Better Builders

by Emily Blackburn

Peter Baughman

Bill Babb






Seattle, WA
GQ All-time Recommend Rate: 95%
GQ 2020 Recommend Rate: 95%
Number of Jobs in 2020: 8
Type of Firm: Design/Build, Full-service Remodeler
CEO: Bill Babb, Peter Baughman

1. Demand for services is stronger than ever. Supply delays are widespread. Building product prices are rising. Please name the concrete steps you take to keep customers satisfied as timelines and prices are fluctuating?

We believe that the single positive effect COVID has had on the consumer is that is has taught the majority of them to be more patient. Many of our customers are informed consumers & aware of the rising costs of lumber as well as material shortages. We have implemented into our contracts a material escalation clause. In addition, prior to signing a contract, we make each customer aware of the anticipated material delivery date, so that they can make the decision whether or not to proceed. Post signing, we keep in contact with our customers to keep them updated during the waiting period, and advise them of any changes. Even with delays, customers are generally happy if you keep them in the loop.

2. A good remodeling or home improvement firm knows the limits of its capabilities to take on additional work. What do/would you communicate to clients when you cannot handle their job and must decline their inquiry?

Well that’s a great problem to have! First, we thank every potential customer for contacting us. Secondly, we explain how far out in the schedule we are, and should we try to “squeeze” their project in, we are afraid it would not be given the attention and detail we strive to give to each project, and as a result, it may fall short to both the customers’ expectations, as well as our own. We then ask the customer if they are willing to wait as to such a time when we can give the project our full attention, otherwise we must decline. We then try to refer them to another qualified contractor.

3. During busy times like these, operational adjustments are needed in order to take on more work, often with the same level of staffing. What steps have you taken to ensure a quality experience despite the added workloads for your team?

Similar to the answer above, we do our best to not bite off more than we can chew so to speak. The keys to a quality experience are communication, and teamwork. Daily at 7:00 AM, I meet with my team leaders to discuss the projects at hand, their progress, and any issues. It is an opportunity for everyone to be heard and express concerns about their workloads, etc. We try to cross train our employees so that one person isn’t getting burned out doing t

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