What a ride this year has been! In my last update, I shared a couple of new team members with you along with news of the property that we purchased for our new HQ. Since March, Leah and Max have gotten up to speed and if you're reading this, there's a good chance you've seen Leah's photos, blog posts and emails or Max's video work.
This spring was dedicated to increasing our operational capacity/efficiency and continuing progress on our HQ project. To help with the former, we've added Greg to the team. With a background as a very talented tattoo artist with a passion for trucks and toys, Greg brings incredible attention to detail and a ton of new energy to the warehouse. We are already seeing a huge improvement in productivity and a reduction in lead times.
Our New Headquarters
The HQ project is officially underway. It's already taken over 18mos to get to this point but in April, we broke ground officially. The site was cleared and graded in preparation for pouring foundations, which began last week. During the grading portion of the site work, we did hit rock on the north side of the property, which wasn't 100% unexpected but from a size and location standpoint, it doesn't get much worse. We ended up having to put the site work on hold while a blasting crew came in and spent about two weeks drilling and blasting to clear the rock. At the end of the day, we blasting an area about the size of a baseball diamond 12-15ft deep. The rock that was removed was crushed on-site and used to continue building our grades.
On June 10, we held our Groundbreaking Ceremony with friends, family and community members. Check out a sneak peek of highlight video below. This will be narrated as a part of the first video in our HQ Project video series, coming soon.
With the blasting behind us, site work could continue. We planted the 60 or so trees along the east property line and built a nice looking stockade fence to add additional screening for the neighboring residential properties. It's worth noting that we're extremely fortunate to have great neighbors all the way around. We were able to design the site such that we didn't need underground rainwater collection, so we've got a collection pond now fully shaped. This is fed via a catch basin in that area which collects water from the driveway and the roof of the building.
Somewhere in there, our building structure was delivered. The building was ordered in September, designed over the winter, fabricated more recently and then trucked to our site via 11 full size trailers. The team that will be erecting the building came out to unload and organize but for now, the building sits and waits. Finally, foundation digging could begin. As I write this, the footings have been dug around almost the entire perimeter and the concrete crew has poured around 2/3 of that. After finishing that this week, they'll build new forms and pour the walls before backfilling.
Because of the delay with the blasting, we've opted to shuffle the timeline a bit and erect the building before pouring the slab. This is typical but because of the building lead time, we were planning to pour the slab before putting up the building. We're about a month behind schedule and 18% over budget but with how sideways things can go these days, I'm still very optimistic that the result is going to be a very successful project and the perfect home for BuiltRight.
New Product Development
Last but certainly not least, a quick update on product development. We are firing on all cylinders right now. With the addition of Greg and refinement of our processes has left Matty and I with a ton of time to knock out engineering projects. We have a host of new Seat Back MOLLE Panel fitments in production, more Bronco parts, some exciting new F-150 and F-250 stuff as well as some experimental stuff with our new Rivian R1T. I'll dig into this stuff more in the next update. For now, back to work!