The Manuel Builders Blog

Blog Archive for July, 2018

Finding Your Purpose, No Matter What Stage of Life You’re In

Categories: Wellness | Posted: July 24, 2018

When asked what they want most out of life, almost everyone will eventually mention that what they really want is to find PURPOSE and meaning. Most want to know that their life matters, and they have contributed to this world with the gifts God put within them.  Purpose is paramount in living a fulfilled life.  Knowing your purpose is something worth spending some time defining.  So, this month we will spend some time talking about the word purpose and explore what it is, how we find it and even provide you with some examples of how our team at MB find ways to walk out our purpose and help others do the same!  One’s purpose is that for which he is created, the reason for which something exists.  Purpose is timeless. It never changes.

Often when individuals are asked if they have a purpose statement they usually stammer and say “hmm, I am a Mom, or I am a builder.” People give you what they do instead of sharing what they were designed and created for in a broad stroke of words.  So how do you even begin to discover your purpose or perhaps even complete a purpose statement?  Knowing our purpose begins with reflection.  Ask yourself questions such as:

What gives you satisfaction? What makes you feel great about yourself?
What are your favorite things to do in the past? What about now?
When you are at your best, ask yourself, what am I doing? Who am I doing with? Where am I or what setting am I in? What does it feel like? Take time to pause to and really think on this.
What are you naturally good at? (skills, abilities, gifts, etc.)
What do people typically ask you to help them with?
If you had to teach something, what would you teach?
If you had unlimited time, resources, and knew you could not fail, what would you choose to do?
These are just some of the questions to ask yourself when seeking to define a purpose statement.

At MB, we know our purpose is to make a difference by building. Not just building homes but generally creating and growing homes, people and businesses we work with.  We do that through many avenues such as building quality homes for people to do life and make memories. We strive to raise the standard as a business in the way we do things, grow leaders and change lives.  We also fulfill our purpose through outreach activities, mission trips, etc.  One purpose but different ways we fulfill that purpose.  And personally, my purpose statement is, “through my love of people, growth, and passion to see others thrive, I will inspire, empower, equip, and train youth, adults, and organizations in order that they may live a fulfilled life and walk in their potential, to be all they were created to be.”
Through the years, I have done different things staying true to my purpose and I continue to be fulfilled.  I worked as a counselor, consultant, coach/trainer, all the while continuing to walk out my purpose.  Purpose never changes but the avenue in which we walk it out does.  Same goes for our company. We have many things that we do, all while continuing to be true to our purpose!

This month we highlight one-way MB walked out our purpose and helped an employee to walk out his more fully.  MB sponsored a local 5K run for a non-profit, called Camp Refuge.  However, this was not just any non-profit, it was a non-profit that our lead architect, Kevin Stewart recently initiated as he felt called to start a family retreat center in Acadiana.
Kevin for years has had a dream of building a retreat center and last year decided it was time to step into walking out his purpose in another way by launching Camp Refuge.  We have made provision for him to stay on and work part time with a flexible schedule to pursue his passion and purpose.  Kevin thrived for years as a leader at MB, growing and nurturing his team.  He led well, and many were grown and changed because of him.  Now he will step into another role and that is of nurturing and growing others, helping them along with their families and marriages in a retreat setting.  Rebekah Lyons says that, “Your purpose and calling is where your burdens and your dreams collide.”  That is so true! Kevin is a great example that purpose is key to fulfillment and jobs are just some of the ways that we fulfill that purpose, but not just one thing can be fulfilling.  Many jobs could be satisfying and rewarding as they all help us walk out our purpose.  Jobs will come and go.  Your purpose will not.  Whether it is mothering, mentoring, teaching, nursing, building, pastoring, counseling, it is not what you do but that you do what you were made for vocationally or recreationally.  You are not too old to figure out your calling, and you’re not too young to have already had multiple expressions of it.  Jobs change but purpose stays the same.  One purpose can be expressed in lots of ways.  Explore them.  Work on your own puzzle of purpose.  At times we work in a profession that is only a piece of the bigger picture.

If our job does not look like we thought it would look, we can still bloom there, learn all we can and begin to pursue what we really feel called to do.  Many say they are too old to go back to school, etc.  But guess what, the years will pass regardless! Wouldn’t you rather have them pass and end up with a degree or extra training, experience, etc.?

If you are not sure of your purpose, sit some people down and ask for help, to tell you what your strong points are.

Purpose is a winner all around!  Take the time this month to REALLY find your purpose. You won’t regret it!




-Written by Co-Owner, Missy Manuel

“Missy holds the official title of Director of Organizational Health & Leadership within our company. Her main goal day in & day out is to nurture the culture and values we hold by instilling this in our employees.”







Helpful Home Hints

Categories: Building Process, FAQs, Other | Posted: July 15, 2018

Building a home is a huge endeavor and because of that, we make sure that every little detail will never go unnoticed. Once you begin the construction of your home, you may come across a few moments when something doesn’t look right or the same as you remember from your selections meeting. When working with Manuel Builders, we do our best to make these moments disappear. That includes preparing you beforehand so you know exactly what’s going on every step of the way!

Since the beginning of the year, we have been sharing some helpful home hints to explain certain parts of our process that could cause homeowners anxiety or confusion. Did you miss a few of them? No worries at all! We’ve compiled all of our helpful hints from this year into this one location, so that you can stay updated on what to expect when you choose to build a Manuel Builders home. Happy building!


1. Get With Your Lender Before You Begin Construction

If you’re planning to build a home on your own property, did you know that you need a construction loan? Many homeowners worry about paying the monthly interest rate on the construction loan during the actual building stages. It’s a common misunderstanding that the construction loan holds a full monthly note, similar to a monthly mortgage payment. In actuality, a construction loan is an “interest-only” loan, meaning you are only paying interest on the amount being used each month (similar to how credit card interest works). As the builder takes a draw from the construction line of credit, the balance increases and the payment adjusts, according to what funds are actually being used in that month of construction.

