Today on the Tim Faller Show, we welcome guest John Vendafreddo to discuss time management. John talks about how to organize jobs based on importance or urgency, and how planning can help with time management. John also discusses how to handle in-office meetings while working on job sites. John finished the show by giving some advice to new project managers.
John has been interested in building since he received his first Fisher-Price toolset. Upon graduating high school there was no question about what field John would enter. John joined the Hogan Design Build team as a laborer but his drive and eye for perfection helped develop him into the company’s head trim carpenter. As Hogan Design Build grew, John’s attention to detail led to him being promoted to Project Manager and now, Senior Project Manager. John is married and has three sons. He lives in a house that he built from the ground up in Batavia.
Season 4 Starts With This Special Episode Recorded Live at The Remodelers Summit!
Listen to this episode and get tips on creating an effective and highly functional relationship between company ownership and the production team. Clark Harris and Eric Bain of Innovative Construction discuss how they have built an open, trusting, and team-based relationship that allows them to work effectively together while creating a culture for innovation, growth, and change.
Innovative Construction is a high-end design firm in Atlanta, GA, with the goal of improving lives through design, craftsmanship, and teamwork. Clark and Eric run their organization with a philosophy of “do it badly and improve.” They do this with a relationship of openness and trust.
Raise your hand if you are a salesperson… Maybe a few business owners raised their hands, but most likely, our production people and our Project managers, Lead carpenters, and Production managers all kept their hands down. Not so fast!
In this episode, we step out of our comfort zone a little and talk about your production teams’ impact on sales and marketing. For this discussion, we bring in an expert in the marketing world who has worked with hundreds of remodelers and home builders all over the country, Spencer Powell.
Spencer is the President of Builder Funnel, a Colorado-based firm that provides sales and marketing services for homebuilders, remodelers & contractors. Spencer earned his Inbound Marketing, HubSpot, and HubSpot Partner Certifications in 2010 and has been practicing and teaching inbound marketing to businesses ever since.
Tim, Steve, and Spencer talk more about:
The impact production has on the Client Experience
The Top 3 things that will create negatives in the clients’ mind
The Top 3 things that create a positive reaction with a client
How the production team can create vital content for the marketing effort
How owners and leaders can get buy-in from the team and show the impact they have on the business
We heard from a few listeners about that episode, and the concept of Zero Punch List, so we wanted to revisit it. We are now evangelists pushing to see the term “Punch list” eliminated from the remodeler’s vocabulary. In a zero punch list scenario, after a project, no items remain to be addressed or “punched” because the items will have been addressed during the project and not at the project’s end.
A punch list is so ingrained within the industry that it is tricky to conceive of not having one. Every blog article about working with a contractor says something about that punch list. Usually, “Don’t pay until it is done.”
Television is full of construction and remodeling shows, but we all know many of them leave false impressions of how fast and easy the process can be. But the pioneering program, This Old House, still shows viewers how complicated it can be.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the program, and they’re tackling a net-zero retrofit, a mid-century modern remodel, and spearheading outreach programs to get more workers into the trades.
In this episode, Kevin O’Connor, host of the Emmy Award-winning This Old House and Ask This Old House, talks with Tim and Steve about what you see on TV, and how it helps the construction industry as a whole.
Kevin has appeared on the two shows since 2003, and serves on the editorial board of This Old House magazine. He also hosts This New House airing on the DIY Network and Hidden History in Your House airing on the History Channel’s H2 network. Along with his four brothers and two sisters, Kevin grew up on various job sites led by his father, a civil engineer. When Kevin and his wife, Kathleen, were renovating their 1892 Queen Anne Victorian they sent an e-mail seeking advice from the Ask This Old House experts. The house call served as Kevin’s first screen test to serve as the new host (the third host in the history of the home-improvement series).
Kevin talks about the evolution of the show and about the Generation NEXT campaign, cosponsored by the mikeroweWORKS Foundation. It’s a high-profile effort to close the skills gap in the trades, encouraging young people to master those skills and look at construction careers. He also talks about the challenges of working on a job site that’s also a TV shoot, including:
Scrambling and adapting
More about the show’s two projects this season
How the show’s contractors juggle TV and their businesses
In this episode, Host Tim Faller shares a process called Pull Planning, and how he thinks it can change the way the residential remodeling world schedules projects. Instead of creating a schedule from start dates, the focus is centered around end dates, and guest Jack Miller is here to talk about how this technical tool can eliminate the huge costs and high stress from production scheduling delays.
Jack started Jack Miller Contractors in 2007 with the vision of a team of highly skilled professionals working together to deliver exceptional projects, a vision which has since come to fruition. He also leads his parish Buildings & Grounds committee and is on the advisory committee to Charles H. McCann Technical School.
Developed and led by our Senior Consultant and “Production Guru,” Tim Faller, this special Roundtables™ Program focuses on all aspects of production management; People Management, Technology, Training & Development, Customer Service and more.
As he’s stated many times, Tim wants to see punch lists eliminated completely. The punch list can be an invitation for clients to find fault for remodelers. In new home building, there’s a part of the budget set aside to take care of the punch list. It can be a drain on profits.
