Q. Describe the most common types of jobs you do for your clients.
A. We do a wide varity of jobs. Most recently we have done a number of bathroom remodels. During the course of a year, we do roof replacements, mitgation of water damages, repair of water, storm and fire damages. To those jobs we have enclosed carports into garages, built screen porches and other various remodeling projects.
Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. Find a person you feel good about working with and check the references of the company. Look for experience in the field. Make sure the company is state licensed and insured.
Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
A. I'd like to know that I am valued as a customer and helping me to learn the process is important.
We at Advantage Restoration & Contracting, Inc. strave daily to treat each person as if they are the only customer we have and their work is very important to us.
Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?
A. All we ask is for the customer to be serious about the job at hand. Since we don't charge for estimating and consultation services, it is very disappointing to find out that the prospect is thinking about doing a project sometime 3 years from now.
Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
A. Our company is independantly, US owned, and not part of some larger or franchised company. This gives us more flexability in negotiations and decision making power. We personalize our services with each customer and always strive to finish a project with the a customer saying "Wow that was more than we expected".
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. Being able to help someone deal with an unexpected situation such as a fire in the home or to be there when the comment on a finished remodel brings a smile and a "that's beautiful" !
Q. What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A. How long is this going to take? Answer: Do you want it fast or done right? Then I give them a schedule of what to expect and when.
Q. What do you wish customers knew about you or your profession?
A. I wish customers that need insurance restoration services, knew the most important aspect of the process is to hire someone they trust and have confidence in. The policy holder always has the choice or hiring the company they want to work with. Once a person is selected the insurance adjuster will then be allowed to work with that individual to arrive at the best possible scope of work and price to return the property to a pre-loss condition.
Q. How did you decide to get in your line of work?
A. I discovered this industry in 1986, almost by accident. I was looking for a new job and answered an ad for "construction estimator". I suppose I always knew there were home damages that required filing a claim but I never thought about there being an industry of people providing services to handle this specialty type of work. I got the job and have grown and expanded in the industry ever since.
Q. Tell us about a recent job you did that you are particularly proud of.
A. I was hired by a customer to build a 5 unit apartment house in the midtown Atlanta area. The structure had significant damage but most of the exterior walls and foundation were still in tact. What had once been a home built in the 1920's and converted into 5 living spaces is now a fantastic building with 5 fantastic living spaces, but yet the building still looks like a single family home. I was thirlled to have been involved in the planning and construction of this project.
Q. Do you do any sort of continuing education to stay up on the latest developments in your field?
A. We do participate in continuing education. Most recently I have become a certified lead paint renovator.
Q. What are the latest developments in your field? Are there any exciting things coming in the next few years or decade that will change your line of business?
A. After the economic earthquake of 2008, the speciality field of insurance restoration has been flooded with carpenter's that once filled the new construction field. These guys are often good at the trade they practice, but have no realtime knowledge of how an insurance claim works or how to communicate with an insurance adjuster. They likely have no idea how to deal with a mortgage companies interest in the claims process.
The only changes I think will be coming over the next few years are an increase in claims management services. A few companies already exist that manage the link between contractor and insurance company, if this process proves to be profitable for the insurance companies, it is likely that more insurance providers will participate.
Q. Describe your most recent project, what it involved, how much it cost, and how long it took.
A. Our most recent job was a remodeling of two bedroom and bathroom. This home had an unsual bathroom situation. There were 2 toilet and vanity areas with one common tub / shower area. We closed the wall between the tub area and one of the toilet vanity areas to create a complete hall bathroom. We then used the existing area once occupied by a toilet and vanity to create a new large custom tile shower with built in seat. We removed walls between the master bedroom and second bedroom to create a new larger master bedroom and used some of the space to finish the creation of a vanity and toilet area for the new bath. Another portion of the space went to the creation of a nice large master closet.
The price range was approximately 25,000.00 and the timeframe was 35 days.
Q. If you have a complicated pricing system for your service, please give all the details here.
A. We use an estimating software called Xactimate. This software is independantly created and unit pricing is reflective of our working zip code area. The company Xactware updates our pricing monthly after analysis of the material and labor prices for our area. We create a room by room or area by area estimate with line item detail of what is to be done.
Q. If you were advising someone who wanted to get into your profession, what would you suggest?
A. Get ready for hard work. Plan to learn how insurance policies work in addition to construction practicies and be proficient with computer estimating software.
Q. Write your own question and answer it.
A. How long is your career in the construction / restoration industry. I entered the construction field after graduating college in 1979. I joined the insurance restoration industry in 1986. In either venue, I have more years experience than I am old. ;)