PR April 2004

August 16, 2010

Features

Maybe you live or work in a neighborhood like mine. Fifty-year-old homes of no more than 2,000 square feet get sold for $400,000 and torn down. They’re replaced with million-dollar houses occupying every inch of the lot and extending upward at least th...

For repeat clients, especially friends, Mike McCutcheon of McCutcheon Construction in Berkeley, Calif., makes an extra effort to accommodate their needs. When psychologist Luli Emmons and landscaper Frank Graetch came to him in 2003 with ideas for a kitchen remodel that cost more than they wanted to spend, McCutcheon proposed a solution: time-and-materials pricing.

Using time-and-materials pricing can save repeat clients money.

While survey firms do big business among big builders, most remodelers keep their customer satisfaction research in house. One of the main reasons: cost. If you're looking for a free way to find out what customer surveys can reveal about your remodeling business, visit www.guildquality.com. Atlanta-based GuildQual-ity offers a 17-question survey that clients can take via the Internet.

For Bob Kocis, performance management comes down to scheduling crews and ordering materials efficiently, ensuring regular cash flow and managing profit slippage.

If your clients want a kitchen that's functional as well as flashy, refer them to the revised edition of Donald E. Silvers'Kitchen Design With Cooking in Mind (NMI Publishers, softcover, 87 pages). Silvers challenges the concept of the kitchen triangle and encourages readers to think in terms of flow.

While survey firms do big business among big builders, most remodelers keep their customer satisfaction research in-house.

Consulting company Remodelers Advantage is launching a comprehensive business education program that doesn't require participating remodelers to leave home, the truck or the office.

The value of materials exchange programs.

What do you do with items pulled from your remodeling projects?  You can avoid transportation and landfill costs by donating surplus materials to a materials exchange — and receive a tax deduction in return. In fact, you also can increase your profitability and reduce waste.

Here's an example where vaulted ceilings and 'light shelves' help illuminate an interior where a client was seeking more light.

Sometimes older houses need more than just remodeling. They need a new vision for dark interiors, awkward spaces and outdated features. This home, owned by broadcaster Edward R. Murrow from 1946 to 1964, had become the "ugly dog of the neighborhood," homeowner Skip Sroka says. While association with Murrow gave the house importance, the structure lacked architectural significance.

Microsoft Project scheduling software helps Paragon General Contractors hold homeowners, designers, and subcontractors to deadlines.

"A deck is the transition between the inside world of the home and the outside environment," says remodel carpenter Erich von Tagen. "A deck should accentuate the details of the home." In this case, while the view of a large valley and three major Cascade Range peaks from the deck couldn't be beat, the deck was an eyesore.

If your clients want a kitchen that's functional as well as flashy, refer them to the revised edition of Donald E. Silvers' Kitchen Design With Cooking in Mind (NMI Publishers, softcover, 87 pages).

Nothing transforms more than the power of light. The interior of this late 1960s-style split-level was dark and dated with 8-foot ceilings and a cramped kitchen. It presented both a challenge and an opportunity. Here's how this remodeling firm handled the challenge.

Pictures from the Community Builders Assocation of New Jersey, NARI's Evening of Excellence event and the NAHB Remodelors Council Chairman's Dinner at the 2004 International Builders' Show.

The value of a computer-aided design (CAD) program depends entirely on what kind of jobs you do, how much design work they regularly involve and the expectations of your client base.

Need to cool off an old house? Consider a mini-duct system.

Low-maintenance decking, quick-install replacement windows, sound-absorbent ceilings, indoor/outdoor masonry veneer, moisture-resistant sill pans — manufacturers keep seeking ways to make your jobs and your clients' lives easier.

Consulting company Re-modelers Advantage is launching a comprehensive business education program that doesn’t require participating remodelers to leave home, the truck or the office.

Bob Bell, owner of Bell's Remodeling in Duluth, Minn., has two employees, both of whom have been with him nine years. The company does about 50 jobs a year for an approximate volume of $440,000. It uses subcontractors for electrical and plumbing, and sometimes excavation and cement work. Jake Schloegel, owner of Schloegel Design Remodel in Kansas City, Mo.

In some markets, in-house CAD capabilities are essential

Benchmarks provide direction and suggest a course of action.

Maybe you live or work in a neighborhood like mine. Fifty-year-old homes of no more than 2,000 square feet get sold for $400,000 and torn down. They're replaced with million-dollar houses occupying every inch of the lot and extending upward at least three stories.

Outdoor living requires a durable, weather-resistant space.

The definition of and synonyms for benchmark include "standard," "point of reference" and "targets." Benchmarks provide direction and suggest a course of action.

Three firms offer solutions for maximizing employees' time and improving job productivity

As a professional remodeling contractor, how would you solve the following situation? Your clients own a historic, 19th-century home with a coffered-ceiling dining room, four-piece crown moldings throughout the rest of the house, and lath and plaster walls as smooth as butter. They are sick and tired of living with noisy, hissing radiators and want them replaced with something "new, efficient a...

Going down to the studs allows rewiring for lighting, sound and security systems

With 160 employees and annual averages of 300 remodeling projects and more than $50 million in revenue, Airoom Architects & Builders in Lincolnwood, Ill., operates on a grander scale than most remodelers. But Airoom's strategic approach to improving performance management can act as a template for any company.

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