Reader Response

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Letters sent to Professional Remodeler

March 02, 2000

ASK THE EXPERT

I am quite new to remodeling, so I have no prior experience with a punch list, and I seem to be having a very hard time finding a sample. Could you point me in the right direction? I often hear a Punch List referred to, but I would really like to see a sample.

Tama Theis

Greg E. Theis Construction, Inc.

St. Cloud, Minn.

A punch list is simply a list of the items to be done before the project is officially closed. At some point, the remodeler walks through the project with the client and makes a list of the "little" items that need completion. If you want an actual punch list, try your local trade association. In this case, it’s the Building Association of the Twin Cities at (651) 697-1954.

Re: Knowledge Trumps Information: October 1999, page 9

Dear Professional Remodeler:

I think this article will serve as wake up call for a lot of remodelers who are stuck in the old school thinking that says, "If I do good work, I can sell a lot of jobs." The article touches on educating the consumer. I strongly believe that if a remodeler educates his clients or his potential clients, he will sell more jobs, have far fewer fires to put out, gain credibility in his community, and raise the overall standards of the remodeling industry.

I also liked the article, because I felt that it was saying, "It’s time for remodelers to seek out and digest as much information as possible and use it to the advancement of our businesses." It was dead-on accurate when it said that today’s homeowners are searching for information. They know more because they want to know more. Remodelers need to saturate themselves with the newest sales, marketing, management and production information. I think it would be a great idea to have a monthly feature where you can expand on the groundwork that was laid in the "Knowledge Trumps Information" article.

Dave Cohen

Remodeling Success

Roswell, GA

Re: Letters: November 1999, page 11

Dear Professional Remodeler:

I read with some dismay the dissenting opinion of Michael Walter regarding draw schedules, or rather the lack of prepayment he prefers to operate with. I am certainly happy that he has never been stung by a consumer and has plenty of capital to risk on speculation that the consumer will always pay. But I simply do not feel that this is a good business move for most of us.

Lets face facts. Most of us have already invested a significant amount of our resources into building and maintaining a business. That is dollars and time spent on tooling, education, staffing and whatever else we have invested to make ourselves available to the public to design and perform the work they desire. This is what we have already done on speculation.

There is no need to put us at further risk for someone else’s benefit. Because home improvements are primarily funded by the homeowner rather than a bank (where there are set rules regarding payment schedules and a vested third party), there are quite a few traps that even the best meaning consumer can fall into. It could simply be some unexpected emergency that depletes the funds intended for the contractor. I think we all have enough to worry about in this line of work without adding an unnecessary burden.

Let me ask you this: Would you go to a car dealer with someone you don’t know and use your credit card to make the down payment for them with the expectation that they might pay you back sometime in the future? Come on down, I could use a new truck.

Ken Watkins, CKD

KWC, Inc.

Gaithersburg, Md.

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