At a Glance
Custom-home remodeling, additions, kitchens, and baths
Are more homeowners remodeling their homes—rather than taking on the difficult job of selling—in this market?
Gerry Roth: More people may be remodeling their homes, but the size of the projects has dropped substantially. A bread-and-butter job for GM Roth used to be a kitchen and/or bath remodel with an addition. With this economy, there are fewer of those jobs now, as people aren’t investing as much money in their homes.
What remodeling projects deliver the best bang for one’s buck on resale?
GR: Kitchens and baths still have the best resale value. Bathrooms have become a larger part of our business. It’s a smaller investment, so people are more apt to do the bath remodel and wait for the kitchen and the addition, definitely. We responded by value-engineering our bath-remodel process. We simplified the design process, so now we can come to your home and measure the project, and then [you] meet us at our showroom, where everything can be selected and you get a price immediately. Value-engineering the process has allowed us to cut our prices by 35–50 percent. We are offering 12-month same-as-cash loans and zero percent-interest loans. We are … doing the same with our kitchen-remodeling process.
Is GM Roth known for certain kinds of projects?
GR: We are known for our award-winning remodeling projects. A lot of our awards are because of the space-planning [and] structural changes that we make, not just [for] changing the cabinets. For example, with a kitchen remodel, we may change the location or size of a window and then remove a structural wall. We improve the lighting, flooring, plumbing, and storage. The before and after is drastic, and that’s where we really shine.
What led you to the home-remodeling business?
GR: I was 25 years old and working as a computer technician at Digital Equipment Co. here in New England. I bought a house and started remodeling it. That same year I got married and started my business. I’d always wanted to be in my own business. I liked being paid by the job rather than by the hour. I’ve always liked remodeling and architecture, and I guess it’s because you didn’t need a lot of money to get into it. Over the years I did a little custom-home building here and there for friends, but I’ve always stuck to remodeling.
Tell me about how the showroom you opened five years ago has changed your business?
GR: Back in 1996 we were installing cabinets and doing all the project management for other kitchen companies. I decided that, seeing as we were doing all of the tougher customer-service-related work, why not sell the cabinets ourselves and make the profit on them. Five years ago we opened our current 6,000-square-foot showroom. We are open on Saturdays, and our designers meet with clients there most evenings. Because of this, our kitchen and bath business has grown to be more than 60 percent of our business. We have a working kitchen in the showroom, so it allows us to invite groups in—I’m in Rotary—and we have four to six expos a year. It’s all part of good marketing.
What makes GM Roth Design Remodeling different from its competitors?
GR: The thing with us is that we are always professional. We have a 10-step process that is integral to our service, and we have an awesome team of people who have been with us for a long time and always strive to be the best. We only do home-remodeling projects, and our success is based on keeping our clients happy. We have a 95 percent customer-satisfaction rate. We get 60 percent of our work from referrals and repeat customers. We show up on time, and we call if we are running late. People sometimes accept otherwise because it’s this industry, but “it’s the industry” is not acceptable to us. We clean up daily and treat our customers and their homes with respect. That separates us from the rest. ABQ