Meet Our Team: A Conversation with Lead Foreman Tim Pallett
We consistently hear from clients about how much they appreciate the kindness and respect of our team members—which is no accident, as Aptitude owner Matt Mierek is extremely vigilant about who he brings aboard. Employees must not only be highly skilled workers but also positive, energetic and excited to collaborate on projects with clients.
One such team member is lead foreman Tim Pallett, who has led a number of commercial and residential projects from the beginning stages of planning to final completion. These include this residential basement remodel in Wildwood, an eclectic bathroom renovation in Marthasville and many more. Tim started working in construction as a teenager and hasn’t looked back since.
How did you originally connect with Matt and Aptitude?
I’d been working with another company about a year after I graduated from college and saw an Aptitude job posting. I decided to apply and got hired in 2011. I’ve been with them almost ever since, but I did leave for a few years to start my own construction company. I still do some side jobs here and there on my own, but all the paperwork and red tape that comes with owning a business just wasn’t for me. Working with clients and managing projects on-site is my true passion.
How did you get your start in construction work?
I actually started when I was in junior high school. My grandfather flipped houses, and I’d work on them with him as a sort of part-time job. We did everything: flooring, plumbing, electric, full-gut rehabs and more—I loved it from the start. For him, I think it was about connecting with his grandchildren, which also made it a really cool experience.
I really learn through doing, and I take great pride in my work. I enjoy making things look unique, which means I often go a step further than most on projects. After high school I decided to pursue construction work full time and studied construction management at Missouri State University. I’ve been in the field ever since.
What is your philosophy when it comes to working with clients?
The first time I arrive on a job site, I’ll meet and greet the client, talk about the bid and get an idea of their expectations. Once those initial details are worked out, I keep them up to date on what we’re doing daily and keep them in the loop regarding all of the decisions we need to make for a project to go smoothly. I’ll bring them in to talk through how they’d like certain elements of the project to look, and I often ask for photos. At Aptitude we’re really big on communication as the key to a successful project and working client relationship, just like any other relationship. I’m always completely honest with them and tell them exactly what’s going to happen.
It’s remodeling, so every job has surprises. You don’t know what’s been done to these houses over the years—if I have to have something done, we let them know and talk them through what needs to be done.
What do you think sets Aptitude apart, and what “red flags” should clients look out for when vetting potential contractors?
It sounds kind of cheesy, but the team Matt has assembled works so well together. Every single person working for him is so great. It’s not uncommon for employees to butt heads, but all of us really want to do a good job. We really enjoy what we do, and we enjoy doing it together. Many of our clients have been with us for years, and much of our new work comes through referrals, which I think is the highest compliment of all.
It’s also typically pretty easy for a homeowner to tell if a contractor knows what they’re doing, or if they’re just good at telling people what they want to hear. You want to look for someone who’s honest, who has enough employees to handle jobs of all different sizes and who has several testimonials and referrals that you can verify.