The Tools You Need—and Where to Find Them
The New York Times goes shopping with Best & Company’s Chip Brian
Chip Brian with the Precision aluminum folding ruler at Best Made Company in TriBeCa.
Just in time for Halloween, The New York Times has shared a home improvement horror story…with a very happy ending.
Best & Company co-owner Chip Brian got his start in the general contracting and construction management business in 1996, when, as a young banker, a twist of fate required him to GC the renovation of his first home in New York City with his own “bloody-knuckled hands.” That wasn’t the original plan: Chip had hired a pro to remodel the kitchen and bath, paying him a big chunk of his savings up front. But one afternoon, Chip arrived home from a business trip to find mass-destruction and two laborers fast asleep on his apartment floor. With funds depleted, Chip decided to acquire the skills and tools needed to finish the job himself. It was a costly lesson to learn—but the results were satisfying. “Soon, friends were asking for help with their homes, and the following year, he started his own construction company,” reports the NYT’s Tim McKeough.
Chip’s dedication to a business model that emphasizes proactive communication and best practices through every phase of construction assures that Best & Company’s clients will never be stuck holding the proverbial sledgehammer and dustpan. Still, it’s smart to have a basic set of tools on hand for minor home-maintenance projects and mini emergencies—like hanging a picture, cutting a length of speaker wire, or measuring for new curtains or floor coverings.
“Even just to take batteries out of a toy for your kid, you need a screwdriver,” says Chip, a man who, as The New York Times reports, now “spends his days surrounded by tools.”
As the owner of a company that specializes in executing high-end renovation projects for some of New York’s most respected designers and architects, Chip has developed an eye for tools that get the job done beautifully and look good doing it. Any of the 8 tools featured in “Shopping with Chip Brian” would make a practical present for the house-proud homeowners on your gift list, as well as handsome and handy additions to your own home toolbox. No toolbox? Chip has a great recommendation for you, too.