Growth instigates change, and as Rural Builder and Metal Builder continue to grow, it has necessitated change in the form of the addition of another editor on the Shield Wall Media staff. 

That was a first-person sentence, because that new editor is me. I’m thrilled and honored to have rejoined my friends and colleagues after having gone to another magazine company for the past few years. Both an editor and a website manager, I used to run the websites for Rural Builder and the other construction brands, but this return to the brands now makes this my first stint with the magazine group itself.

I’ve been a writer and editor my entire career with the only exception being a short stint in sales for Leafguard (the Englert-supplied gutters). I won’t pretend that made me a construction expert by any means; most of my personal experience in that regard comes from having just gone through the process of planning the building of our retirement home. 

From a personal standpoint, my wife Angie (also an editor, but at a different company) and I live in the Shield Wall Media hometown of Waupaca, Wisconsin, having built our age-in-place retirement house in the fall of 2021. I will be able to chronicle that build, and the things we’ve learned that could benefit you and your business, in the coming months and years. 

We’ve certainly learned enough tough lessons in our first 18 months, including why your mechanical room door needs an alarm, why you shouldn’t adjust your radiant heat temperature too low when it’s minus-10 degrees F outside, and what to do when your new driveway buckles into the corner of your garage. 

We have no (serious) complaints, however. The open concept features a single level of hardwood floors (luxury vinyl but you get the point), with half the house consisting of an enormous great room. The insulation quality borders on ridiculous (our first-year monthly heat bill average was $50, which is now our budget, absurd in Wisconsin in 2023), and the metal roof tops off what is pretty much a no-maintenance building. Lastly to the right of our house is a delightful three-season room.

It’s that experience that I hope to bring into my role, which I consider one of curation, not creation. To that end, I will be building an advisory board of industry professionals in each topic vertical (that’s part of my process for any magazine I’ve managed) so feel free to email me at [email protected] and introduce yourself. I look forward to meeting you in person at an industry event, too.

­—Rocky Landsverk