On average, it takes 22 different subcontractors to build a home: a fact either unknown or undaunting to a young Nick Trudel, who set out years ago with a $5,000 loan, bought some tools and went to work building his first house not a week later.
Though born into the construction industry, the trades were far from a first career choice for Nick. Like most of his friends, he originally attended college where he dabbled in music, tech, and design, among other pursuits, before returning to work for his family’s construction and development firm where he built the skills he would need to start his own business. To this day, the largest house he ever constructed was that first house he built as an independent contractor and a new business owner.
Even outside of his career path, Nick has always been vertically-minded. As an avid climber, he has scaled cliffs in Red Rocks, Yosemite, and the White Mountains, just to name a few. Nick’s passion for climbing revolves around consistently working to better himself and trying to beat his personal bests, an effort not unlike the dedication and perseverance he’s applied to his career.
Now, Nick is a Project Manager/Estimator at North Branch Construction where he’s worked since 2011. When he talks about the construction industry, he talks about comradery, independence, problem-solving, and a sense of accomplishment. At Christmas, his family congregates in a house he built: the literal framework of his family’s daily life. Though Nick takes great pride in his work, it is surpassed by his pride in his 2-year-old daughter, who loves to sing and read, and who will surely join Nick on climbing adventures once she’s old enough.
When asked what advice he has for young workers looking to enter the construction industry, Nick recommends exploring all the different possibilities craft professions have to offer. Between mechanical, electrical, carpentry, management, and a multitude of other paths, the construction industry has a lot of potential areas of interest, and exposure to a variety of different skills and crafts can serve a construction professional well, even as a specialist. Nick is passionate about teaching his trade to young workers, and above all, Nick recalls that some of his best and happiest moments at work were in construction. He reminisces on being in the field with peers, even those he might not have known that well, because being in the field established a rapport and comradery, and he always had fun regardless of the weather or the workload. Overall, Nick encourages, disregard the old stigmas of construction and don’t be afraid to get dirty. Some of his most memorable moments were in the dust and mud.
Nick’s story was provided by the Associated Builders and Contractors NH/VT Chapter Young Professionals Group. Founded in 2012 as an initiative of the Associated Builders and Contractors, NH/VT Chapter, the ABC YPG’s mission is to develop, empower, and connect young professionals through events in an effort to enhance their professional development and business success within the construction industry.