Bluestem Remodeling

Timothy Ferraro

St. Louis Park, MN
www.bluestemremodeling.com
GQ All-time Recommend Rate: 95%
GQ 2020 Recommend Rate: 100%
Number of Jobs in 2020: 110
Type of Firm: Design/Build, Full-service Remodeler
CEO: Timothy Ferraro

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?

1. Setting goals to order as much as possible before we start the projects.

2. Checking with suppliers during the design and planning process to see if there are going to be time constraints on the products that will be needed for construction.

3. We’ve adjusted our budgeting and bidding so that we can continue to complete our projects at the promised price.

4. We let homeowners know they will have to make decisions during their planning process in order to keep their projects on track. We also honestly let them know they could lose their construction slot if they are not ready with decisions during the design process and need extra time, but that we will work with them to determine when their project could start.

5. Our clients always know what is happening with their project through our online project management portal, which they have 24/7 access to and contains all the details of their project, including finances and schedules. They receive daily updates, and communication happens there with everyone on our team, from design to management to construction staff, all in one place for easy tracking and to ensure everyone is on the same page at all times.

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?

We have honest conversations with homeowners at initial inquiry about their timeline, when we will be able to start the design process with them, and when we expect to have open construction slots – as well as how long our detailed design and planning process takes (at a minimum) to complete.
We also ask the question of timeline goals in initial communication before proceeding to be sure we can deliver what their needs are.

If, during initial conversation/communication, a homeowner states a timeline that we cannot accommodate, we let them know we will not be able to meet those needs, send them other possible resources who may be able to accommodate a quicker timeline, and offer to set up a conversation with them (or further conversation with them) should they have flexibility in their timeline and are willing and able to look at a later start.

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?

1. We’re investing in regular training of our field leadership so they are able to use hourly or job in labor to accommodate the demand and still keep quality high.

2. We have employed a modified Scrum system to make sure that every carpenter understands the details and the givens of every job.

3. All the details of every job are available in our online portal to every one of our staff carpenters so that they are aware of all details of the project at all times.

4. We prioritize the daily updates from lead carpenters to homeowners to eliminate the possibility of surprises, even if workload causes schedule conflicts.

5. We’ve created and implemented a construction slots calendar and do not start new jobs until present jobs are finished. This ensures that staff are not stretched too thin.

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