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Show Notes


Wyatt: [00:00:00] If you can build it here, you can build it anywhere.

Barna: [00:00:02] I think I'm just going to say that if you don't like something, change it.

Wyatt: [00:00:05] OK? If I build one on wheels, you know, what are my hurdles? If I build one without wheels? What are my hurdles? What's local code requirement going to drive me towards?

Barna: [00:00:13] Could be 60 years old. And you want to move your parents into an accessory dwelling unit. They have to go over the same hurdles as a 20 year old that doesn't want to have that lifestyle.

Wyatt: [00:00:23] What we need are safe, secure places that someone can actually afford to live inside of.

Barna: [00:00:29] And this is a recurring theme of we're not going to let you do it.

Wyatt: [00:00:33] And you want a different lifestyle. It's not a tiny House podcast.

Wyatt: [00:00:37] I've seen a number of, like, horrible articles at this point for the people that are involved in it, where they they sell, they sell their house. They they do whatever. They're going to go tiny. They're going to go off grid. They're going to do whatever. And then they they pour their their financial savings, everything they can into this future in this desired lifestyle. And then they find out, oh shit, I poured twenty, thirty, forty fifty thousand dollars everything I had into it. And then, you know, like an inspector comes through or or some level of of.

Barna: [00:01:12] Regulation,

Wyatt: [00:01:12] Regulation and authority steps in and they go, well you can't do this. And then they go why? I saw it on HGTV, I saw it on whatever. And we're like, well you saw it on TV in Brazil and Mexico or wherever you saw it. And so helping people not do that and then fail is really important to kind of what this causes about because and that's why we go not a tiny house. These aren't on wheels.

Lester: [00:01:38] Well, and my response to that would be that you don't need to be a design professional to figure all this stuff out, but you have to have a regulatory system that is what we call city government or county government that is inclusive and that is looking for solutions and not just hurdles. Right. Because the biggest problem that we have is you ask a simple question and they give you five hurdles. They don't say here's how you jump the hurdles. Yeah. And so that's where I think people are the most frustrated about anything that they try to do today is they get hurdles and then they say, OK, well, what do you want me to do? And you're building code official says, I can't tell you what to do.

Wyatt: [00:02:24] Exactly.

Lester: [00:02:24] But they don't give you any they don't give you a pass.

Barna: [00:02:27] There's no guidance.

Lester: [00:02:28] No, there's no guidance. And they can't because they're a government. They're not they're not a design professional. So they're the way their constitutions are written is the building department can't tell you what your solutions are. You have to find somebody to help you with the solutions. But they also don't say, oh, but here's the five probable solutions.

Wyatt: [00:02:51] Right.

Lester: [00:02:53] Yeah. And it's you know, that's been one of the things that frustrates me the most.Yeah. I've been involved in architecture for thirty years.

Wyatt: [00:03:01] Right.

Lester: [00:03:02] So I've done this a few times and I've and I've volunteered all of my time, my volunteer time in the city government, you know, planning, zoning and, you know, the building code boards, all of that. I've you know, I've so I've been on both sides of the chair. And the thing that frustrates me the most with city governments is they're they're they're not solution based. They tend to be hurtle based. Right. So now now they're getting more progressive. But it's the private sector that has to force the government sector to be more progressive.

Barna: [00:03:39] How do you, how do you force that?

Lester: [00:03:41] Well, first of all, you've got to have educated planners in planning firms someplace that can, that has some sort of educational authority to go into a planning commission and say it's time for you to update all of this, because this is ridiculous. This is not how we practice our craft any more. So so they have to have they have to redo their comprehensive plans. They have to they have to rewrite their regulations. They have to do all of that stuff. But you have to coax the city into doing it.

Wyatt: [00:04:14] Right. What's their motivation and what's their benefit?

Barna: [00:04:15] And so the master plan is what, Updated every five years? And.

Lester: [00:04:20] It should be.

Barna: [00:04:21] I think it's like every five years.

Lester: [00:04:22] It should be.

Barna: [00:04:23] what they said and is that like a third party that does that or is that something that's, I think planning and zoning is kind of involved somehow that commission or at least the approval process? But who does the actual groundwork? Because it's pages and pages of maps and documentation and where we are and where we going.

Lester: [00:04:43] It's almost never going to be the commission itself because the commission is a volunteer commission and they don't do it. They don't do it professionally.

