flexiblefullpage - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
Currently Reading

The Argument for a Four Day Remodeling Work Week

billboard -

The Argument for a Four Day Remodeling Work Week

The four-day work week has a global spotlight—could it work in remodeling?

By Caroline Broderick August 4, 2022
four day construction work week
Photo courtesy New Africa | stock.adobe.com
This article first appeared in the July/August 2022 issue of Pro Remodeler.

I sat on a panel recently for NARI Greater Chicagoland and unsurprisingly, the topics of hiring, company culture, and work-life balance were on everyone’s minds. One idea that came up, to mixed reactions, was the four-day work week.

The concept may seem unrealistic in remodeling, but that’s far from the truth. In fact, for some remodelers in the room, it’s how they do business.

Don Van Cura of Don Van Cura Construction in Chicago made the change almost three years ago. David Callahan of Callahan & Peters and Ron Cowgill of D/R Services Unlimited, both in Glenview, Ill., have been offering shortened work weeks for more than 20 years; though, Callahan operates on a four-and-a-half-day work week.

There’s plenty of precedent for a four-day work week outside the United States.

In June, the United Kingdom kicked off one of the largest four-day work week trial runs—orchestrated by 4 Day Week Global, a not-for-profit that claims that 78% of employees with four-day weeks are happier and less stressed.


RELATED: How We Nurture Trade Partner Relationships

Benefits for Remodeling

While 4 Day Week Global’s model focuses on 32-hour weeks, the Chicago area business owners run on four 10-hour days. Each expressed finding few (if any) negatives with the revised schedule.

“We said we’d try it for six months, and if it’s a problem, we’ll go back,” shared Ron Cowgill. “There really weren’t any downsides, and that’s why we never stopped it.”

Each remodeler expressed a similar experience; it began as a trial but became an unexpected solution to several challenges: hiring, limited time, and work-life balance. Yes, employees and the owners must work longer days (typically 7 am until 5:30 pm, Monday through Thursday), but those adjusted times actually help team members beat rush hour, and they don’t have to commute five days a week (especially helpful with today’s gas prices).

Teams also tear down and clean up jobsites only four times a week. And even if crews have to come in on Friday, they’re getting paid overtime to do it and still have their weekend. While Cowgill admits that longer days could be difficult for some older employees, his team has still rarely called a day short.

As owner, Cowgill finds that those empty Fridays help him catch up on his backlog of administrative work, such as writing estimates and scheduling.


Client Communication

One concern raised during the panel was how the homeowner might respond to the four-day week. Remodeler Don Van Cura was quick to challenge the misconception.

Clients enjoy having their kitchens back on Fridays, Van Cura says. And while Van Cura’s focus is on happy clients, a greater focus for him is happy employees.

“I really think it’s more our mental problem than it is to clients because we’ve noticed no change,” Van Cura shared, adding that the untraditional schedule conversation is one of the first had with potential clients.


RELATED: Are Your People Burned Out?

Getting the Schedule Right

Still, Fridays remain a working day for most everyone else, so Cowgill and Callahan request their employees remain on call for emergencies.

“Even if I have schedules to work on Friday afternoon, I know I can do it outside the normal structure: I can kick back on my deck, and it’s the same thing with our designer,” Callahan told me. “She has a toddler and she can go home.”

Cowgill adds it’s “clearly an advantage” because two of his latest hires applied specifically for the shortened week.

Clearly there are no rules for a four-day work week. From shortened hours to stretched days, the model varies, tweaked to fit the needs of an owner and their team. As remodelers seek solutions to longstanding challenges, the concept may not be as unreasonable as it seems. 


written by

Caroline Broderick

Caroline Broderick is the Managing Editor for Pro Remodeler. Most recently, she served as the associate editor for PR's sister publications, Pro Builder, Custom Builder, and PRODUCTS where she covered design, building products, trends, and more in the residential construction industry. She can be reached at cbroderick@sgcmail.com.

Comments (1)

  • Submitted by Dennis D. Gehm… (not verified) on Fri, 08/05/2022 - 11:55


    We made the move to 4- ten hour work days for our production staff in 2006. They work 7am - 5pm and get paid for lunch. Clients appreciate an extra day down time. If we tried to go back to working 5 days we would have a mutiny on our hands. It's help to attract some good team members

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
4 + 5 =

Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.

Related Stories

Backlogs in Remodeling: A Blessing and A Curse

Backlogs may be one of the most confusing aspects of a remodeling business. Here's a helpful way to look at your pipeline.

Software Company to Award $150,000 to Home Service Company Owners

The grant program is intended to help strengthen small businesses

3 Reasons You Struggle with Hiring

Learn three ways to better position yourself for attracting new talent

The Home Depot Bets on Pros Amid Predictions of Flat Sales Growth

For the first time since 2019, The Home Depot’s revenue fell short of Wall Street’s predictions amid a general softening in the home improvement market

5 Sales Techniques to Master

Use these techniques to master selling in today and tomorrow's market

The Empty Chair: Customer Experience Will Differentiate Your Business

With all signs pointing to a softer market, how can remodelers remain strong and different from the rest? Pro Remodeler's Director of Content Erika Mosse shares real examples.

What Kind of Business Are You In? (Is it Really Remodeling?)

The answer to that question is not as obvious as you might think

How to Have a People-First Company

On this episode of Remodeling Mastery, industry advisor Mark Richardson dives into the importance of your people and how to ensure a focus on their success

5 Areas to Reassess for Business Success

Give these key business areas your intellectual horsepower moving into the new year 

What's Your Game Plan for 2023?

Key industry influencers weigh in on what the future holds

boombox1 -
native1 -

More in Category

native2 -
halfpage1 -