What Is a Craftsman, and Why Do We Insist?
We’ve long preached the importance of craftsmanship here at Ayars — it is our mantra, echoed and repeated throughout every phase of our practice. But how do we define craftsmanship, and the craftsmen that are its practitioners? Furthermore, why does it matter so much to us? And why should it matter so much to you when choosing a home remodeling contractor?
We hope that by the end of this post, you’ll be able to recognize what a craftsman is as clearly as we do — because the distinction will make all the difference in the world when it comes to your project.
In simple terms, craftsmanship is an exhibition of craft. It’s a show of finely honed creative skill applied toward something of utility, whether it be a plate of food or a piece of furniture. This differentiates it from artistry (which is creative but may not have a practical use) and workmanship (which demonstrates skill but may be merely practical).
So what is a craftsman then? A craftsman is a person with a master’s level understanding of not only how to do a certain type of work, but also a great appreciation of why and for whom they’re doing it. A craftsman has graduated beyond competency — they are fluent in their given trade, intuitive to the subtleties and nuances of every detail, and how those details impact the finished product.
A craftsman’s mentality
There is a certain set of common personality traits that produce superior craftsmanship, whether it’s in home remodeling or any other profession.
They are willing to invest the time and energy to develop their craft and incorporate craft into their daily routines. They are firm believers in the adage “good things take time.”
With that said, they’re very conscientious of the end user and result. They think ahead to ensure all the pieces are in place for them to excel in their projects without disruption or delay.
The best craftsmen realize there is value in both tradition and the future. They seek to marry time-honored tools and techniques with up-and-coming methods and technologies. They are naturally curious and embrace being lifelong learners.
Above all, a craftsman cares — about their work and those it affects. Thus terms like “superior craftsmanship” and “quality craftsmanship” are a bit redundant, because attention to detail and commitment to excellence are the very essence of a craftsman!
Becoming a craftsman
Becoming a craftsman requires little in the way of formal education. Only about 1 in 3 craftsmen hold a bachelor’s degree, and only about 3 in 100 have obtained their master’s. If anything, you might attend a vocational or trade school to earn a certificate or an associate’s degree.
However, it’s much more likely that you’ll undertake an apprenticeship, learning techniques and best practices from an experienced craftsman. In the traditional European guild system, an apprentice would hone his skills in hopes of becoming a journeyman and eventual master craftsman. Craftsmen’s guilds are rare in today’s United States, but many trades continue to adhere to a similar model.
In the home remodeling industry, craftsmanship most often manifests in finish carpentry — the fine, nuanced woodworking details that give a room character and definition. At Ayars, we seek to hire skilled interior craftsmen with a strong working knowledge of construction materials, tools, and techniques. It’s also essential that they have well-developed organizational and communication skills, as well as competence in mathematics and geometry.
When you combine steady hands, quality materials, precision, and know-how, a masterpiece is all but assured!
How craftsmanship manifests in our work
We mentioned earlier that a true craftsman is acutely aware of how his work impacts those around him. It is important for him to respect the sanctity of the home by leaving behind as little mess as possible.
At Ayars, we use HEPA Filter systems and ZipWalls to minimize and contain dust and debris as we work. HEPA stands for “high-efficiency particulate air,” and the technology is capable of removing up to 99.97 percent of airborne particulate matter from an enclosed environment.
To create that enclosure, we utilize the ZipWall residential dust barrier system. The ZipWall is firmly pressed against the ceiling with a patented dust barrier pole, thus eliminating the need for tape or other means of affixation that might harm walls or paint.
Consistency begins with preparation and organization. Our men arrive at the job in branded trucks and uniforms with the same adhesives, screws, and fasteners. We thoroughly vet and approve every product we use in our work, and set up and pack up our tools and equipment in a highly systematic and coordinated fashion.
It is vital that a craftsman knows exactly what he’s working with — its benefits and drawbacks, its most desirable and undesirable applications. It is just as important that it is quickly and easily accessible so he can work with confidence and efficiency. All of our craftsmen follow the time-proven methodologies established by our project manager, Eric Haas.
We are adamant that quality materials beget quality work. Sure, a master chef can make do with decent ingredients — but to prepare truly unforgettable meals, exemplary ingredients are needed. Likewise, with any home remodeling project — it requires the same time and effort to do the job right, whether it’s with subpar products or superior products. So why not invest in something better-looking and longer-lasting?
Put quality materials in the hands of well-equipped (we love Festool German-engineered power tools), highly-skilled laborers, and good things are bound to happen.
Projects crafted to last
Our customers know what craftsmanship is when they see it — Ayars averages 5/5 stars on Google Reviews for a reason! That reputation has booked us through 2023, but if you want to help build your forever in years to come, please feel free to join our waitlist to be alerted when bookings open.