Barna: [00:04:49] Yeah.

Lester: [00:04:49] So they don't know exactly what they're looking at. Right. So it is generally the city staff that comes and says it's time for us to update and we need to go out and hire an outside firm.

Barna: [00:05:01] Consultant

Lester: [00:05:01] Yup, to come in and rewrite our regulations and look at our zoning maps and look at the way we're doing things, and then how does that how does what we do today in zoning transfer to how we're going to adjust what we have been doing in zoning? Because zoning changes. So, for example, we were talking about tiny homes just a moment ago.

Wyatt: [00:05:23] Right.

Lester: [00:05:24] And we talked about how cities aren't prepared for tiny homes. They don't know what to do with them. They don't know how to categorize them. They don't know what zoning block they need to go into. They don't know what to set them inside.

Wyatt: [00:05:38] Because they're not defined. They don't know which box that fits inside of.

Lester: [00:05:43] Correct.

Barna: [00:05:43] But you can't just, let's say for a tiny home that's on wheels, doesn't that just squarely fall inside the RV or RV park guidelines?

Lester: [00:05:53] That's the easiest place to put them. But that isn't always the best place to put them.

Barna: [00:05:56] That's not where people want them. People want them in backyards. They want them on their five acres. And none of those are allowed.

Lester: [00:06:02] That's correct. OK. And so and so what we need to do is to go in and look at a different zoning designation, for example, you know, one of the thoughts I had a long time ago was why can't you why can't I buy 35 acres and just set up a tiny home district and just say this is now a new zoning designation?

Wyatt: [00:06:23] THD, done deal.

Lester: [00:06:23] Yep. Tiny Home District. And, and I still have setbacks. I still have regulations. I still know. But then but then it comes into is it truly mobile? And, if it is, then how does it come and go and where all the support services. And, do you own the lot or are you renting space. So then how does that not fall back into an RV park designation or mobile home park.

Barna: [00:06:54] So I think that's always funny. And like you have a mobile home that never moves. And why is it still called a mobile home?

Wyatt: [00:07:01] That's the thing. As soon as, as soon as the axles and wheels come off of it. Right. So I know a guy who made millions of dollars in his career and then sold his business for millions more literally going to mobile home parks and buying tires and axles off of trailer parks that were on blocks, bringing them back to the factory to sell them because they'd only made it one trip and they were never going to get used again. They were just behind the skirting because skirting is usually a regulation to city wants. So they go, you got to skirt it. So you're going to now you're covering up something that's mechanically still sound. So this dude went in and I'm talking millions of dollars like not tens but but 30, 40, whatever it was,

Lester: [00:07:40] Those are tens but OK.

Wyatt: [00:07:41] Well that's what I'm saying. Like not 10 million. I'm saying like like...

Barna: [00:07:46] More than 10 million.

Wyatt: [00:07:46] ..increments of ten. Yeah. And I'm like, that's, that's a lot of juice, you know, like that's a lot of money just to go.

Barna: [00:07:54] Hey ma ten million isn't what it used to be.

Wyatt: [00:07:56] I know. But, but it still sounds cool.

Lester: [00:08:00] It does to me.

Wyatt: [00:08:00] Yeah, exactly.

Barna: [00:08:01] I mean, pennies. 10 million pennies.

Wyatt: [00:08:03] We're talking with Lester. Is it Limón or Limon.

Lester: [00:08:06] Limón.

Wyatt: [00:08:06] Limón.

Lester: [00:08:06] Yes.

Wyatt: [00:08:07] OK.

Barna: [00:08:08] There is an accent mark on the O.

Wyatt: [00:08:09] I'm sorry, but I like to make sure that I'm making I'm at least asking the question instead of assuming. So.

Lester: [00:08:13] Listen, I live in Colorado, Limon is pretty popular.

Wyatt: [00:08:16] They said that I always called it Limón. And people were like, no, it's Limon. And I'm like, it looks ,doesn't matter.

Barna: [00:08:24] That's how its spelled buddy.

Wyatt: [00:08:25] Architecture. I mean, that's kind of your wheelhouse.

Lester: [00:08:27] Architecture and community development.

Wyatt: [00:08:29] Right. And so you're inside of Canyon City.

