005: Inside the Building Process – with Eva Fryar


Inside the Building Process – with Eva Fryar

“When you hand the keys to that homeowner, that’s the biggest investment of their lives… there’s a personal touch there… it’s just incredible.” — Eva Fryar

Welcome to New Home Made Simple, where Cyndie Roche and her team of homebuilding experts make everything about buying and building a new home make sense. Cyndie is a 25-year veteran of the home building and real estate industries. Join us as she breaks down the ins and outs of making sure you get what you want when you build your next home.

On this episode, Cyndie talks with Eva Fryar, VP of Construction Operations at Payne Family Homes. Eva oversees the entire chain of construction for Payne from architectural plans to final warranties. A leader in her field, Eva is one of very few women at her position and she’s exceptionally skilled at what she does, having received a number of awards including being named one of St. Louis Business Journal’s 40 Under 40. Eva joins the podcast to talk about her construction background, Payne’s design and construction processes, and the amazing employment opportunities available in the construction trades these days.

They discuss:

  • Areas Eva manages:
    • Purchasing and Estimating
    • Architecture
    • Warranties
    • Construction and Field Work
  • Eva’s longstanding history of award-winning work:
    • 40 Under 40 — St. Louis Business Journal
    • Wonder Woman Award — Small Business Monthly
    • Women in Construction Award — Constructech
    • 40 Under 40 Winner — Professional Builder
    • Prom Queen
    • Coloring Contest Champ (Age 6)
  • Eva’s work managing the St. Jude Dream Home build for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
  • How Eva got into construction
    • Her father was a construction electrician, she tagged along on occasion as a kid
    • Eva was fascinated with skyscrapers and wanted to study civil engineering at Purdue University
    • Wanted to do more hands-on work; transitioned to construction management
  • Being hesitant to enter the construction management program because she was a woman and wasn’t sure she would fit in
    • Spent the summer framing homes
    • Fell in love with home construction
  • Joined the Jones Company, which was purchased by Centex in 2003
  • Centex is a national builder, Eva learned a lot from working for them
  • Production Builders vs. Custom Builders
    • Production builders have a set series of architectural plans, and they build in subdivisions
    • Custom builders work from custom architectural plans, typically on a lot the buyer found themselves
  • Architectural blueprints for a custom home start around $30k-$40k
  • Building the same set of plans over and over allows you to perfect those plans and work out the kinks so the buyer gets the best version of their home
  • How Eva thinks about what her buyers are looking for
    • Examining floor plans from a lifestyle point of view
    • Planning out every nook and cranny
  • The power of building a strong, dedicated, collaborative team
  • Payne’s Community Managers, collectively, have hundreds of years of experience helping buyers select the options and finishes that best reflect their taste and lifestyle
  • Construction organizations Eva is involved with:
    • St. Jude (Payne just finished their 5th Dream Home Giveaway for St. Jude)
    • Professional Women in Building Council
    • PWBC is a branch of St. Louis Home Builders Association (HBA)
    • A large part of Eva’s engagement with PWBC and HBA is in building up the Student HBA Chapters at North Tech and South Tech
    • ‘Competition in a Box’ a high-school blueprint/builder competition
  • The value of joining the Carpenters Union in St. Louis through their apprentice program:
    • Starting work and continuing school at the same time, with an Associate’s Degree at the end
    • A strong alternative to college
  • Eva enjoys giving back and showing students a day-in-the-life look at her job
  • Building a family in the industry, creating relationships in the trades
  • Building a home means you’re responsible for constructing the largest investment in your buyer’s life