Jade With DYM Builders

Episode 42: Welcome to the She Builds Show, I’m your host, Stefanie Olson. I’m excited to introduce you to my special guest, Jade Schmaia of DYM Builders, a family-owned business managed and operated by Jade and her husband. With years of experience in several areas of construction between them, DYM brings clients a new kind of construction and project management. Jade shares DYM’s unique work process and how she balances running a business and being a wife and mother.

Listen in…


•  Okay, so in our experience, of course, I cannot include all of the contractors, but from our experience, and at least my customer’s experience, the way we see the old generation of construction is contractors that don’t really communicate all the time, don’t back up they’re word, they don’t show up, they’re not really driven by the result, they just do what they’re told to do, and it creates a lot of issues between the end user and the contactor. Sometimes the customer says, I want A… The contractor of thinks, Okay, he wants A… To me, A is actually B, for example, so that’s what I’m going to do, and I will do it in my own pace, whenever I want, whenever I can, if I can get on the call, yes or no. Of course, not all of them, I have to say, not all of them, but in our experience, or customer’s experience. When we say a new world of construction, we mean taking everything… When we start from the last part, the result, what is it that you want to have now, it’s not enough to just describe it because both you can integrate words or let’s say product in different ways. So basically, once we have a rendering for a very clear picture of what the customer wants, then we start all the planning phase and we guide them through all the purchasing phase, which is very important, especially now with all the supply chain and issues and delay. (04:16)

•  First of all, any customer calls us or someone that is inquiring about the service will talk to me. Again, it’s very, very personal, and it’s very important for people to know that when they call I pick up the phone and they talk to me, not my secretary, not my office manager, not by Forman, they talk to me. I want to identify their needs and see exactly what I want to do, and I will be the one to meet them. Obviously, once we get a better idea of what needs to be done, kind of like I would call it a grand plan, then they will meet David. David will guide them through the process of planning and design, and he will create, together with our architect, he would create the blueprint and he would present it to them, and he would walk them through it.  (11:15)

•  First of all, this is something that I struggle in the beginning, David agrees and insists on doing it, it starts with planning. Obviously, I have a babysitter, I have a nanny, my kids are in daycare, but still I’m a Mom, so after noon, five to eight, I am a full-time Mom. Of course, then I pick up the phone or whatever, I mean, but I’m trying to be really with my kids, everything is in our calendar, as crazy as it sounds, maybe not for you, not that crazy, but we plan ahead everything, we wake up every morning very, very early to work out, I care about that. The kids wake up around 6:30 or 7, and then we have our hour, hour and a half to spend some time together. They go to daycare, we go to work sometimes earlier, and when they come back, I always have someone here with me so we can give attention to both at the different times. We have date nights on the calendar, we try to plan our weekends very carefully, so we have time to create nice experience, or go out with the kids and spend some family time. (16:20)

•   So we do remodeling, but mostly complete, completely remodeled, and new construction. It can be used garage conversion, custom homes, whatever it is. I would say, let’s start for me more than if it’s not structural, basically, if the customer does not want to knock down any lumbering walls or an opening to the exterior, it can take anywhere between three to five months, it depends on the scope. If we touch every single piece of the house, bathrooms. kitchen, flowing, painting, roof, exterior, landscaping.. It will be more towards, I would say, five months. Let’s say, I’m going to focus on the interior because the exterior is a whole different story. Let’s say customers with a three bedrooms, two baths wants to do pretty much everything inside, it will be depending on if they want just cosmetic, if they want electrical, plumbing… But they are somewhere in between $100,000 to $200,000. (25:56)


What It’s Like Being a Woman in Construction?

Of all the people working in the construction industry, women only make up 10.9%. And there are even fewer on the front lines of job sites. But women are paving their way in this male-dominated industry. One such woman is Jade Malka, the co-founder of DYM Builders Group in California. This full-service contractor works in both remodeling and new construction throughout Southern California, and has seen great growth in recent years.

Malka shares that she comes from a long line of entrepreneurs and real estate investors. Her father was an engineer, and her uncle was a real estate agent. Her grandparents always owned real estate and would sometimes flip properties. In Israel, she served as a real estate attorney for a year before working as a real estate agent in Florida for two years. Her job in Florida made her realize that she was more interested in the construction itself than she was the real estate side of the job. “I worked with a lot of foreign investment that basically purchased properties in order to fix and flip or fix and rent,” she comments. “And since they were foreign and lived out of state, or out of town, I had to manage the construction for them. So that’s when I realized I wanted to do construction.”

Malka says that her favorite part of her job is acting as the “house doctor,” diagnosing the problem the homeowners are having with their home and then fixing it. Remodeling houses — especially in the last two years during COVID, when more homeowners were spending time at home and finding ways to change their homes — has always been more fun for her than new construction.

“We do both [remodeling and new construction], but I like the part with the remodeling better, because you really change people’s lives,” she says. After starting her own company, Malka found that other people in the industry were often surprised when she showed up on a job site alone, or went to a vendor to order materials. Oftentimes, people thought that she was somebody’s assistant or the wife of the contractor. “I’d be walking into the house and they wouldn’t close the door behind me, because they didn’t understand that I’m here by myself. They always thought that I was waiting for somebody because I’m the assistant, or that I’m the designer,” she says. “And even when they hired me, they always tested me.” She’s learned to not take the comments personally, and has found that the more confident in herself she is, the less people question her authority. Malka knows that she’s good at what she does, and as a result doesn’t field as many doubting questions from clients or other contractors. “Slowly, slowly, because I was so focused and I had such a strong belief in what I do, they don’t ask me those questions anymore,” she shares.

Malka doesn’t get to work with other women in construction too often, but loves when she gets the opportunity. She’s worked with one of her friends, Hila Hemo, contractor at Construction by Maya in Calabasas, on several projects and hopes to continue to work together in the future. “And it’s amazing, working with a woman is amazing because we have attention to detail. We listen to the client when he talks, we hear what he has to say,” she says. “We find that a lot of women feel a lot more comfortable when we are in the area to say their opinion, to express their opinion, to say something is wrong or not as they planned.” DYM Builders Group also prides itself on having several women working both in the office and in the field. The team’s quality controller, who communicates between different teams and crews, is also a woman. David Malka, co-founder of DYM, notes that he’s found women to be better in supervision roles than their male counterparts.


• Website: https://dym-builders.com
• Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dym.builders


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