Lester: [00:08:32] Yes, my my company is P3 communities. You can find me on the web,

Barna: [00:08:36] Back to something, something earlier. So you said, why can't I just buy 35 acres and do my own tiny home community? Can't you effectively already do that if you do a PUD.

Lester: [00:08:46] Thats correct.

Barna: [00:08:46] Planned Unit Development? So you told us previously in some meetings that with PUD you basically create your own zoning or your own rules within that property. Yes. So could you in theory create that? And I know there's still engineering and and infrastructure that has to go into place, but you could kind of use current regulations to do that.

Lester: [00:09:08] Absolutely. It's not even in theory. I mean, that's exactly how we would do it. So what we would do is buy 35 acres someplace.

Barna: [00:09:15] Or 4, the minimum is 3 in Florence,

Lester: [00:09:18] Sure. Sure. But it depends on how big your community wants to be. You know, how big a community are you building? And and then we do a planned unit development, a PUD, and you are in charge of your own development guide. So you're the one that basically writes all of the regulations for those 35 acres. You're the one that says this is how far they have to be spaced apart. This is what they have to look like. This is they have to be on real foundations or they have to have used these materials or these colors or, you know, however, whatever regulations that you currently have to deal with at the city level, you're basically doing the exact same thing, but on your property.

Wyatt: [00:09:56] But there are still no guarantees because still to take your plan to planning and zoning for approval, correct?

Lester: [00:10:04] Yes. Well, yes and no. So the PUD process is this. What you do is you buy your piece of property, you lay out all of your roads, all of your infrastructure, all of you know, all the engineering, all the architecture. And then you develop a guide and you work with city government to understand, you know, with city staff to to make sure that you're not doing something weird and crazy and stupid and everything is going to catch on fire and we're all going to burn down.

Wyatt: [00:10:34] Got it. So so safety is number one.

Lester: [00:10:36] Yeah. Absolutely.

Barna: [00:10:37] But on a safety, not a not an emotional standard. Right. So it's like I don't like the color of I don't like the color. You picked for that siding that you want to have in your PUD. It has to be, do you meet this safety regulation, this something other regulation.

Lester: [00:10:54] Right. So there are two there's health, safety and welfare, which you don't want to pack everybody in like sardines and then somebody catches on fire and burns the whole neighborhood down. So there's health, safety and welfare. And then there are what we call bulk regulations. And bulk regulations are what we generally work with, with planning and zoning now. So if I bought a house a lot and I want to put a house on it, I can't fill it to the Four Corners with house.

Barna: [00:11:19] Yeah, those are your setbacks, right? Minimal square footages and height.

Wyatt: [00:11:24] And also percentages of build. Right. You can usually do 40 to 50 percent of your lot can be built into your structure depending on how it's listed.

Barna: [00:11:32] In what zoning?

Wyatt: [00:11:33] Yeah. Yeah.

Lester: [00:11:34] That depends on zoning.

Wyatt: [00:11:35] So that's just one basic example. You can go OK. I have, I have a 10000 square foot lot. You can't probably build more than 4000 square foot structure on 10000. That's 40 percent.

Lester: [00:11:45] Your generally 25 to 30 percent lot coverage. Yeah, but that's a lot coverage for the House. So for that, for example, the last one I wrote, I wrote for the Scholastica Development in Canon. And I wrote the development guide on that. And so I kept it generally in the same size as the neighborhood around it. So we're single family residential on our north lots. And I didn't want to you know, I didn't want it to be three stories. I only wanted to be two stories. So I'm trying to fit into the character of the neighborhood so that, you know, those houses look normal on that street. And so but we also included the ADUs in that development so that basically you could have 13 single family houses, but then you could also have thirteen more ADUs on the same property.

Wyatt: [00:12:39] Because one one principal dwelling is going to get, or one principal structure is going to get one accessory, ADU unit per the local, for the city code. They allow one per one.

Barna: [00:12:51] OK, sorry to bring it back to like Florence. Can you overwrite. I think the answer is yes, but can you overwrite the city doesn't allow ADU's but in my PUD I'm allowed ADUs.

Lester: [00:13:03] That's correct. And so that's that's that's where we start to talk about more progressive ideas in planning and zoning because those things come out. And if the city hasn't kept up with it or they don't have a progressive planning department, then you tend to not get those those features. And so that's when you have to rewrite.

Barna: [00:13:22] But all these this service that you provide cost money. Right? So to do..

