Absence makes the heart grow fonder, but not when it's the remodeler who's absent from the jobsite. Edward Rudloff promises clients that either he or his brother, Stephen, his partner and fellow lead carpenter at Rudloff Custom Builders, West Chester, Pa., will be on site every day of the project, from beginning to end. This guarantee provides peace of mind for clients, distinguishes the company from the competition, and ensures that projects adhere to high quality and scheduling standards.

Stephen (left) and Edward Rudloff of Rudloff Custom Builders.
Rudloff Custom Builders Stephen (left) and Edward Rudloff of Rudloff Custom Builders.

“We're there Monday through Friday from 7 or 7:30 each morning until 4:30 or 5 p.m.,” Edward says, adding that many other remodelers in his area sub out most of their work and only show up to get the check. Although the Rudloffs also use subs, they feel that the customer hired them and that they should be on site all the time.

Because their company specializes in kitchens and finish work (both brothers are certified kitchen and bath remodelers), bad weather generally isn't an issue. On the rare occasions when it is, the Rudloffs call clients first thing in the morning to say that they won't be on site. “But I'll still go by during the course of the day to make sure the tarps are holding and there's nothing leaking,” Edward says.

He adds that during the rest of that day, the brothers make their schedules a little tighter and make sure that they have everything they need to resume as soon as the weather clears.

An obvious drawback of the pledge is that Rudloff Custom Builders is limited to two jobs at a time. On the plus side, limiting their job load lets the brothers provide some unusually nice touches. For instance, Stephen, who has a culinary background, has cooked elaborate dinners in clients' newly remodeled kitchens.

Not surprisingly, “people are really pleased,” Edward says. “Our referral business is growing.”