Shawn McCadden contributes to our sister site the Journal of Light Construction on the five things that he thinks the remodeling industry would, and should, change.
The majority of remodeling contractors who participate in the remodeling industry are holding the industry back from becoming much more professional and successful. Remodelers continuously complain about what they perceive the government and even what their consumers do to them to make running a business and earning a profit difficult. However in many ways remodelers are their own worst enemies, creating problems for themselves and the industry by both their actions as well as their lack of action. Below are just five things I wish all remodelers and those in the industry would change, but won’t.
Before you check out my list keep this in mind. If you’re a remodeler and you eliminate and or address most of these things in your business you will stand out as different. You will also be more successful, be at much less risk and can also make much more money.
#1: Stop calling them estimates; they are not estimates
Home owners ask for estimates. This doesn't mean they want your best guess, they instead want a fixed price. Next time a consumer asks for an estimate give them one right away; “That will cost somewhere between an arm and a leg depending on your final product selections.” Then help them discover what it will really take to help them assemble a fixed price for a fixed scope of work that meets their needs. Then let them know how your professional services can help them do so, and what you charge for those services. One way to explain it is your estimates are free; you charge to help develop solutions… (Check out this Design/Build Agreement)
#2: Calling employees Lead Carpenters when they are not
Although most remodelers really don’t know what a true lead carpenter is, many claim they have several on staff. If you don’t believe me, read this job description first, then ask a few to define the difference between a carpenter and a lead carpenter. Giving the title to an employee who is not a true lead carpenter does a disservice to the employee and misleads consumers. It’s like passing off roof cement as a flashing. It’s just not right to do so if you are really a roofer. Becoming a lead carpenter is an accomplishment; let’s reserve the title for those who have earned it.
#3: Claiming to be Design/Builders when they are not
Like Yoda said; “Do or do not, there is no try.” You either are a Design/Builder or you are not. If you allow others to bid on and or build from your plans you are not a Design/Builder; that is something else. Decide what you are or will be. There is a big difference between Design/Build and design-bid. (Design/Build definition) Remember, in a bid situation it’s often the biggest loser who wins! If you hate bidding, become a real Design/Builder. That’s what motivated me to become a Design/Builder when I had my business.
Shawn McCadden founded, operated, and sold a successful design/build company. A co-founder of the Residential Design/Build Institute, he speaks at industry events and consults with remodelers about owner issues, management, lead paint regulations and other industry issues. email@example.com
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