Lester: [00:13:27] My service? I hope.

Barna: [00:13:30] Yeah. So the PUD the guide and the actual PUD that costs money. So in the earlier podcast we discuss how, water moves, or money moves water. Yeah. In case of floodways. So as long as you pay for the survey, you the water turns out it wasn't you weren't in a floodway or floodplain. In this case, money once again moves regulations because if you have the finances to to buy the larger piece of land you have the finances to, to hire all the experts to create a PUD you that gives you the ability to change the rules that if you were anybody else in the community just showing up at a meeting going this is a bad rule, let's change it. You might not have that power.

Lester: [00:14:20] I think that's 100 percent true, but I think it's always been 100 hundred percent true. Wealth is is the generator of everything in America and.

Wyatt: [00:14:29] In a capitalistic society.

Barna: [00:14:31] It's capitalism after all.

Lester: [00:14:32] So the more money you have, the more power you have, the more things that you can do because the more resources you can you can gather. And I, I get that. Sure. But that's why I think that it's, it should be city staff's role to find solutions not to, to, not to just identify roadblocks. Because people don't always have those resources. And when you don't have those resources, then you tend to get stuck. And they say, well you just can't do it. Yeah, and and then they say, well, I can't afford to hire an architect or a planner or anyone else. So I don't I don't know what else to do.

Wyatt: [00:15:08] Right. And then you're you're you're dead in the water and you've you're, you know, back to the soup line, so to speak, or you've got to go go back to work and you got to get more money put back together. And then construction takes longer. You don't even know if you did it right the first time anyway, because the way that your construction could be put together.

Lester: [00:15:24] And well and you know, that's, I mean, that's the principal reason that I am in the size of community I am. And I've always been in communities this size and I've always practiced in communities of this size because these guys are left out to dry and they don't have the resources that Denver has or Colorado Springs have. And they need somebody that understands the process and can help them at a reasonable level.

Wyatt: [00:15:51] You have to know the pain. You have to at some point, experience the pain in order to want the solution bad enough. Otherwise and that's that's I was talking with somebody about it recently and I said, well, no offense to city staff, any of the cities staffs that that could listen anywhere. But when your livelihood isn't on the line, you tend not to care as much as the person who's whose is, right. So I care a hell of a lot more about my project than you probably do because you're going to have a job Monday through Friday, eight to five or nine to five. I'm out here working seven days a week trying to get a house built. Right. And so, like, we have different feelings on it. I think for me it's like when will that when will you guys as humans empathize with the real problem and understand that, like, we are trying to create solutions and this is the only one that was actually on the table because I can't just go get a bigger loan. I can't just go get another house. I can't just go do these things. It doesn't work like that for everyone in our society. You have to create solutions and avenues for people to take instead of just roadblocks.

Barna: [00:16:55] You didn't know you just didn't work hard enough Wyatt?

Wyatt: [00:16:58] Oh, jeez. Yeah. Yeah, right. That's, you're right I was just looking for a lay up. Yeah. But it brings this all in. This all brings me back to a basic question, right. When we talk about we and we spoke with a civil engineer earlier and everybody's getting an understanding of a contractor and everybody knows what a tile setter does. Right?

Lester: [00:17:16] Right.

Wyatt: [00:17:17] But there's a question on the board behind me and it just says, what is architecture? What does an architect do? Where do you fall in line and who do you work with the closest. Like, who do you see on the two end of your day, the most? Those are my questions. So that people go. This is the order where if I were going to contact an architect, I would do it first, third, second, where would I kind of do that? Sure. Give me a little bit of like where it works ideally,

Lester: [00:17:44] OK.

Wyatt: [00:17:44] For you.

Lester: [00:17:45] Well. You had two questions. Yeah, and they're they're they're completely different questions, right? OK, so the first one is what is architecture? Architecture is, you walk out your front door and open your eyes and that's everything that you see that's built. Yeah. Built environment. Yeah. The built environment is architecture. Now, what does an architect do and where does he fall, where is he or she fall in the order? So the traditional, the traditional relationship is owner, architect, contractor. OK, so your contractual relationship, whenever you build something, especially in commercial construction, is you're the owner and you have a contract with your contractor but all communication goes through the architect. OK, so you you and I as owner architect have an agreement and GC and owner have an agreement. I don't have an agreement with the contractor, but my job is to make sure that whatever the contractor does is something that you wanted him to do.

