Teammates Matter: Nathan Bell
Nathan (Nate) Bell is about to celebrate one year working on the RIC team, but his experience in construction goes back much farther than that.
Nathan grew up in the Chapel Hill area of North Carolina where he learned carpentry early from his grandfather and worked for a residential contractor in high school. After graduating he attended Warren Wilson College - a working college where every student pitches in to support all aspects of campus operations - from plumbing to technical support to working the campus’s 1,000 acre farm. An avid UNC fan, he also played basketball at WWC while earning his degree in Global Studies. After college he worked in a variety of construction related jobs including construction sales, and energy performance work. He also bought his own home in North Carolina and began renovating it, getting a feel for every aspect of what goes into the structure of a home.
Eventually he moved to Richmond with his now-fiance and began looking for construction work in the area. When he stumbled upon RIC, he knew he had to apply. “I wanted to work for RIC because I could tell they were doing things right and taking the time to do nice, quality work they could stand behind - not just getting in and getting out.” He also liked our focus on sustainability and energy efficiency, and wanted to work in a culture that valued quality over quantity. “At RIC we’re not focused on speed and instant results. We’re focused on quality, which is refreshing in this day and age. Because of this, we’re able to go above and beyond, never cutting corners.”
One of the things Nate appreciates as a young carpenter is the willingness of our project managers/master carpenters to take the time to teach the younger carpenters techniques and skills while also allowing them to “take the time to get it right, rather than being pressured to get it all done in one day.” In the past year he’s had the opportunity to work on a wide variety of projects from a fairly straightforward porch to sunroom conversion to a whole home renovation with a main girder replacement.
“Projects like that have taught me a lot about patience and that the extra time is worth the quality that you get out of it in the end.” His favorite part of his work is getting into a new experience - whether that’s figuring out how to integrate unwieldy reclaimed shelving in a kitchen or installing LED strip lighting or working with energy efficient materials and processes. “I learn something new every day, and I love to take on a new challenge - seeing it from beginning to end and improving my own skills.”
For the rest of the team, Nate isn’t just another set of hands. He’s our in-house comic relief, always easy-going while somehow still making sure the job gets done right. He will tell you that one of the most important parts of his job is to tell jokes, play music and keep people energized.
When he’s not working with us, he’s tinkering on his conversion camper van project, riding his motorcycle or watching basketball. Happy RIC-versary, Nate!