Barnes Custom Builders

by Emily Blackburn

Co-Owner Dave Medeiros

CEO, Co-Owner Charles Barnes

North Falmouth, MA
GQ All-time Recommend Rate: 100
GQ 2019 Recommend Rate: 100
Number of Jobs in 2019: 20
Type of Firm: Design/Build
CEO: Charles Barnes

The COVID-19 pandemic changed homeowner interactions. What measures do you use to signal an extra level of care when working in or around a client’s home?

At Barnes Custom, we immediately created procedural documents with recommended best practices based on what was known about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) at the point of announcement, including detailed site procedures for Barnes employees, homeowners with active projects (job sites) and subcontractors.

These documents covered areas in personal responsibility, social distancing, “one contractor onsite at a time”, best practices for sanitation and cleanliness (PPE, gloves, eye protection, masks, sanitizer, disinfectants & hand washing/portable sinks), chain of custody, and additional protocols on handshaking with clients, congregating in common areas & during lunch breaks, and sign in sheets for subcontractors.

We also requested to the clients to reach out to us in the office or to their designated project manager to make an appointment to enter the home depending on the level of Barnes employees and subcontractors that were working on their project on a particular day. We set a standard that only 5 individuals could be at a job site at a time. Our goal was to keep everyone safe and if at any time, if someone was not feeling well, we asked that they stay home based on the CDC guidelines.

Seamless communication technology is now both necessary and expected. How have you used new technology platforms to promote better customer communication and satisfaction?

Our first step was to email each client individually to provide them with our operational framework during the pandemic. This was in an effort to safeguard the health and well-being of our employees, clients, business partners, & community.

In Massachusetts, on Monday, March 23rd, Governor Charles D. Baker announced the temporary shutdown throughout the Commonwealth. Barnes Custom Builders voluntarily suspended all work as of 12 noon, Tuesday, March 24,2020. We communicated to our clients that as we work through and monitor the current COVID-19 situation, our team was dedicated to working hard in putting actions in place as we figure out a new game plan for their current project. This included any necessary schedule changes.

We also communicated with our subcontractors to check their status and availability during that time. We told our clients that we appreciated their patience and understanding as we created a new strategy and timeline for their project, this included sending updates as soon as possible. We encouraged our clients to contact us via email any time with questions or they could reach out to us through our Buildertrend project software. The could contact us by using meeting tools like “Facetime” or “Zoom.” We also added a “Covid-19” message as “pop-up” on our website.

What was your message to clients with projects in progress in order to keep them happy and satisfied during the uncertainty of the stay-at-home period?

Our primary concern was to keep everyone safe, from our team, clients, subcontractors and anyone that we interfaced with on a daily basis. We focused on personalized communication with each client via email, and reviewed each one of our projects to determine what their revised project schedule would look like.

It was extremely important to us to understand each homeowner’s concerns with COVID-19 and at what point would they feel comfortable with us working within their home. We also encouraged our clients, that if at any point they were concerned about the sanitation or cleanliness of their home, to contact us directly. We were truly grateful for the responses we received back from our clients. They too, wanted to make sure we were safe as well.

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