Barna: [00:18:54] Where does the civil engineer fall into this order and people like a surveyor?

Lester: [00:19:01] Sure. So typically in a very typical model, especially in in commercial construction. Sure. You're going to come to me and you're going to say, I want to build this.

Barna: [00:19:14] I want a PUD.

Lester: [00:19:16] Or you could do that, but you don't need me to do the PUD. I can. But you can also get a planning firm to do that. So you want to build something. All right. You want to build a structure. So we need to design a structure. So you're going to come to me and say, I don't know anything about it, but I want to build an apartment building. And I say, OK, I would then interview you to define the scope of work. How many apartments, how big? Where is it? You have property already? Is the property ready to go? If not, we I need you to call a surveyor and get the boundary surveyed. I need a civil engineer or geotechnical engineer to go out and do soils test so I can, you know, our consulting engineers can begin to design footings and foundations and structures and all of that kind of stuff. Right. So and then typically the owner or the the architect would write a contract such that not only will the architect be compensated for all the work he has to do, but then he will go out and get fee proposals from consulting engineers. And my consulting engineers are going to be electrical, mechanical and structural. Those are the three engineering disciplines that I would go out and hire on your behalf. You already know how much they're going to cost because we've already got five proposals from them. You know how much that's going to be as owners.

Wyatt: [00:20:40] That's based on a drawing that you've provided or a scope that you've given them.

Lester: [00:20:43] A scope usually.

Wyatt: [00:20:44] It's about this big of a project. It's a four unit apartment building, two stories. You know, what's it going to take for you to do the the engineering on it from an electrical standpoint?

Lester: [00:20:55] Exactly.

Wyatt: [00:20:56] And a mechanical. So that's going to be HVAC systems and stuff in a home, right?

Lester: [00:21:00] And then, yes, HVAC plumbing and then civil engineer will do design all the drainage. So whether we've got underground storm water or whether we've got surface storm water. And so those disciplines are in charge. Architects got to start out the gate faster because they can't do anything until I give them a set of plans or a preliminary set of plans because I go preliminary design, design development, construction documentation, bidding or negotiations and then construction observation. And I say I met construction documentation. That was my third one. Yeah. And then construction observation. So those are the five things that I do for the owner. That's what I'm being paid to do.

Barna: [00:21:44] That's commercial and residential?

Lester: [00:21:47] Residential. Residential is is really a lot simpler because it's not until the house gets to be 5000 square feet or bigger or whether it becomes bigger than a duplex, then those don't actually have to go through architecture. You have to have somebody design footings and foundations and beams and that kind of stuff. But an architect is not allowed by law to do those things in the state of Colorado or in most states.

Barna: [00:22:14] So what if I have a crazy house design that I have in my head? You can make that a reality. Hopefully.

Lester: [00:22:22] Yeah, well, if it's if it's crazy, you're probably going to need somebody like me because otherwise the GC can just do it. I mean, if you just want a box, you can build boxes all day.

Barna: [00:22:33] Wyatt is over there dancing.

Wyatt: [00:22:35] I was it wasn't like a real dance.

Barna: [00:22:38] He's like I can build a box, but but I don't want a box. I want, like, you know, weird angles and walls of glass.

Wyatt: [00:22:46] And that's what that's going to come with you and that's going to come with a structural making sure that I'm not going to fall apart in the wind. It's going to make sure it has the right wind loads and snow loads and all that fun stuff that goes into that. Right.

Lester: [00:23:00] A typical residential project that I get, they're basically looking for a floor plan and they probably already found one on the Internet, but they want to make some changes. So I just I have to redraw everything. And then I still have to go to an engineer and say, OK. I need footings and foundations, right, and then the GC does everything, oh, headers, we're going to have beams and headers and in the civil or structural, we do those and trusses are usually done by truss manufacturers. So all that engineering comes from truss manufacturers. So there's very little other than me. Other than me drawing the floor plan, making the changes that you want and then showing the four exterior elevations, that's basically all that I do on projects like that.

Barna: [00:23:45] On smaller ones

Wyatt: [00:23:46] Yeah, the smaller ones. And when you talk like construction observation, that's going to be you going in and walking it with like a GC to go this is done or not done according to the print that I provided for you.

Lester: [00:23:55] That's correct.