Derek Stone built a business, in part, by completing punch lists and warranty work for other building companies.
In this episode, Derek talks to Tim and Steve about a different side of the building business, and how his systems and training can help your remodeling company.
Derek is the CEO of Stone’s Repair and Remodel in Nashville, TN. Derek started his company as a one-man show in 2011. After working 80 hours a week, for three years, and missing his family, he learned the principle of leverage. He hired his first subcontractor, and within the next nine months, he hired 10. In 2017, he had over 28 subs punching houses for 14 different builders. In those three short years, he went from $68,000 in revenue to 1.2 million.
About 60 percent of Derek’s business is punch list and warranty work, primarily for new tract home builders. His company also does pressure washing and screen enclosures. He says he’s personally done about 7,000 houses himself. He contracts with local building companies to complete the work. Derek talks about his slice of the building and remodeling business, as well as his approach to systems and training, including:
How long it takes
Scheduling his subcontractors
What he learned from Chik-fil-A
Creating replicable systems
Training for skill sets
Working strategically with partners
His profit-sharing plan
And more …
If you or your team would like to see examples of his training approach for his sub-contractors, Derek has videos on his YouTube channel.
Did You Miss Build Aid?
Did you miss it? Thousands of remodelers, builders and industry professionals attended the Live, two-day virtual conference and got to hear 20+ speakers share tips, advice and strategies on “surviving and thriving” during these challenging times…
But we have Good News… We are keeping the Virtual Event Center open for a few weeks so you can access the recorded sessions and visit with the sponsors and partners that made it all possible. Visit https://buildaid.live/ to learn more.
Editor’s note: We’re all working remotely, away from the podcasting studio, so we’ve dug into the virtual vault to bring you this episode. With so many projects on hold due to Covid-19 emergency orders, take some time to get your systems and processes ready for better days.
Developing a system that makes your kitchen and bath jobs more profitable has to include getting those all-important selections done early in the process — before the job even starts.
In this episode, Tanya Donahue discusses that process with Tim and Steve, and why it results in exceptional client experiences, and make everyone in the company happy and more productive.
Tanya is the president of Rhode Island Kitchen and Bath, and provides her team and her clients with proven strategic capabilities, backed by her strong record of success. She’s spent more than 25 years in the home building and remodeling industry, and her main focus is to create, communicate, and implement the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction. Tanya is a member of the Rhode Island Builders Association, served as co-chair of the Remodeler’s Committee and is a former member of the board of directors. She was selected as a 2017 Industry panelist for Harvard University’s Joint Center on Housing Studies, and was a judge of the 2018 National Qualified Remodeler Design Awards. She was also the recipient of the 2017 ProRemodeler Extreme Sales Award.
At the company, when a job packet goes to production from sales, it has every selection made, right down to the color and manufacturer of the caulk to be used. So much money is lost when something is missing on the job. If your company isn’t doing it this way, Tanya says, it may seem overwhelming, but she tells you how to get your organization on board with making selections before the job starts, including:
Making the client the boss, sort of
Getting buy-in from sales and design
How it increases productivity in design and sales
Including photos in the job packet for easy identification on site
Starting with the must-haves
Controlling the client through education in the process
Figuring out how clients make decisions
Why cabinets can drive their start date
Starting with a reservation form, and using it as a reality check on the schedule
The power of the visual production board
How to do it without a showroom
And more …
Integrating sales and production in a continuous communication loop from start to finish is key to the whole process.
Don’t Miss Build Aid on April 1-2…
We want to give back to an industry that has supported us through good times and bad, and so we’ve created Build Aid, a FREE, two-day virtual event to help support our members, associates, and friends in the remodeling community.
Join us on April 1-2 as we explore various ways your business can navigate these tough times, and position yourselves as a leader when the world begins to recover and re-build. Click Here for more information & registration
Training to help move team members up the ladder is important to any remodeling company and its ability to move fast and make money.
Chris Peterson has seen the importance of training from his first days in the field as a carpenter through to his present leadership position. He says it’s a concrete way to coach and promote great people from the ground up.
In this episode, Chris explains his company’s training methods to Tim and Steve, and shows you how to create your own education program.
Chris is a co-owner and vice-president of production at Schloegel Design Remodel in Kansas City, MO. Chris has been with the company for more than 23 years. He started in the field as a carpenter and progressed to lead carpenter, project manager, and production manager. In 2018, he purchased the business with his partner, Charlie Schloegel. He’s seen the need for better training from many angles.
There’s a real connection between emphasizing training and successful financial growth, says Chris. His company has started Schloegel University, which is in its initial growth phase. Some of the training is after hours on a volunteer basis, and there are mandatory meetings. Chris explains why making it cross-functional with classes that include field and office staff is important, as well as:
Reactionary vs. proactive training
Explaining how quality ties into profitability
How much to spend on training
Structuring a training program
Understanding education is already happening
Setting standards so things are done the same way, every time
Putting the responsibility on the learner
Creating enthusiasm around the process
And more …
Dedicating the time to training, even if it’s informal, will help your people be successful, leading to better quality and more jobs for your company, says Chris.