Teammates Matter: Hunter Graham
“I like the small details. I like thinking about the way things are made, all of the pieces.” This admission is what makes Hunter Graham a great carpenter and an excellent team mate.
Hunter came to RIC in the summer of 2017 with a BFA in Graphic Design from VCU and a few years of carpentry experience on a massive timber frame custom home project in Snowshoe, WV. At first Hunter didn’t let on how much he knew and was capable of, quietly absorbing information and learning from his senior teammates. But when he had to fill in for some lead carpenters during their summer vacations this year, we quickly realized that not only does he know his way around some tools, but that he can tear through and understand a set of construction drawings as well, which is not an easy skill to master.
Hunter is the “engineer bunny” on our job sites, always moving from task to task, but in a productive rather than harried way. His unique mix of design sensibilities he acquired during his college career and professional experience work really well with our design/build method. The pace and variety of our work also meshes really well with his personality. Of a typical work day he says, “one day you'll move a wall, and then you'll tear out a rotting porch, or spend a day sanding old windows. It is one thing I really enjoy about the company. The work is never stagnant, we are always doing something different.”
One of the things that initially drew Hunter to RIC after moving back to Richmond in 2017, was that sustainability is one of our core values. “I think one thing I've learned working with RIC is that sustainability is not just about controlling waste and choosing responsible materials, it’s about treating them correctly in order to establish the best possible conditions for your products, even if that does mean spending more, and using more. I like that we seek high quality products, it is reassuring to know we are working with top of the line materials.” It is really exciting to see young carpenters like Hunter embracing sustainable practices, knowing that these methods and materials will continue to be used throughout his career and for the next generation.
Hunter has a self-proclaimed fascination with the ways things are joined and connected during the building process. “I enjoy watching a project evolve; from idea and drawing into space. Each piece has to move in to place and there is usually a right way to do it.” This is a particularly great attribute for an RIC teammate to have because so much of our work is adding on to or expanding an existing home and those connection points are critical in making the new space and old space work together.
Hunter’s attention to and love of the details becomes obvious when he talks about his favorite RIC project. “One of my favorite projects so far at RIC was this small set of stairs I made for a cat to reach its cat door, which was three or four feet above grade. I think it illustrates both the problem and the solution in a few simple steps.” Our furry, four-legged clients are lucky to have Hunter on their project, and we’re lucky to have him on our team.