Once the punch list is complete, many carpenters walk away from their projects with little more than memories. Some remodelers, however, are giving more glory to their craftspeople, boosting morale and recognition in the process.
“Carpenters are really the stars of remodeling,” says Joe Gilday, marketing director of Gilday Renovations, in Silver Spring, Md. “They're proud of their work,” he says, but they often get less credit than designers and salespeople, particularly when projects receive awards or media attention.
So Gilday is shifting the spotlight. The latest issue of “At Home,” Gilday Renovations' glossy newsletter, prominently displays the name of project carpenter Shawn Cassidy in an article about a kitchen remodel he oversaw. “The project had quite a bit of craftsmanship,” Gilday says, adding that Cassidy appreciated the attention.
When the company's projects win awards, lead carpenters also get a memento in the form of a booklet based on the entry binder.
Another celebration of carpenters was on display at the company's holiday party in December. Gilday snapped photos throughout the year and created a PowerPoint presentation showing every employee (two photos are shown). “We have almost two dozen guys in the field, and some of them barely know each other or each other's work,” Gilday says. Seeing one another on the big screen, he says, generates a sense of “Wow, we work for a great company.”
In nearby Fairfax, Va., Schroeder Design/Build celebrates its lead carpenters on “rider” signs attached with hooks to the company's main jobsite signs.
“Generally people who wear a toolbelt are very proud of their work and don't get much credit,” says Trish Schroeder, CEO. Besides giving a little boost to her lead carpenters, the signs also tell delivery people whom to ask for; give curious neighbors a personal point of contact (reinforced by radius mailings sent out when the project begins); and sometimes create neighborhood celebrities. When some clients and prospects call, they specify that they “have to have” certain carpenters by name, Schroeder says.