Recent Blog Posts

  • Comparing Deck Wood Choices

    May 15, 2018
    Generally speaking, when you compare common decking materials there are three choices: Cedar, pressure-treated wood and composite decking. Neither one is a bad choice. They vary in looks, durability and cost -- each with its own advantages and disadvantages.
    read more
  • Lack of Permit Could Come Back to Haunt

    May 1, 2018
    Ron Roen had a problem. He wanted to put his Bellevue, Wash. , home on the market and move to a house on the water.
    read more
  • Social Skills For The Custom Builder

    April 15, 2018
    Will Duderstadt brings a nimble mindset to social media, having worked for businesses large and small.
    read more
  • Who Is Liable for Injured Subcontractors?

    March 15, 2018
    Here’s the scenario: A homeowner looking to replace his roof solicits estimates from several roofing companies. The company he hires is the least expensive one and uses subcontractors to do the labor.
    read more
  • Using Strategic Relationships To Grow Your Business

    March 1, 2018
    Eighty percent of your success in business today and in the future will come from your business acumen — not your product or service knowledge. This is probably counter to why you went into business in the first place.
    read more
  • Help Hiring Help

    February 15, 2018
    Somewhere in the Sierra Nevada, along the celestial blue shores of California’s Lake Tahoe, Dave Baker, general superintendent for Reno, Nev. -based Dianda Construction, is watching four skilled carpenters rapidly frame a large interior wall that is part of a 19,000-square-foot remodeling job.
    read more
  • Are You Doing Enough to Build Your Brand?

    February 1, 2018
    Building a brand is as essential to a business as building character is to a person. As with character, the process involves balancing nature and nurture, reality and perception, planning and improvisation. It requires self-awareness, commitment to growth, and patience.
    read more
  • Handle These Five Headaches Before the Remodel

    January 15, 2018
    Once your clients hand you a remodeling job, it’s entirely up to you to turn their visions into a reality.
    read more
  • Remodelers, Use These Ideas to Refresh the ‘Hedgehog’ Business Model

    January 1, 2018
    Jim Collins literally wrote the book on building a successful company. Good to Great, published in 2001, is one of the classic management manifestos, accumulating 25 years of rigorous research to identify 16 concepts that “make great companies tick.
    read more
  • What Sales + Marketing Problem Are You Trying to Solve?

    December 15, 2017
    In any given week, plenty of marketing problems need your attention. You’re stretched thin by numerous demands on your energy and focus, and it’s tempting to seek an easy solution. But easy solutions rarely turn out as we expect.
    read more
  • 21 Things You Can Do TODAY to Improve Your Remodeling Business

    December 1, 2017
    Running a successful remodeling company isn’t easy. And trying to build one that can run without your day-to-day involvement is even harder. If you want to take your company to the upper levels of success, you must first acknowledge that it’s a long road.
    read more
  • Homeowners Splurge on Master Bath Shower Features, Study Finds

    November 15, 2017
    Although master bathrooms continue to be one of the most popular rooms to renovate, the features within the spaces have evolved over the years.
    read more
  • Seven Reasons Why Your Next Truck Should Not Be a Pickup Truck

    November 1, 2017
    Tradespeople are relentlessly hit with higher prices, but find it hard to raise their own pricing structure. Thus it becomes imperative to find ways to save money so as to preserve your profitability.
    read more
  • The Dust-Free Jobsite Is Overdue

    October 15, 2017
    It helps to walk in someone else’s shoes—even the dust-covered shoes of a remodeling client. As a former contractor, I’ve generated my share of dust tearing out plaster, sawing and drilling concrete, and sanding joint compound.
    read more
  • This Is How You Have a Budget Conversation With Homeowners

    October 1, 2017
    Homeowners rarely have an accurate sense of how much their project will cost when they first speak with a remodeler.
    read more
  • Don't Want to Take Small Jobs? You Should. Here's How to Do Them While Keeping the Big Projects

    September 15, 2017
    Many remodeling companies and custom home builders have a niche. Some companies love the big jobs. Some prefer more modest work. The one thing that most companies don’t like to deal with are the service jobs, the tiny jobs, that good clients call with.
    read more
  • Must-Haves for a Comprehensive Contract

    August 15, 2017
    Unless you have someone on staff who can do a Vulcan mind-meld with your customer, odds are you and your potential client will clash about something you thought you had agreed on.
    read more
  • Why You Shouldn't be Afraid to Say No to a Sale

    August 1, 2017
    Remodelers are trained to say yes from the day they start in the industry. “Yes, I can complete the job. Yes, we can come in at that time. Yes, we can add that change order. ” “Yes” is an important word, but perhaps a better word to keep in your vocabulary is “no.
    read more
  • Home Builder Marketing: Beyond The Business Card

    July 15, 2017
    With no model homes to show or an in-house sales team to troll for new business, custom home builders rely on reputation to sell themselves to prospective clients. So their standard marketing tool is the business card, which hopefully gets passed along by a previous client to relatives or friends.
    read more
  • Should Radios Be Banned on the Jobsite?

    July 1, 2017
    A recent survey polled 730 builders and found more than 80% of them had no policy prohibiting workers from enjoying their favorite tunes while on the job.
    read more
  • How to Approach a Project Started By Another Contractor

    June 15, 2017
    Sometimes homeowners will contact you about a particular project that is half way completed. Usually the owner is unhappy with the work their current designer or contractor is doing and will ask you to take over and complete the project.
    read more
  • 10 Tips for Getting More Leads From Home Shows

    May 15, 2017
    For most home improvement companies, generating leads and sales at home shows and events is a key part of the marketing plan. Some companies are better at this than others. What sets them apart? It isn’t having the best product. It isn’t a beautiful display.
    read more
  • 4 Ways to Exceed Expectations

    May 1, 2017
    Many years ago, I began thinking about the subject of exceeding expectations. I would field phone calls from upset clients or listen to team members’ frustrations and I found that most of the time the root of the problem lay in expectations that were set but not met.
    read more
  • The Perfect Marketing Budget For 2017

    April 15, 2017
    Working with different-size builders across the nation has taught me many things. The first is that every builder is convinced that both they and their marketplace are unique. Every once in a while, it’s actually true.
    read more
  • Sales Strategies For Custom Builders

    April 1, 2017
    The strengths of a home builder’s skill set typically include being adept at assessing risk, entitling land, securing permits, negotiating with finance people, and, of course, managing construction. But selling tends to be the weak link.
    read more