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A Day in the Life of a Commercial Construction Manager at Tremco - WTI

WTI Tremco Kevin Horchy
March 29, 2019 at 5:36 p.m.

By Kevin Horchy, Senior Commercial Construction Manager, Tremco/WTI.

There really is no typical day for a commercial construction manager because every day brings something new.

Editor’s note: We loved Kevin’s answers to our questions so much that we decided not to write an article about the day in the life of a commercial construction manager and leave this unedited for you to enjoy Kevin’s wit, humor and knowledge of the position and the industry.

What do you love about your job?

Love is a word I only use for my wife, daughter, family, friends, sometimes my co-workers/associates and business acquaintances. However, there are several things I “like” about my career path:

  • The interaction with my fellow associates
  • Helping to solve unique problems either with or for our clients, associates and our support staff
  • The ability to continue to grow, improve and develop my knowledge of the industry
  • Being able to share experience and knowledge with associates and team members 
  • Training new hires, construction managers & field superintendents
  • The day to day variety, every day is a different challenge
  • Finally, the support and commitment upper management gives to all the employees, starting at safety, training and a sense of community

How did you end up in the industry? What makes you stay?

There is a long story behind this question, I’ll give you the short version. The high school football coaches at a very prominent all boys high school on the west side of Cleveland during their free time worked at a local alumni’s roofing company. The coaches would help facilitate student “football players” at procuring part-time work for these chosen few. One of my older brothers was one of the guys the coaches helped to secure a job at the roofing company. Eventually my brother got me the opportunity to work at this alumni’s roofing company. Nepotism may have gotten me the opportunity, but my work ethics guaranteed I kept the job. NOTE: I am still trying to figure out whether my brother likes me or hates me by getting me into the industry.

There is no one particular reason why I have stayed in the industry but rather a potpourri of reasons one of which is family. Also, when I was younger, I had the privilege of working beside some of the funniest, free spirited individuals I have ever had the pleasure to work with while also working with some of the surliest characters on this God’s earth (They would often say “Stick with me kid you will either be in diamonds or strips”); the security of steady work; travel; independence; time-off (when I was single & younger my time off meant as much to me as money); working outside; and the financial incentive.

Can you describe a day in the life of a Commercial Construction Manager?

This question makes me laugh as, it depends on which day. Depending on the day, I may be wearing one hat or many hats.

In the office:

I may start out my day as an estimator working with numbers and get a call concerning additional material needed right away from a frantic contractor who needs his material shipped sooner because he has a crew that could not get on another project for one reason or another. It seems to be the rule instead of the exception that at the same time I will either receive a text, call and email or all three at the same time with some other request for a proposal for a new project, material order or engineering survey. Some of the requests will be urgent because of clients’ timeline/budget requirements and established protocol timeline for deliverables will be circumvented. Most other requests will be submitted and processed accordingly established protocol timelines.

I may be reviewing a project specification for a project pre-bid, at the same time answering phone calls/text/emails from colleagues, owners, project superintendents, Regional Business Managers and administrators to name a few. Instead of reviewing a project specification you can substitute any of the following task: site specific safety plans, sub-contractor’s proposal forms; confirming material lists; bid tabulation review; sub-contractor interviews; reviewing subcontractors’ invoices; submittals; shop drawings; SDS information; request for change orders; schedules; owners’ invoices, weekly project percentage complete updates; writing meeting minutes and distributing them to the meeting participants; pulling permits; checking local codes; scheduling project site visits or even on a conference call.

Out of the office, “In the field:”

Unless I “accidentally” drop my phone into an open aluminum bag of potato chips, the phone calls, text, emails continue to stream in looking for a response. I am old school and I pride myself on answering my messages in a timely manner when it is safe to do, and time allows me to answer. I often leave the office to attend a litany of possible types of site visits. I could be the chair on pre-bid, pre-construction or in-progress project meeting. Stopping out to review on-going projects and completing safety audits on these projects. Besides handling the roofing projects and to keep things interesting, I also may be involved with Canam audits, façade, parking garage or heliport surveys.

Performing inspections with engineers (PE), other professionals and tradesman on the building’s envelope. These site visit with the PE are a cradle-to-grave approach that involves the construction manager through the whole process of the project. It’s a great benefit to the client to have a construction manager (CM) seeing the project from all phases of the project. The client sees the CM being involved from the start. The CM has a better understanding of the project and project participants by being involved in every aspect.  Cradle to grave is project conception, design, pre-bid, pre-construction, contractor selection, construction, and the final project walk and delivery of the final invoice and warranty. Often the client is so comfortable with this system they develop a relationship with the CM. Customers will call them long after the project has been completed for future work or questions about their warranty.  

What are some of the common challenges you face?

I will try to keep this short.

  • Dealing with the weather and deadlines/schedules.
  • Sometimes I think I am a marriage consular, people don’t always know how to communicate or just don’t communicate. What makes a good marriage? “Communication!” I call, I fax, I email, and I text. I admit it, “I am a pest.”
  • When there are problems on a project, it’s how we and our subs respond to those problems. Everyone will have a problem on a project, it is how you handle those problems with your team members.

What do you like best about working for Tremco/WTI?

Below in no specific order:

  • Integrity: I pride myself on my integrity, doing the right thing builds trust. I have experienced Tremco/WTI always going out of their way to guarantee customer’s satisfaction.
  • Teamwork: We treat our sub-contractors as partners
  • Emphasis on the quality of work, from all our employees and partners (sub-contractors)
  • Ethical work culture
  • When the individuals on the team are shown appreciation for doing a good job
  • Accountability while allowing a degree of independence without micro-management


Interested in becoming a commercial construction manager for Tremco/WTI? You can apply online here.

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August 2, 2019
30 in building preservation 10 yrs in asphalt and seal coatings
August 2, 2019
Job interest construction management

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