Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 32 seconds

Frank Juggling

Frank Olivier at work

No remodeling business will stick around long without happy clients. You might be inclined to ask, “Where do they come from then?” The answer is “A great process and people that understand customer service create them”.

Let’s face it, residential remodeling is like juggling with fire on a tall unicycle. It takes a lot of guts, practice, skills, and planning.

Remodeling projects have a certain pace and cadence, and lots of moving parts. After doing nearly 50 projects a year for over a decade, I have practiced and learned a thing or two about the subject.

I have always believed that once I could align the interests of all the players, we would be a step ahead of the competition. Now I can say with certainty that we have finally created a great act worthy of an encore performance.

The Three Little Things

  1. On Time

  2. On Budget

  3. Happy Clients

This simple trifecta is the “Hokey Pokey” of remodeling. Yes, the three little things turned out to be the holy grail, and difference between a mediocre remodeling project and a great one.

Understanding what I wanted was easy, but making it to happen was more of a challenge. All the nagging, carrots, and the sticks I tried had little effect. I even used (My drug of choice), “Hopium” to reach my goal. It turns out that after doing a deep dive into what makes a projects worthy of celebrating can be broken down into several key components.

  • Careful pre-planning and documentation
  • Execution of the plan with precision and clear communication
  • Having capable people on staff that take responsibility and care.

Failure is Not An Option

Ultimately, as when problems occurred on the Apollo 13 return flight, “Failure is not an option”. I hired a likeminded individual that sees things through my eyes, and got it. Jack Schweitzer is our Production Manager, a man with a wealth of experience, leadership ability, and skills to make my mandate a reality.


We agreed on how we would measure our matrix and implement our plan. Now that we have tried it on for size a few times with good results, I created the Trifecta Prize for residential remodeling.

The exciting unexpected side effect was that I had tied the solution directly to the people that have the most influence over each remodeling project. So far, the new accountability process is a hit. Like I say, “Every new project is a chance to hit it out of the park”.

We’ve surely created a new guiding light for my client-centric company. Prioritization of issues became natural and old bad habits melted away. Phrases like “I was too busy to update the schedule” or “It is going to take as long as it is going to take” are long distant memories.


New guiding light

Our New Guiding Light

Gloating about solving these problems I’m inclined to say “I Told You So”! Now I can go back to juggling the other flaming pins I have up in the air.

Rather than finding out about things after they go wrong, I am amazed about how informed my clients are, and understanding about crazy delays like a boat stuck outside the Seattle harbor with our tile on it. Or how the hardwood flooring guy put another project on hold to fit us in at the last minute. “Like any change, it is stressful but it really is a win-win for all parties.” Michael E.

We hold this prize in high esteem and explain what it will take with pre-planning and organization on every level especially during the Design Phase to make it happen.

Your comments are welcome. To ask questions or get more information about remodeling, click here to email me directly, or call 208-947-7261

If you or someone you know is considering remodeling or just wants to speak to a trustworthy remodeling contractor please contact me, you’ll be glad you did.

Disclaimer: Some of these images came from the WEB. If they are yours, and you object to them being used, please claim them and I will gladly remove and replace them at once.