NS Builders Owner, Nick Schiffer, is one of the lucky few who has been able to turn his dreams into reality. A strong sense of purpose coupled with new age business smarts is behind his blossoming career. Nick's adoption of old school craftsmanship and 21st century technology, including Social Media and an automated chop saw fence stop, has propelled NS Builders into a leading contracting company.
Founded in 2014, the Boston-based contractor has gone from a one-man shop to a growing team of employees, including two full-time finish carpenters. A self-described born entrepreneur, Schiffer said one way he attracts clients is through social media. “I like attention,” he said. “I take pride in my work so it made sense for me to market myself on places like Instagram and Facebook. Instagram offers an excellent way to show your work, netting helpful feedback as well attracting inquiries from designers and potential clients, which can lead to work.” His Instagram account has close to 60,000 followers.
NS Builders’ website, appropriately called “Design-Build-Repeat,” also enables Schiffer to showcase the company’s work to a wide range of current and potential customers. “The people who follow me might need a contractor someday. My hope is they realize they have been following a contractor.”
People can follow NS Builders’ work as the project progresses from start to finish. “There are a lot of people who are attracted to watching things get built. They will watch the entire process and see each step along the way.”
Viewers also enjoy seeing how the company combines handcraftsmanship with technology. Among the equipment used by NS Builders is a TigerStop SawGear, a portable automated chop saw fence stop that streamlines production by doing away with manual measuring.
“The SawGear was a great fit for us because of its ability to help us be more efficient. Because we do a lot of work on site, the SawGear was originally taken from worksite to worksite,” Schiffer said.
“We found that we preferred to primarily use it in our shop where it stays stationary, although it has the ability to be moved to a job site should we decide to do that. We value its efficiency and accuracy and the way it saves time on a wide range of applications.”
NS Builders performs a variety of residential work in the Boston area, including renovating old brownstones, single-family home construction and working in high rises. In all cases, Schiffer said, his staff has been able to streamline the work process by using the SawGear. “We have found the SawGear has cut down on our time on the saw, which means each person can use it for cutting a wide range of tasks. Our employees like it because it allows them to get done what they need to do in a shorter time on the saw, and it is extremely accurate.”
NS Builders’ work encompasses everything from cabinets to casework. Schiffer says his company is primarily about residential remodeling and new construction, with a smaller focus on custom cabinetry. An online portfolio at the NS Builder’s website highlights a variety of work, including single family homes, decks and beach house retreats. In addition to the TigerStop SawGear, the company’s equipment at the 2,500 square-foot shop includes table saws, planers, a track saw and more.
Woodworking has been a longtime passion of Schiffer’s. Growing up, he chomped at the bit to enter the family business of producing wood fencing. “By age 11, I was trying my hand at carpentry, and at age 15 I started my own little business making sheds that I sold to teachers.”
After college, Schiffer was hired as a commercial project manager for a multifamily construction firm. “The person interviewing me commented about my roughed up hands, saying it was evident that I had been involved in woodworking for some time and had the kind of experience they were looking for,” said Schiffer.
Approximately 3-1/2 years ago, he parlayed his years of experience to open NS Builders. Working with architects, designers and clients, the firm specializes in renovations and new construction in the Boston area. As Schiffer says, “The only way to be good at something is to work hard at it.” For his efforts, Schiffer was named a 2017 Wood Industry 40 Under 40 winner.
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