Q. Describe the most common types of jobs you do for your clients.
A. Our most common types of jobs are: KITCHEN AND BATHROOM REMODELING. We do room additions that involve, framing, drywall, painting, electrical, plumbing and HVAC. We also do a lot of repair work on older properties such as tile replacement, tile grouting, waterproofing, drywall replacement & painting. Most recently we've Constructed 4 Sound and Control Rooms using the latest Isolation methods, i.e. Double Drywall, Sound Controlling Insulation & Green Glue.
Q. Describe three recent jobs you've completed.
A. Recently completed a 6 week job to remodel a commercial building for the new Larry King Studio. We removed and replaced carpet & tile in 3 bathrooms and a kitchen. Closed doors, built walls with doors, installed electrical switches, plugs and lighting. Installed and stained new doors throughout and painted all rooms. The estimate tripled in cost due to additional work required as the job progressed. We obtain written approved change orders as the job progressed. We also installed 6- 60" television screens and the job was done quickly and efficiently. The painting required one coat of primer and two coats of paint.
Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. I would advise a customer to consider what their objectives are in their remodeling job, i.e. more space, newer appliances, repair or replacement. Additionally, what the customer has budgeted for this work and have they seen or have photos of completed work they like.
Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
A. If I were a customer, I'd like to know if the people I would hire are licensed and insured. I'd also like to know how long they would be responsible for the work they do against poor workmanship and errors. A licensed contractor is responsible for up to 10 years for the work they do.
Q. What questions should a consumer ask to hire the right service professional?
A. A consumer should ask the following questions of a service provider:
1. Do you provide a written estimate; and
2. How long is the estimate price good for; and
3. Can labor and material be shown separately; and
4. How long will the work take or be completed.
Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?
A. Buyers should have decided what they want in terms of the job: i.e. kitchen remodel, roofing, new deck, new driveway, new bathroom, etc.
Additionally, they should have a budget in mind. Once they've decided on what they want done the proposal can be compared with the budget to determine viability.
Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
A. My work stands out from others in that we provide our own ideas of what works and how to improve it. Each person has their own ideas and this is what makes each person different. So our ideas make our work stand out from others. Also, we provide great communication with our customers. We speak with them every day and let them know exactly what is happening.
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. The best part of my job is seeing the transformation of what was existing into what the dream of the property owner has in mind. Plans or photos help in this endeavor.
Q. What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A. Customers commonly ask us if we provide a written estimate and how long the work takes. We tell them we always provide a written estimate and we provide a rough estimate of the time it takes to complete their job based on information we have at the time.
Q. What do you wish customers knew about you or your profession?
A. When I meet a new customer I wish they knew about my background and what jobs I have had in my life. I wish they knew I am just like they are and that I have a family and children. Mainly I wish they knew that I am honest and that I know my job. My profession is an honest one and it comes from people who like to build something and see the results of their work be appreciated.
Q. How did you decide to get in your line of work?
A. I decided to become a builder as a result of my being in the real estate industry. I was a property manager and the contractor we hired walked away from the job. I was thrust into the job of completing his work. I found enjoyment from seeing the building completed and went on from there!
Q. Tell us about a recent job you did that you are particularly proud of.
A. The New Larry King Studio gives us a great deal of pride in that our work was done quickly, efficiently and the owner is very happy with our prices and quality. I must say that the tile and counter top work is of particular pride. The owner selected a black granite counter top which we cut and installed. We then placed new sinks, faucets and plumbing to complete the job. In the kitchen we installed a garbage disposal and a new electric switch, in addition to new plugs that had not existed previously.
Q. Do you do any sort of continuing education to stay up on the latest developments in your field?
A. We subscribe to BNI publications and are constantly bombarded with new materials to keep us informed as to the latest innovations in our industry. We also subscribe to magazines in Architecture, Landscaping, Design and Construction. I, myself had had classes in OSHA safety and Blue Print Reading and Estimating.
Q. Describe your most recent project, what it involved, how much it cost, and how long it took.
A. Our most recent project was to remove and replace concrete and asphalt that had broken up, cracked and was badly fractured. The job was at a commercial building in the rear of 2 large rolling doors that provided access to the warehouse and was used by many heavy, large forklifts. We could only work on one area at a time so deliveries and shipments could be maintained. We saw-cut out the areas needing replacing, removing soil to achieve a 6" depth, and installed rebar and a 4,000 psi concrete to insure strength. Finally we installed expansion joints to insure crack prevention in the future. The entire job cost $5,000.
Q. If you were advising someone who wanted to get into your profession, what would you suggest?
A. I would suggest that someone who wanted to enter our profession first obtain an education in the area of business, engineering or construction management, then work for a construction company to obtain field experience. The next item is study and obtain a license in their chosen field. A construction company is a difficult field to enter, business wise in this economic environment. The Contractors State License Board says that one should have $2,500 to start a business, but in my experience it takes a great deal more.
Q. What are you currently working on improving?
A. We are currently working on advertising and getting our message out to the public. While we appreciate recommendations and referrals, but one needs constant exposure to new customers in order to grow and maintain staff and workers. We are constantly using photos and networking to solve these issues and we're trying to develop new social networking sites to expand our business.