Wyatt: [00:23:56] Yeah. So you're going like that's that's I mean, your oversight.

Lester: [00:23:59] Usually every two weeks we have a site project meeting, owner, contractor, subcontractors, architect, sometimes engineers, depending on what's being erected.

Barna: [00:24:11] So I'm just picturing those stock photos you have on the Internet, on almost every website with everybody with the hard hats looking at a blueprint, pointing. Like that's it.

Wyatt: [00:24:20] Suits in hard hats.

Lester: [00:24:20] That's a hundred percent. That's one hundred percent.

Barna: [00:24:25] Wanted to make sure I am picturing the right thing.

Lester: [00:24:27] And mine is a nice, pretty, white shiny helmet and everybody else is beat to hell, you know.

Barna: [00:24:33] You pull yours out of cloth sleeve you keep it in and it's got like a little box for it.

Wyatt: [00:24:40] For the first time I saw one of them that looked like a cowboy hat and I was like, that's got to be one of the coolest things I've ever. I remember it was a hard hat, cowboy hat.

Lester: [00:24:46] Yeah. Everybody in Texas has those.

Wyatt: [00:24:48] I don't know why I thought it was cool. Right. And so that helps us. Can you circle back to one thing that you said where if we're just building a box architect isn't necessarily a requisite. It was a square footage that you had said.

Wyatt: [00:25:02] Five thousand anything sub 5000, the contractor generally deals with.

Lester: [00:25:07] Yeah. And I've seen them go in and get permits on eight and a half by 11 sheet of paper with a single line drawings of this is the floor plan.

Barna: [00:25:16] Yeah. So I mean it can get super basic on smaller projects.

Lester: [00:25:20] Anybody, anybody can be a house designer, anybody. That's why they sell all the plans on the Internet. Yeah, because generally they are not they're not regulated. Not the plans anyway.

Wyatt: [00:25:31] Right.

Barna: [00:25:33] So if I buy one on the Internet, I can just build that.

Lester: [00:25:35] Yeah. All you have to do is have your structural or civil engineer design your footings and foundations based on where you are.

Wyatt: [00:25:41] And your geo that comes back.

Lester: [00:25:43] Yep. So that's it.

Wyatt: [00:25:45] So it still goes back to what we were talking about earlier, right. Where you have to know what it's going on so that they can figure out how much compaction you have in your ground so you and you can go, well, this house is going to weigh,

Lester: [00:25:56] Bearing pressure.

Wyatt: [00:25:57] And your bearing pressure. Right? So it's tiny houses are super, super, super, super small and super lightweight, right,

Lester: [00:26:06] Can be.

Wyatt: [00:26:06] And well, right. Of course, they can be they could be super heavy, too, I guess, in that same respect. Right. But when we're talking about what the actual structure itself and so the name of the podcast, I don't even know if we told you about this or if you've listed. Right. It's it's called it's not a tiny house podcast. Right. So this is a podcast about how to actually create something because that because the the working definition of a tiny house is on wheels. Well, we're creating not on wheels, but we are creating is definitely less than five thousand square feet. What we're creating is something that is an affordable, smaller footprint solution. And you've been there and you kind of see that now. And so we're we're kind of following all of this stuff through. It's still a really good idea to have an architect work on your project because you helped us with things that were not necessarily the building architecture. Right. You helped us with the site plan, you helped us with the parking plan and so.

Barna: [00:27:02] Landscape plan.

Wyatt: [00:27:02] And all the landscaping stuff. And so when you walk out, I mean, I know that I kind of I kind of steered it earlier. But, you know, when you walk out your front door and it's everything that you see and I was like everything you built? I should have had it more like with an inflection.

Lester: [00:27:16] I used. Well, I used the term built environment.

Barna: [00:27:20] Got it. Yeah.

Lester: [00:27:21] Because it's not I mean, I build it and and, you know, we're talking about container homes in some instances. And I didn't build a container home and I don't I don't know how to build a container. But at that, once it's in the landscape, it's part of the built environment.

Lester: [00:27:36] And so and then any time you're outside the norm of anything, really, once you start inventing something, creation is the hardest thing to do. Creation is absolutely the hardest thing to do. If you came to me and said, I need a 4000 square foot home, and I said, well, what are you thinking about? And you said, surprise me.

Barna: [00:28:01] I'm coming to you with pages and pages of sketches. I don't know, but that's what I'm doing.