2. Snazzy Gold Door Knobs

Don’t panic if you arrive at your construction site and notice that the exterior door knobs are not what you remember picking out at selections. During the construction process, Manuel Builders will install temporary door knobs on all exterior doors as a means of protecting the knobs from scratches or other damage. Once construction is complete and you move in, you will notice the proper door knobs have been installed!


3. Windows Looking a Little Bare?

In South Louisiana, opening the windows and enjoying the breeze is one of the greatest perks of living here! But, of course, you won’t want the army of mosquitos and other critters getting in. Our team makes sure to take care of your window screens during the construction process so as to not allow any tears or holes to form before you even move in. That’s why your Project Manager moves all window screens into the attic during the construction process and installs them once construction is complete!




4. The Color Won’t Stay That Way, We Promise!

It’s probably in every new homeowner’s deepest nightmare…showing up to your almost completed home and seeing a color you did NOT pick out. Well, for our clients that choose the James Hardie Plank Veneer exterior (which is becoming increasingly popular, particularly with our Farmhouse style homes), this fear may manifest for a brief second when they show up after the initial installation of these walls. But don’t worry! This is not permanent. The yellow color of the plank is the signature primer that all the Hardie planks are treated with, prior to delivery. This primer ensures that the paint color you actually choose maintains the look you want for years to come. By the time you move in, your selected color will replace the yellow primer and will keep its quality!


5. No Need to Pay Attention to the Brick Bundles!

Brick veneer is very popular because it is a very low-maintenance element. Something that may concern our new homeowners is that the brick on the pallets doesn’t really look like the brick they selected with our Design Consultant. A couple of things to keep in mind is that brick will appear darker when wet. Since the brick wall is made up of 30% mortar, the brick will not show its true appearance until it is fully
installed with the mortar. Also, only the face of the brick – the side that is shown on the brick wall – receives the texture and coating you will recognize from your selection. However, manufacturers will often place the bricks on the pallet with the “butt” of the brick facing outwards. This is what causes some confusion as to whether or not the correct bricks were ordered. Rest assured that the bricks you selected are the ones being installed by our team!



We hope you found these explanations helpful and they give you some peace of mind during the construction process. As always, our team is here to answer any questions and explain our methods as we build you the home of your dreams. Just talk to your Project Manager if something doesn’t feel right and we will do our best to help put you at ease. Manuel Builders is here to make home building easy!

Check back to our Facebook page once a month to see more #HelpfulHomeHints during the construction of your home!




Entertain with Ease in the Summer Heat

Categories: Lifestyle | Posted: July 7, 2018

Whenever summer is mentioned, most people think about relaxing somewhere by a pool, having a backyard BBQ or heading out on a family vacation.

Living in the south during the middle of summer is sometimes a different story. If we don’t have access to a pool or boat, we try to think of ways we can stay inside during the days in an attempt to avoid the unbearably hot weather, not to mention the pesky mosquitos, too.

Nevertheless, we need the Vitamin D right?! It’s hard to stay cooped up inside all summer, so here’s a few ways to help you entertain with ease outdoors in the south this summer!

Timing is Everything!

Be strategic when planning events outside during the summer months. Schedule your outdoor gatherings to start early morning like a Beach Bum Brunch or later in the evening, starting an hour or so before sunset to avoid heat exhaustion. If you decide to host a party while the sun is out in full force, it’s a good idea to have water activities available, as well as  plenty of seating such as hammocks, swings & rocking chairs for your guests to rest and hydrate.


Party Prepping

Prep your outdoor area for pests beforehand.  Bugs love high grass! Get the yard mowed a day or so before the party starts to not only keep the bugs at bay, but to give your yard some time to be rid of the loose grass that can track inside your home or in unwanted areas. To control the mosquitos, try tiki table torches with the tiki bitefighter fuel for a stylish option on your patio or all around the area where your guests will be

You may also want to think about installing a screened in porch or an outdoor roller blind.  These will not only help reduce the temperature, but will also keep the flies and mosquitoes from taking over your party.

Find these adorable tiki table torches here.


Keep cool

Install a portable tent or canopy for additional shaded areas in your yard for guests to enjoy.  Almost everyone knows to use outdoor fans to help cool off, but installing an outdoor misting system to an open patio would be the icing on the cake! They are affordable, easy to install and, of course, very enjoyable for a summer day in the south!  If you do have outdoor ceiling fans, remember to switch them to rotate counterclockwise in the summer so that the air is blowing downwards, giving you the cool breeze you need.

Get that extra cool breeze on your patio here.


Relief Stations

A beverage station can only go so far in the middle of summer, so instead set up a “Relief Station” for you and your guests.  You can include things such as portable fans, bug spray or bug bands, sunscreen, frozen towels, lots of snacks (individually wrapped to keep bugs at bay), and of course a bucket or cooler with lots of ice and drinks to stay hydrated. This can completely change the vibe of your party, as your guests will have all the essentials they need to keep their “party mode” on, especially since these are items that your guests wouldn’t think to bring with them but will surely be appreciated when the heat begins to get to them! And most of all, remember to have fun this summer! Keep some waterproof speakers on hand, too, for good jams that your guests will enjoy.


-Written by our Design Coordinator, Kristin Tucker

“I absolutely love helping each homeowner translate their personal style into the home of their dreams.  I believe that details are an important factor in making your house a home.  One of my favorite ways to showcase this is by incorporating beautiful lighting that suits the style of the home and personality of the homeowner.”