By Melissa Bunis, Boston Stone Restoration
The past three years have seen unprecedented demand for home projects, large and small, including additions and renovations. Whether upgrading systems, repurposing square footage or adding rooms, our clients make substantial expenditures. Advising clients on the importance of protecting their investment will enhance the long-term relationships we want to foster. Remodelers, vendors, and subcontractors all have a role to play in this regard.
“One approach that we find works best for protecting a client’s investment in a new remodeling project is the 5-year warranty process we have developed,” explains Asher Nichols, owner of Asher Nichols & Craftsmen. “By reviewing the home once a year, we can stay ahead of developing issues either with the project that’s been completed or in existing elements. Our inspections happen yearly and cover our workmanship. Manufacturers have their own warranties. We believe our high-quality product should endure, so we touch up the paint after 12 months and check and fix small defects, if any. We also adjust interior doors and locksets, if ever required.”
We can all agree that communicating often and thoroughly with clients throughout the renovation process is essential to a good working relationship and positive outcome. Encourage clients to reach out, especially if there is an issue. We all want happy, satisfied customers. Helping clients to maintain their homes is good business.
Subcontractor and Vendor Services
“Maintaining the mechanical systems in a home is much like an annual visit to the dentist. Not only will your systems be tuned up to run more efficiently throughout the year – which may, in some cases, save both money and energy – but you will have the benefit of a skilled technician that can identify potential problems before they become emergencies,” says Michelle Glassburn, CEO of Lavallee Systems. “Many companies will also load in customer care benefits, like priority scheduling or fee discounts, as a benefit of an annual agreement as well. Be wary of companies that offer agreements at a super-low rate. These agreements are designed to position the company to upsell the homeowner on additional and potentially unneeded services. All in all, the adage ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’ is certainly true when it comes to the systems that heat and cool a home.”
From cabinetry to countertops, flooring, and windows and doors, there are many elements in our home that can benefit from specific treatments and services.
“Marble and other natural stone is a large investment in your home and, as such, should be treated with care and maintained annually,” explains Boston Stone Restoration co-owner Melissa Bunis. “Periodic cleaning, re-polishing, and re-sealing caulking of stone surfaces are a few items that should be addressed regularly. Also, consider the application of specialty coatings to prevent future damage on counters and floors.” BSR works for remodelers as well as homeowners directly to provide an array of protective services.
Every decision in a remodeling project has implications for longevity and maintenance. When clients invest in quality materials, the assumption is that they will be durable. During the design process, choosing lower maintenance materials may provide benefits to clients. Explaining the choices is an important role that interior designers, specialty designers like kitchen and bath designers, landscape designers, or technology designers provide.
“When you design a home with technology in mind, you want to make sure you treat it with care and maintain any service needs or upgrades that will extend the life of the system. It is like any other piece of technology, such as an iPhone or Android. If you don’t take care of it, it could slow down and not function as intended,” explains Ashley Jacobson, Vice President at System 7. “It does not mean you need to remove or upgrade all components on a yearly basis necessarily, but if the system/home design was thought about carefully upfront during the project construction and you maintain both the software and hardware, your home technology should operate as originally specified.”