Archive for January, 2010|Monthly archive page

Doing More Than Expected! – The Contractor Survival Guide

How badly do you want to keep your customers today? Are you willing to do more than you are paid to do? You might want to consider this necessary for your survival.

When things get tight economically, there are less jobs available. Contractors no longer have the luxury of picking the cream of the crop, and passing on the less desirable projects. Jobs that we may have snubbed our noses at a few years ago suddenly seem worthwhile today. From a business standpoint, it made sense to do the projects that produced the most profits. It was wise to help out the investor who would follow-up with even more projects in the future. Today I have a new plan for business.

I feel very grateful for all the good future that has come my way from working for others in the past. I still get calls from these same people, even some new ones from time to time. The jobs are not like they were though. Most of these are tight budgeted, hard work, and sometimes just nasty. But they are jobs. My attitude today is this. I want to find a way to do more than I agreed to do. Finding something that I can add to make the job better, at no cost to the client. Why? Because my reputation is on the line.

Now is not a good time for a general contractor to cut corners, or hurry through to produce a product that is less than what I am capable. The clients that are still calling are facing some difficult times themselves, calling me may have been a desperate act! A shotty job is not going to instill confidence in the client sufficient to call me again in the future. It would be shortsighted to do anything less. What will I get out of this than?

Giving more than expected has a profound effect on the client. They may tell someone else, they may post a good review, maybe they have another project that they were planning on waiting to start but they now want you to do it today. Who knows what will come of it. If nothing else, maybe we can just sleep better at night knowing that we did a good deed for someone else. That, in itself, may be the greatest return.

Good Luck in all you do!

I Love Improvement – Adding Value to Property

It seems that the longer that I am a general contractor, the more I like to make improvements to property. Most projects fall into two catagories: things that are broken and need to be fixed, and things that are old and need to be improved.

If something is broken (leaking, sagging, sparking,etc.) a repair brings it back to original this has to be done. My experience is that people are grateful to have a problem solved. The mess has been cleaned up, its not getting worse, things are back to normal. This is not a real fun project for the owner. (My truck need a new fuel pump, it will run better but it’s still the same truck.) Then there’s improvements.

Your home is getting older and outdated, you want a new kitchen (or bathroom, floor, or entertainment center) to add value to your home. Now we’re talkin’. This is something you can see, something you can appreciate, maybe even a greater sense of ownership. These projects make you feel good! I like these because it does more than just maintain the property, it improves it. This project has added VALUE to your home. Personal satisfaction, increase in value – maybe you have a project on your mind.

Before you start, think about this. Some improvements have a higher return on your investment. For example, building a greenhouse in your backyard may not have the same return in value as an updated bathroom. Before getting started, consult with a real estate agent and / or a qualified contractor to get an idea of that return. They may be able to help stear you in the right decision.

Good Luck

Placerville General Contractor – Floor Tiles in San Jose

Improving the value of homes is the key to getting work in this market. If we can add value to a property, then it doesn’t matter what the market is doing. Home owners have an excellent market to get things done to improve their property.

I had the oportunity to get down to SanJose to do some much needed updating of a tiled entry area of a small single family home. The improvements can be enjoyed by the owners today, and to increase in value will be enjoyed later. To get an idea of the cost-to-value ratio (is the cost of improvement worth it?) for your project, contact your real estate agent or knowledgable contractor.

Here is a quick video from last week. Before and after shots of the entry area with new floor tiles.