Every once in a while, I like to respond to remodelers who have requested information on important topics so the rest of you can benefit as well. If there's a subject you'd like to know more about, just send me an e-mail or pick up the phone.
Dear Mike: I read many of the trade pubs to further my education, including Professional Remodeler, but there is one topic that I have not found much help on. I am having a little trouble understanding the murky waters of liability insurance. Do you know of any literature, classes or experts that I could use to better understand what coverage I need for my business? Any guidance you could provide would be greatly appreciated.
Todd Drury, TR Building & Remodeling, Redding, CT
Dear Todd: Check out "What to do About Rising Insurance Rates" (January 2003 or www.HousingZone.com/proremodeler/article/CA462201.html?text=liability+insurance). The NAHB also has a wealth of information on its web site (www.nahb.org).
Dear Mike: Sometime in the recent past I read an article with average markups and gross profits for remodeling contractors. Did you folks do anything along these lines?
Steve Jacobson, Turn of the Century Construction
Dear Steve: The article you are referring to is titled "Numbers Game" (February 2006 or www.HousingZone.com/article/CA6304115.html).
Dear Mike: I have been reading Professional Remodeler for several years and have kept all my back issues. I would like to develop a customer satisfaction survey. Can you tell me if any back issues of your magazine have dealt with this subject? I'm looking for how-to advice: how to put together the survey, questions to ask, etc.
Bob Flynn, Flynn Construction Inc. Chanhassen, Minn.
Dear Bob: A few pointers: always ask if a client would refer you to family and friends and how many recommendations the client already has made. Survey the customer at more than one point during and after the project — feelings can change with time. Use a third party to conduct the survey if possible.
Articles include "Constant Feedback" (July 2000 or www.HousingZone.com/topics/pr/management/pr00ga008.asp), "Make the Most of Customer Surveys" (October 2001 or www.HousingZone.com/topics/pr/management/pr01ja013.asp), "A Study of Exceptional Standards" (September 2002 or www.HousingZone.com/pr02ia017a.asp) and "The Golden Rule" (November 2005 or www.HousingZone.com/article/CA6282143.html).