Ron Jedwab (pictured with wife Linda) must have felt like he was living in a bizarro world when he traded home building for remodeling during the economic downturn. “With homebuilding, I owned the home until I sold it,” he says. “With remodeling, I own nothing. The homeowner owns it all. With homebuilding I’m using my money. With remodeling, I’m using their money. Everything reversed itself.”
But Jedwab liked this new world so much he immersed himself in it. He joined a remodelers group to learn more about financials and business operations. And he developed a process to streamline the design/build process that gives customers a rock-solid timeline and budget.
“In a sense, we guarantee our price,” he says. “We’re covering everything in our design up to the cabinet knob so there’s nothing left to be uncovered or discovered. That makes for happy client.”
--Rather than give designs away, Jedwab charges $750 for a bathroom design and $1,250 for a kitchen design. “Smaller builders and remodelers give everything away,” he says. “We explain how we’re different. For people to go out and measure a project, come back to the office and start putting a color palette together, finalize drawings and come up with specs—customers are getting a lot for their money.”
--Jedwab started using BuilderTrends project management software a year and half ago and will never go back. Clients can see their project timeline, make change orders, and view pictures of progress. Crews have access to all information in the field through smartphones and tablets. Customers can even pay online when the job is finished. “This integrates everything together,” he says. “We pay attention to the big stuff and not the little stuff anymore.”
--Jedwab keeps his best and brightest employees by being transparent about business operations and how workers contribute to the bottom line. This year, he’s tying bonuses to getting work done on time. And he’s always looking for ways to help employees grow themselves through new certifications and training. “We’re trying to make them better because that makes us better,” he says.