Lori Reese left the family farm at 18 with visions of a life in a skirt, toting a briefcase, and owning her own business. When she completed college and needed a job, she took a temporary summer position as a commercial carpenter apprentice having no clue why she was drawn to a world of blue jeans and no skirts. She realized later she was drawn to the “yearn to learn” that comes with each unique building. Learning became her driving passion once she discovered it made her good in her profession not just good at her skill.
In 1990, Lori fulfilled her original dream and launched her own business - Wonderwoman Construction – knowing it would take superhuman powers to succeed in a man’s world. She already had the gifts of strength and stamina from the farm. She added a woman’s ability to nurture - setting herself apart from the competition by taking the time needed to help clients gain confidence in their decisions. This proved to be beneficial when she began incorporating better building techniques and energy efficiency into her business.
Lori is now a Building Performance Institute (BPI) certified energy professional. In addition to offering beautiful remodeling services, she is qualified to assess a home to maximize solutions for comfort, durability, health, and energy savings. She looks for air leaks and insulation problems that cause uncomfortable drafts and high energy bills. She snoops out moisture issues that can lead to stinky basements, moldy walls, and ceiling stains. She even helps clients uncover sources of harmful toxins such as carbon monoxide.
Lori has been walking the walk by improving her own home. She took the siding off her home and added rigid foam insulation to the outside before residing. This non-traditional way of insulating can be a better way to insulate because it helps reduce “thermal bridging”; it reduces the transfer of hot or cold outside temperatures into the home through the wood building components. It can also help reduce drafts by acting as an “air barrier” to stop the movement of air from outside to in. During the process of insulating and residing, Lori upgraded her windows to ENERGY STAR and was careful to seal the gaps between the windows and the walls – an often-overlooked area that frequently causes drafts. Her experience making her own home comfortable has come in handy helping clients find solutions to their comfort complaints.
When I asked Lori which project has been the most memorable, she slowly answered, “The most memorable projects were not about the project itself but about the memorable people.”
Lori is a committed student of her craft, she takes construction journals on vacation – craving quiet time to catch up on reading so she can stay on top of her game. She does find time to have fun, though. She plays drums with her band – Risk Factor –works out daily and motivates everyone around her. When you get to know this confident woman who runs a business named Wonderwoman Construction, not much is surprising.
-bio by Cindy Ojczyk, Simply Green Designs