We’ve decided to create an ongoing series where our collaborators and partners share in their own words what it’s like to work with Living Home. We often talk about what we value and what we do, but we felt it would be interesting to share a different perspective on our work. For our first installment, longtime collaborator and friend Ryan Lewis from Meta Designs shares his thoughts on our continuing partnership.
To start off, could you tell us a little bit about Meta Designs?
Meta Designs is a custom metal fabrication shop. We work with Living Home and other contractors to build and install showcase stairs, rails, kinetic metalwork, furniture, and all sorts of custom metalwork.
How long have you worked together with Living Home?
That’s a good question. I think about 12 years.
What is the experience like when you work with Living Home?
Living Home is by far the most organized contractor out there. Everyone wants to keep a schedule, but Living Home really keeps their schedule on point and they hold us to it. It’s imperative we schedule with them to ensure everything is in line. That’s huge from my perspective and a client’s perspective to have a contractor that actually keeps on schedule.
The other great thing is that they really allow us to have a part in the design process. Most of their projects have an architect and an interior designer, and sometimes those people don’t allow us to contribute, but with Living Home we often have an opportunity to contribute as a design professional alongside the designers and architects. Maybe it’s just the family of architects and interior designers that Living Home works with, but it seems more often on their projects we are able to be a contributing partner in the design.
Is there anything else that sets them apart?
They build a really good home. They care about the details. We work with plenty of contractors who are there to get it done, but not always the right way. Living Home really sees the details, cares about the details, and plans for the details. That sets them apart because unfortunately not all contractors keep up with the level of quality construction that they do.
I look up to Chris Towson a lot. We’ve been friends for a long time, but as a businessman I really look up to his level of communication and organization. He’s really got it dialed, and it’s great to see. I wish I had it as dialed as he does!
Do you have any favorite or memorable projects you’ve worked on?
Well, kind of a funny thing, is that my first project with Chris at Living Home was a two foot section of railing. That was it! It was 3 pickets, a top cap, and a bottom rail, and it was 2 feet long. For years I joked about it, because he’s become a great friend, and he’s a great contractor but to start with a 2 foot section of railing… I wouldn’t do a 2 foot section of railing for a contractor now, but what it shows is building a relationship. If you can partner on the big work and the small work you can build great relationships.
That was our first project, but we’ve been on the Mountain Cove project with them for maybe 3 years. We have brass elevators, artwork, and staircases throughout the house, and it’s been a huge project. [this project is pictured in the gallery below] It’s an amazing place, the details in it are outrageous. We’ve been there 3, maybe 4 years and Living Home maybe for 5. To start at 2 foot railings — we’ve come a long way.
Lastly, is there anything else you’d like to add?
They’ve built a great company, and a great team. They’re loyal to their subcontractors — if you do good work then they’ll keep you around. They are rare in the industry as well, some people burn through subcontractors when one thing doesn’t go right but they have been great at communication and conflict resolution on the job. Living Home is really a contractor that has both the homeowners’ and the subcontractors’ best interest in mind, and that’s refreshing. They’re a great group, we love working with them, and they do great work.