"Raising construction to an art form has become DGC's signature style.”
'General contractor' and 'artist' are both apt descriptions of Joan Barton, Founder and Owner of Dirty Girl Construction, Inc. In a field dominated by men, she does not meet the typical profile of general contractor, but 'typical' is a word rarely ascribed to Barton. Raised and educated in Concord, Massachusetts, she excelled equally in arts, math and science—a skill set she first turned into a successful career as a music composer in Los Angeles, following study at the DeCordova Museum School, Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, Parson's The New School of Design, and Berklee College of Music.
Barton's passion for building was ignited by a friend in the business who recognized her design sensibility and problem-solving capacity as being well-suited to the demands of construction. She fell in love with the dynamic building process and never looked back from her first day on the job site. In 2008, she launched Dirty Girl Construction, Inc., a career progression she sees as more logical than it first appears. Inspired vision, obsessive attention to detail, a mind for innovation, and a clear communication style, are qualities she believes are strengthened by being a woman but also by being an artist. "Mathematics—symmetry, geometry—plays a vital role in creating music," says Barton. "Building is much the same with these principles contributing to the rhythm and soul of the environment." Raising construction to an art form has become DGC's signature style.
Barton is especially driven by the collaborative process with homeowners, architects, and craftsmen. She credits her well-organized building environments, exceptional customer service and relatable nature as key factors in the firm's success. "Everything I am goes into everything I do," says Barton, and Dirty Girl Construction is built on that philosophy.