At a Glance
Home renovations and additions and custom-home building
Projected 2011 Sales
You specialize in remodeling and additions rather than new homes. Why is that?
Hardin Sigmon: Renovations and additions are what we’ve cut our teeth on, and we have an excellent reputation for that. It’s very different from new-home building. The relationship with the client is crucial because you’re actually living and working in their home for several months.
How does that process begin?
HS: It begins with either myself or Steve Peed, my vice president of operations, walking through the house with the client to understand their goals, desires, and concerns. We take that information back to the office and, with Bjarne Lunde, our talented CAD operator, we create a design. Then we create a budget to go with that, which we review with the client to ensure we know their budget expectations.
Escalating budgets are the curse of remodeling projects for both contractor and client. How do you avoid them?
HS: Most contractors have trouble identifying the costs. We have mastered that and, in fact, have developed our own software program. We ascertain the client’s budget as soon as we can so that we design to that budget. We always give the client a fixed price, and we have a simple contract that leaves no question about what they’re getting.
How do you help the client visualize the expected results?
HS: During the programming phase, we show the client 3-D images that illustrate exactly what they will get for the money they’re spending. We also provide “selection assistants” that help the client make decisions about items such as fixtures, flooring, and appliances.
What’s the secret to maintaining strong customer relations throughout a project?
HS: Our project manager runs the job from start to finish, but the subcontractors also represent us when they’re at the site. We’re pretty strict about the way we want them to dress, look, and present themselves. The project manager is not there all the time, so the subs take over the protection and security of the home.
How do you choose your subs?
HS: We don’t have them bid on a project. Instead, we get the best subcontractors for the project’s budget. We’ve been able to establish good relationships with subs because our budget system provides cost estimates they know they can trust. We set the price, and they accept that price.
What do you do to ensure long-term customer satisfaction?
HS: My biggest goal is that we make you so happy with us that you become a referral. If we can’t do that, then we don’t want the job. The reality is that sometimes construction goes south, but we don’t finish the job until everything is right.
You recently won awards for the Haglund Pool and Weddington Kitchen remodeling projects. What stands out on those projects?
HS: The highlight of the Haglund Pool is the integration of the retaining wall and pool wall with the sheer-water features. The focal point of the Weddington Kitchen is the island, with its elegant details—almost Art Deco—and softening and curving features.
What advice do you have for homeowners considering a remodeling project?
HS: You have to decide, “Who can I work with?” Bidding a project out is not the best way to do that. Instead, do your homework and research the reputations and references of contractors. Find the one you believe you can trust and partner with for three to six months. Work closely with them to develop your project, negotiate the price, and understand the budget before you start. ABQ