5 Timeless Construction Principles We’ve Used Over the Past 90 Years

Crain Construction logo on a Crain raised high in the clouds

2023 is an exciting year for our team at Crain as we celebrate our 90th year as a commercial construction firm in Nashville. Over the decades, the Crain name has been known for a commitment to quality, integrity, and doing business in a way that puts relationships first. While our focus has shifted from building custom residential homes to building a commercial construction company to help support Tennessee’s growth, the construction principles our company was founded on haven’t changed. The core values that we’ve established over the years still inform our projects and decisions today. 

While the tools and techniques we use have evolved over the years, we still rely on the same foundational construction principles that have been our bedrock for four generations. 


5 Timeless Construction Principles We’ve Used Over the Past 90 Years

1. Every Relationship Matters

Commercial construction is a relational business. For most companies, this means developing relationships with people who can benefit your business. At Crain, we believe that every relationship matters. This means cultivating strong relationships with owners and developers with a partnership mindset. It also means developing strong relationships across the industry—from architects and subcontractors to the city officials and employees who work in various Metro departments.  

We’ve built a reputation for building structures and relationships that last a lifetime. We believe this is one reason why 85% of our business comes from repeat clients. 

2. Know What You Can Control and Find Creative Ways to Deal with the Things You Can’t 

There are thousands of factors that impact the overall success of a project. One small logistical detail could delay a project by several days. At the same time, there are also variables outside of your control, such as shipping delays or price escalation, that impact timelines or budgets. 

At Crain, we recognize there are mistakes or wrong decisions made in every project. We are committed to “owning it” by taking responsibility for outcomes, even when variables are beyond our control. By recognizing what we can control, our team showcases enormous amounts of creativity and dedication to serving our clients. We can find outside-the-box solutions to navigate operational roadblocks and provide cost-effective solutions to maximize ROI. 

3. You Never Regret Doing the Right Thing

Integrity is essential in the commercial construction industry. Throughout our history, we’ve embraced a commitment to always do the right thing, no matter what. Every single one of our employees recognizes that it’s important to do what is right, even if it hurts you financially or professionally. 

4. Get the Foundation Right Before Building Vertically

Construction is an industry where you have to get the foundation right before building vertically. We care about helping our clients maximize success by getting involved early and setting a project up for success before it begins. We’ve developed one of the best pre-construction teams in the industry, and we approach every project by doing whatever we can to support our clients before the first shovel ever hits the ground.  We like to do the same thing when it comes to the growth of our company. We treat our team and clients with respect, prioritize people over profit, and value community over competition.  

5. The Best Way to Maximize the Impact and Success of a Project is to Take the Long View. 

The construction industry is filled with ups and downs. There are challenges that arise throughout a project. Industry trends come and go. It’s easy to get caught up in these challenges in a way that leads to making unwise decisions. At Crain, we believe that part of our role is to help our clients maximize the long-term investment of their projects and build a structure that creates a positive impact on the surrounding community. We’ve found that taking a long view is the best way to create more value in commercial development projects

As a company, we’ve embraced this mindset to persevere through recessions and economic challenges by planning for the future. We carefully watch key economic indicators for signs of a slowdown. While we’re aware of the larger economic temperature, we don’t drastically alter our business strategy based on dire predictions.

Let’s Build Your Legacy, Together

Our goal isn’t to be the largest or most profitable construction company in Tennessee. Instead, it’s to cultivate steady and sustainable growth through repeat customers and exceptional construction practices. As we enter our ninth decade, we’ve crafted a strategic plan to ensure that Crain Construction stays healthy and functioning for another century. 

If you’re interested in learning more about our approach or discussing your next project, we’d love to talk

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