Renovations are our main strength. We handle anything from a back deck to a $2 million home construction. For us, something that falls in the $300,000–400,000 range is perfect. We’ve supplemented that with a small division that handles home repairs.
There was a gap in the market. There were the larger companies, and there were the guys that happened to have a pickup truck and would do one-man projects. We thought we could fall between there and bring the professionalism of the big guys but the hands-on feel of the small guys.
Most of our advertising isn’t really advertising. It’s word of mouth. Our reputation is very important to us, and we hope that every job we leave turns into a referral. But a happy customer is a talkative customer, and our phones are still ringing.
There’s good competition in Delaware, so we have to make sure we’re always out-performing. One thing we’ve been doing lately is going in with an initial proposal that actually includes hard numbers. We want to present a proposal that’s as complete as possible. Customers don’t want continuous add-ons throughout the project, and we respect that.
“It was a total top-to-bottom makeover, from HVAC to all the bathrooms to the kitchen.”
Eric Holloway, Owner
We’ve also made it a point to establish clear lines within our business. Eric handles the infrastructure, personnel, and bills. Dan handles the outside [work] by facilitating client relations and making sure jobs are being managed well on-site. Creating a complete team of skilled workers allows us to address every angle and ensure that we’re not making someone captain of the baseball team just because he can hit well, so to speak.
We just finished work on a 19th-century farmhouse in Chester County, Pennsylvania. The challenging part of this project was that the previous owners had cobbled together about four different additions. You could go up into the attic and actually see old roof planes that had been covered over by new roofs. There was a fair amount of reframing and structural engineering to correct some weak areas.
It was a total top-to-bottom makeover, from HVAC to all the bathrooms to the kitchen. We even moved stairwells. At one point in the project, you could stand on the first floor and look through the second floor and see the underside of the roof. It was well over a $1 million renovation.
Our approach is, of course, client-centric. We paint with a broad brush at the beginning and then work out the details as we go. In this case, [the clients] wanted to redo the bath and the kitchen, and as we were going through the checklist, our visions melded.
There were some real gems when we were finished. One was the custom-built, two-inch-thick countertop that featured both black walnut and Carrara marble. We also included all the top amenities: Marvin windows, Sub-Zero refrigerator, and a Wolf gas range among others.
Before we worked on it, this house was dilapidated and an example of somewhat thoughtless design. Afterward, it had been transformed into a sophisticated farmhouse with some real character, like something you’d expect to see in Polo Ralph Lauren. A job well done. ABQ