June 2006 Table of Contents

Remodelers discuss building solid partnerships Remodelers discuss building solid partnerships

The 30-year business partnership of Terry Streich and Gary Welton at Silver Bullet Design & Build has outlasted many marriages. It's experienced as many ups and downs as well, from the highs of the extended canoeing trips the two enjoyed before family and other obligations took over, to the lows of the early 1990s, when “business tanked so badly that we went off and hung dry-wall to keep things going,” says Streich, president of the Minneapolis company. Read more

Protecting your business against embezzlement

Unraveling embezzlement can be as complicated as an episode of Law & Order. Remodeler Joe Christ says the trade background of most remodelers leaves them at a disadvantage. Read more

Designing house additions

When Doug Walter says, “I channel dead architects to try to figure out their original intent,” it gives the listener a clear picture of how the former restoration architect might approach the design of an addition. On the other hand, architect Mark McInturff says his additions fit “by contrast rather than by a literal copying or cloning.” As different as these approaches may be, both architects must satisfy the needs of clients and be sensitive to neighboring structures. Read more

Hiring outside the remodeling industry

Remodeling is a highly technical art. It requires a grasp of the principles and practice of electricity, plumbing, engineering, geometry, and architecture. It requires a high level of craftsmanship as well as an ability to manage homeowners' expectations during a very emotional process. All of this while turning a profit. Read more

How remodelers talk about money

Like a lot of other remodelers, Strong Construction in Fremont, Calif., can't afford to waste time with clients who want to push $50,000 where $100,000 should go, or who get fixated on some magic number for a project's cost. But co-owners Steve and Sandy Strong also can't afford to turn away good business, so they bring up the big, bad B word ó budget ó as part of the typical first phone conversation. Read more

Remodel of a 1880s Pittsburgh home Remodel of a 1880s Pittsburgh home

When purchasing this sprawling yet compartmentalized older home, both husband and wife knew that they were in for a challenge. The home, built in the 1880s near Pittsburgh, had seen multiple wings added over the years but no upgrades in decades. The living space was 9,000 square feet, but the house had small rooms and narrow hallways once used by servants. Read more

Remodeler data on partnerships Remodeler data on partnerships

The more official your partnership agreement is, the more likely it is to last. Half of remodeling partnerships begin as informal “handshake” agreements, but only 37% of these last more than three years. By comparison, 59% of partnerships last three or more years if an attorney writes or reviews the agreement, and 51% last that long if the agreement is simply spelled out in writing. Read more

Close X