Lester: [00:28:07] But but but if you said surprise me, then my canvas is wide open and creation is the hardest thing. Sometimes building inside an envelope or inside an idea is actually easier. You have constraints, you know, where you can't go and where you can.

Wyatt: [00:28:23] Sure and makes you really flex it too.

Lester: [00:28:26] Right. Yeah, yeah. Well, and in some cases, yes, absolutely. Because now you do have constraints and that's actually kind of hard or so you know. I guess it depends on where you're comfortable, I mean, do you want true creation and then when you do true creations, so, for example, let's say you're in in your case, putting up container homes and but I want to stack four of them. Got it. I want these things. I know they'll take their own load. Yeah. So but I have to have somebody prove it with math. Right. But I want to stack four of them. Do you think that any municipality in a 100 mile radius is going to say, oh yeah, that's a great idea because they're going to go I this is I don't know. I don't know anything about this. And so you have to you know, so you have to prove it. Yes. You know. Yes. Right. And so that's the hard part about creation. And so with that, like.

Barna: [00:29:15] Well, I had that problem. So, my first career is like software development, web design, that kind of stuff. And we regularly get people and customers go, I want Facebook, but not Facebook. All right, that'll be a billion dollars and it'll take about 15, 20 years. Now, if you want to narrow that scope a little bit, we can talk about some real numbers. I like some actual, real, time frames.

Wyatt: [00:29:37] You were only were only going to charge a billion. Yeah, yeah. Bargain. You want to do rent to own?

Barna: [00:29:41] I think I said like a hundred million because at that point it was years ago. So was like one hundred million dollars. It'll take a decade. Yeah. Because that's what it takes to build something like Facebook. Now, now tell me something more specific like OK, this is my niche market or this is what I want. It becomes easier because you actually have some guidance.

Lester: [00:30:00] Yeah. Some guidelines.

Wyatt: [00:30:02] Well, and that's part of what we were talking about was working with with like a city. And I'm just saying no. And it's like all we're talking about is it would be faster and easier if you just handed me a slip of paper that said there's an arrow and you could go that direction if you chose to. Like, we're not talking about even a personal opinion. I'm saying when we ask a question like, hey, where do I go from here? And it's a sheet of paper, it's so it's super helpful. And it would it would work a lot with people if they said, why can't I have a house this size? Why has it have to be this? Here are some reference guides. You need to go there so you can then steer yourself from there. But they don't even do that.

Lester: [00:30:41] Well, you know, and we just we did a project that had what they call a PDD, a Planned Development District, which is different than a PUD. But they hadn't done a PDD in twenty years. I mean, literally, they had to take that out of the drawer and blow the dust off of it and say, do your best. And so we had to distill this them mean. My first thing was basically what you're talking about and that is I need a flowchart to go through all of these regulations and figure out where I want to be at the end. And if I make this choice, it takes me in these directions. If I make this one, it takes me in these directions. I literally had to do that even for my client to understand what what the hell we needed to do.

Wyatt: [00:31:24] Right. What's the course of action here. And so we did it backwards. We just built a house and than said, ok now what?

Lester: [00:31:29] Yeah.

Wyatt: [00:31:29] Right. And we've talked with everybody about how we've done it in reverse. That's why now we're here instead of doing this before we built a structure, because we just built a structure. We're like, OK, now, it's our problem. And how do we get here again?

Lester: [00:31:44] Well, but again, invention is the hardest thing because you don't know what to do. And that's where the design profession will help you. You have to you come to the design professionals and say, I don't know what to do and I may not know what to do either, but it's my job to then figure it out and it's my job to keep you guys out of trouble. It's my job to keep you on track. It's my job to make sure you see where the solutions are, where the hurdles are, how we're going to get through them, how we're going to get past it. I speak the language. So I'm the guy that goes in front of the commissions. And I explain to volunteer commissioners in most cases. What it is we're doing. Well, because they don't know either.

Wyatt: [00:32:30] Well, that's the thing. At that point, you're hoping that they know what you're talking about, because if they're not a professional inside of the building, either trades or design or anything, you might be using vernacular that impresses them but they still don't know what the hell you are talking about. Like OK, PDD got it.

Barna: [00:32:49] Follow us, like us, share, subscribe. Follow us on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook or wherever you consume your podcasts.