Volume 46, Issue 7 - September 2007

From the Editor

Remodeling: Everyoneís Doing It
Homeowners Have Different Takes on Remodeling Jobs

It seems like everybody I know has embarked on a remodeling project. I just returned from a trip to visit my brother and sister-in-law in Minneapolis and aunts, uncles and cousins in Wisconsin.

When I arrived at the home of my brother Rex and his wife Cheryl in Eden Prairie, Minn., I noticed the sheet of paper hanging in their window right away, indicating that their remodeler, Beissel Window and Siding, had obtained a building permit to replace their windows and siding.

Before deciding on this remodeler, they had asked my opinion on a number of different window brands, and I had given it to them gladly. In the end, they picked the remodeler that uses Sunrise Windows. But, from hearing them talk, a lot of the reason they went with Beissel Window and Siding was because of their reputation. The company is family-owned and has been in business since 1950. Iíve asked them to keep a diary of the remodeling process, so I can report on it. 

My relatives in Milwaukee didnít have very good things to say about the contractor that remodeled their home in Waukesha County, Wis. My uncle, Dan, and aunt, Sue, converted their two-car garage into a mud room, office and work room. When I asked about the contractor that did the work, my aunt just laughed, saying she hired that company because she thought the contractor was a true professional. She said instead the contractor sent his brother-in-law (not a professional) to do the actual work, and the drywall looked horrible. In the end, she told him she wasnít going to pay the full price, because it looked so terrible and wasnít a professional job. 

Problems with drywall must be common. Dawn Campbell, Shelter magazineís art director, stepped into her writing shoes for this issue and tells all about her remodeling fiasco. Some of what Dawn has to say is humorous, but Iím sure it wasnít funny when it happened to her. 

We have some future remodeling projects to take on at our house. Weíll be replacing our windows (in Arkansas), just like we did in our old house in Memphis. We had a great experience then (see Secret Shopper, Shelter November/December 2003, page 14), and I hope that this round goes just as smoothly.

A great experience is what customers should have when they ask a dealer or distributor in their area for a remodeler/contractor referral. Even though Dawn asked for referrals, she didnít have a good experienceófar from it, in fact. It might not be a bad idea, after you give a referral, to do your homework to ensure the remodelers/contractors you suggest are keeping their reputation (and yours) untainted. 


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