Estimated reading time: 4 minutes, 20 seconds
How often do you hear this Zen phrase used when it comes to Residential Remodeling? I altered it slightly to fit my needs. “Because it’s the right thing to do.”
Here in Boise, Idaho, Levco uses this motto frequently. It has become somewhat of a favorite mantra. We have inserted it towards the end of our problem solving tree. In fact, the phrase has multiple applications. This phrase is right up there with another personal favorite, “Showing that we care,” as far as describing our priorities.
“Because it is the right thing to do” has helped guide us clear logjams of attitude and stubbornness about “he said, she said.” Occasionally it is this strong held belief that we hold others accountable to when it comes to refunds and getting officials to bend the rules.
In the field we use the principal daily here are some examples:
- When it comes to adding extra nails, or screws instead.
- Using glue when it wasn’t absolutely necessary.
- Using Simpson Clips and straps when toe nailing would have sufficed,
- Compacting gravel before we build a retaining wall on top.
- Taking the extra time to make sure the insulation fills all of the gaps.
- Installing windows with all of the necessary caulking, flashing, and rubber membranes to keep things water tight.
- Waterproofing and moisture proofing concrete walls.
- Hauling some of the neighbors’ trash off too.
- Essentially following best practices whenever the opportunity arises.
From an Administrative point of view some examples include:
- Answering the phone after hours and on weekends in most cases.
- Loaning tools and advice for those interested in participating in their projects.
- Letting clients purchase their own appliances outside of the contract when appropriate.
- Allowing owners to add sweat equity.
- Providing emergency cleaning services when we dusted a home inadvertently.
- Using constructive criticism to improve our processes and apologizing when it is our fault.
- Providing warranty services long after the date of expiration.
We recently had a problem when a carpet protection product we purchased left a sticky residue when it was removed. In discussing a possible solution, the manufacturer’s representative pleasantly surprised me by offering to do whatever it took to remedy the situation. Now that’s my kind of vendor. Turns out there was fine print telling us not to use the product on wool carpets. I never saw it, I suppose the print was too fine, and I had no idea it was wool until after we had a problem.
Until home owners understand that it is expensive to remodel right, and keep looking for the lowest bid instead of the best value, I suppose guys like Mike Holmes from the TV show Holmes on Homes, will be constantly coming to the rescue of home owners that have had disastrous results with unscrupulous remodelers.
Where do they find so many badly done projects that necessitate coming to the clients’ rescue so often? Is Canada where all the bad contractors have gone or is it make believe? Perhaps like the Harlem Globetrotters who have the Washington Generals to beat up on night after night, Mike follows the same guys.
At Levco we understand that our success and longevity is built upon our reputation of being active listeners and creative problem solvers, following it up with processes that make sense, then producing high quality workmanship that lasts and works properly. Most of all it hinges upon our attitude, being fair and honest, and dealing with situations that inevitably occur. In essence, when you boil it all down it is about being spring loaded to making decisions based upon understanding that what we do and how we act matters, and “Because it is the right thing to do”. Our Clients play a bid part in making this process work as well, being fair and honest goes both ways.
Are we here at Levco so different than our competitors? Who knows? I would like to think that left to our own devices, all of the professional remodelers would hold themselves to such high standards. Truthfully it is hard to know, because is is a rare occasion that we get compared side by side.
I believe that the industry has policed themselves through professional affiliation like NARI. Let’s face it you aren’t born with the inherent knowledge of how to build. Following the rules and getting permits when necessary and complying with the governmental regulations that effect our industry is expensive, time consuming, and cumbersome at times.
Craftsmen are usually good with working with their hands, and they somehow believe that going into business for themselves is a no-brainier until they try it. Occasionally it works. Levco has the distinct advantage of a blended of business acumen, craftsmanship, organization, teamwork, and gusto.