Remodeling 101, Don’t Let Them Fool You


If you mention the word remodeling to most people, I either get a groan or they give me that look of fear. Most will blame the home remodeling trade or contractors for the reason remodeling is such a deflating experience. Is it really their fault or is it lack of knowledge of the consumer? Most will debate you till you are blue in the face, but I know better.
Over the years, we have become a throwaway society in the name of cheap prices. You see it from all the large consumer companies like Walmart, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Target, and so on. each one fighting to make their message clear that they are the ones that will beat everyone’s prices. The average uneducated consumer will follow suit by going for the lower price and when all of the dust settles, they are unhappy with what they have bought. When it comes to food, I guess a can of Green Giant corn is the same at one place or the other, or your favorite Kraft Mac N Cheese. When it comes to home remodeling, though, that is a much different story.
I hear stories all the time of people buying from a home center and complaining they did not get what they wanted or they complain about the conflicting stories from each vendor they hire. Who’s the blame, you might be thinking, but when it comes right down to the end of it all, we as consumers need to be educated enough to take responsibility for our buying actions. Sure we can complain, but we still have to make better decisions for who and what we pick.
I have a little story that will sum up what I am trying to get across. Years ago, Corian counters were the rage of consumers. They wanted them in their homes, but they weren’t as excited about the price of them. Wilson Art decided to come out with an alternative material that would be a little less in price called SSV, which stood for solid surface veneer. Corian was 1/2″ thick and SSV was 1/4″ thick. My sales people got wind of the material and bugged me till I wanted to scream. I wasn’t crazy about this new product with it being so thin. My exact words were, “It will crack eventually being that thin.” My sales people didn’t want to hear that and continued to bug me till I broke down and gave them the product to sell. It was about 1/3 less in price and people were asking for it enough to warrant us to carry it in their eyes. We started selling loads of it, and in my sales people’s minds, they made the right decision. But did they?
Fast-forward now many months later and the calls started coming in. Yes, you have it right; the counters were cracking. Not every one that we sold but at least half of them. We were a busy company; I remember getting the fabricators of the SSV back to the jobs to fix those counters and in the end, we paid more in labor than we ever made on the profit of those sales. Lesson learned and my sales people never sold another SSV top again.
Low prices always attract us all. The one good thing I learned many years ago, though, is that the low price comes with another price called pain and anguish. The more you talk price and budget when buying something for a home remodel, the more chance the vendor will lead you down that road of low communication and knowledge. You can buy that can of peas as cheaply as you can find it but when it comes to remodeling, you need to make sure you deal with professionals who will lead you down the right path. They will be the ones listening to your desires and dreams and educating you about all the things you need to know to make an intelligent and right decision. How do you spot the non-professionals? They are the ones who keep silent, get your costs to where your budget is and promise you all the tea in China. Whose fault is it now? I let you decide that yourself.
Dream first every time and watch everything fall right into your happy place. I wouldn’t have it any other way! Bon Appetit!
Tim Holick



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