates magazine in co-operation with the association.)

Thayer’s site may induce you to join NARI. You may also discover ideas and best practices from others and share your own observations.

As an example of this blog’s quality and content, consider the recent post about employee ownership and open-book management:

A growing number of builders and remodelers practice open-book management, and more and more of those that actually have profits to share are indeed sharing them with staff. But I know of only a handful that are truly employee-owned: that is, where every employee-owner (not to be confused with every employee) has an equal say in the company’s decisions and an equal stake in its success.

She describes and quotes from???South Mountain Company‘s blog. This Marthas Vinyard company is a true employee-owned co-operative.

In his latest?blog post, published yesterday, SoMoCo founder John Abrams wrote this:

“On the last day of 2012 our 25th year as a worker cooperative (and 37th in business) ended. It was an extraordinary year — rich, full, profitable, demanding, restorative, and uplifting….

“December 31st also marked the end of the United National International Year of the Cooperative. Worker cooperatives (and employee ownership in general) are emerging from the shadow margins of our economy. For the last decade or two I have noticed that the socially responsible business movement in the U.S. has been essentially deaf when it comes to issues of widespread ownership. That is changing, and that’s important because, as Marjorie Kelly says in her seminal book?Owning Our Future, published this year, ‘Ownership is the gravitational field that holds our economy in its orbit.'”Read?the rest of the post?for more on the benefits of employee ownership.?Here’s a previous d5R story?on a net-zero housing project by South Mountain Company. Andhere’s my 2007 profile?of John Abrams, winner of the first Fred Case Remodeling Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Overall,’s blog is a worthy entry in the 2013 Best Construction Blog competition.?(As well, maybe someone at South Mountain Company or another reader will nominate that company’s blog, because I believe it would be a worthy entry, as well.

Best Construction Blog nominations are open until Jan 31, 2013, and popular voting will begin on Feb. 1. You can nominate your own blog or any that you like. All qualifying blogs will receive a free Best Construction Blog listing and a positive editorial profile here. There is no cost to enter or win the competition.

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