Maria Vierra, Co-founder and Lou Vierra, CEO
Kenny Guinn, former governor of Nevada, once famously stated, “There is something permanent, and extremely profound, in owning a home.” Indeed, for millions of Americans, owning a home is a virtue and one of the most personal and vital milestones for any individual. However, for what is a dream-come-true for most individuals, buying a house is a huge financial investment and a tricky endeavor.
Today, a large segment of homeowners prefer to buy a house than to build one, since the idea of being involved in the construction and modeling of the house from the ground up is daunting for many and, oftentimes, overwhelming from a budget point of view. However, conditions are not easier for home-remodeling contractors as well. For a multitude of contractors, being completely transparent with homeowners about the various touchpoints of a remodeling project is difficult, especially without reliable project management software.
This also sheds light on the completely overlooked issue of the current construction landscape that has faced the challenges of vast project mismanagements and miscommunication between homeowners and contractors for decades. For a really long time, the standard project management platforms available in the market for commercial contractors were often too feature intensive and prohibitively expensive. Unfortunately, due to this barrier of entry, only the top one percent of the contractors in the market today have access to a software system that can speak to both homeowners and contractors alike. This disparity is a major disadvantage for mid-size general contractors who cannot afford an expensive platform and are thus unable to connect technologically with homeowners.
This is where Strukshur steps in to the rescue of both homeowners and contractors by fostering collaboration between them and streamlining the workflows for efficient project management.
Strukshur is fueled by 25 years of combined experience of a power couple—the company constitutes the amalgamation of interior and spatial design expertise of Maria Vierra (Co-founder) and construction industry acumen of Lou Vierra (CEO). The duo successfully found common ground for both homeowners and contractors to effectively communicate with each other and for contractors to become significantly organized in their documentation and decision-making.
The co-founders identified and highlighted the brass tacks of all the essential components needed for efficient project management both by a general contractor and a homeowner. This helped them create one of the most transparent and data-friendly platforms, Strukshur. Vierra says, “We cut down the unnecessary and redundant elements of an average project management software product and brought its price down to around $250 a month to make it affordable.”
As the go-to software for a multitude of contractors and homeowners throughout the U.S., Strukshur immediately gained massive traction in the construction industry. The software offers a solution for contractors to organize their thousands of design ideas in a way that helps homeowners process their decisions without getting overwhelmed. Strukshur brings forth exceptional transparency to the entire project, including visibility into subcontracts and budgets as well as schedules, timelines, and finishes. Strukshur delivers a one-of-a-kind project management experience for homeowners that has not been available in the past. Vierra says, “We are resolute in making world-class solutions accessible to all contractors and enabling them to become highly organized.”
Strukshur is built to effectively manage a construction project from ideation and design to execution. The platform has excellent ease-of-use and allows a user to be up and running with a project in seconds. “While designing the platform, we opted for a very simple Facebook-style interface that is easy for users to grasp and organize the project,” Vierra explains. The company has created a platform that facilitates self-help and provides a tour guide to help users intuitively navigate the platform. Strukshur’s team also reaches out to the new users striving hard to help them at any point during their project’s lifecycle. Eliminating over-the-top and needless features, the platform brings only the essential functionalities to its users to handle everything from ideation management, to shopping for products on-site, to bidding and complete project management—including fast project management, Gantt charts, schedules, budget, finishes, progress photo, video management, purchase management, and document storage. Given that most beginners find it difficult to manage their budget, Strukshur has pre-populated the milestones that one needs to account for within a construction project to put together a budget quickly.
The Foundation of Strukshur
It all started in the mid-90s when Lou and Maria started their careers as residential house flippers specializing in buying, fixing, and selling real estate across the state of California. By working on more than 60 projects, the duo gained significant experience in the construction and remodeling of houses. Soon after the Great Recession in 2008, the couple decided to start a general contracting company that focused on multi-million dollar residential and commercial projects in Sonoma, Napa, and Mendocino counties and in Northern California, which brought them a vast experience in working with homeowners.
Soon after, as the advent of smartphones and technology-savvy users took over in 2015, Vierra noticed that his homeowner customers were sending him rapid-fire pictures and ideas of the different modifications they wanted to include in their project. Consequentially, for Vierra, it became impossible to keep track of this inflow as there wasn’t any platform that could solve this issue of ideation and file storage management. This led him to venture into researching how to pin ideas from architects or designers, and organize those in a way that builders and designers can use to create a plan that is efficiently executed.
This venture, combined with Maria’s exceptional social media acumen led to the development of Strukshur.
The platform also integrates with Pinterest, enabling customers to send their Pins directly to their builder so that the ideas can be implemented and mirrored in their project.
A Constructive Engagement
“From a homeowner’s standpoint, we hear over and again that the glass door model of transparency that we’ve created within our client’s projects is the biggest thing that they love,” adds Vierra. Recalling one of the many positive customer experiences, Vierra shares the story of the company’s engagement of a rebuilding project post the California wildfires last year. After the completion of the project, the client had nothing but appreciation for Strukshur, which offered her a significant increase in transparency and access to all the information that she needed for the project.
Several case studies such as this showcase the impact that Strukshur has on its customer’s projects. Not just happy customers, but Strukshur also stands for an open, friendly, and constructive workforce. With the origins of a construction-based business, the company offers core construction industry expertise as a part of its eminent services for customers. Built upon the pillars of construction knowledge, Strukshur is focused on hiring customer service agents that understand the language of construction and have experience working as project coordinators in various construction companies. This makes it significantly easier for the company’s staff to identify and help customers in any given situation.
"From a homeowner’s standpoint, we hear over and again that the glass door model of transparency that we’ve created within our client’s projects is the biggest thing that they love"
Accrediting Strukshur’s success to its exceptional workforce, Vierra states, “We promote positive energy and learning where we are consistently focused on making sure that we listen to the feedback of both the customers and staff in order to maximize the functionalities of our platform.” The management team of Strukshur ensures that it constantly stays within reach of the community it serves by finding different ways to connect with homeowners and improve the platform to deliver them more convenience. “We’re here seven days a week to make sure that customers are using the platform to its fullest potential,” adds Vierra.
Going forward in this journey of transforming California’s construction industry, Strukshur has established an unparalleled stature in the circles of mid-size contractors and homeowners in the region. Over the next 24 months, the company envisions to expand its reach to other states and roll out nationwide. Internally, Strukshur plans to launch a new in-house feature, which will help the company manage its vast employee base on the dashboard. It is also currently developing a new mobile app for iOS and Android that will allow customers to seamlessly connect and share data. “At the end of the day, we chose all of the best programs and hardware to be able to provide a platform to millions of users, and that at an affordable price. This is the ultimate virtue of our offering,” concludes Vierra.