Qualified Remodeler

Diversify Your Company

Arnold Drennen, Owner, Drennen Custom Contracting, Ft. Collins, Colo.

Year Founded:  1973

Number of Employees:  10 to 15 depending on season

 

Who started your company?

Me, Arnie Drennen.

 

When and how did you choose this career?

In 1978 Ft. Collins was growing like crazy and my pre-USAF experience was in maintenance and remodeling.

 

What did you do before becoming a remodeler?

Captain, USAF Missile Launch Officer

 

How has the remodeling profession changed since you’ve been involved?

It started as mainly handyman work. Now it is design/build work looking at the whole house and how this build changes it. 

 

Right now, what is your focus as a remodeler — more growth or steady revenue at greater profitability? Please explain.

Drennen Custom Contracting is shifting to design as we now have an architect on staff.

 

Many remodelers are reporting increases in their average job size in 2015, are you seeing this as well?  

Yes.

 

Where do you go to look for solutions and ideas for your business?

HBA classes at the International Builders’ Show.

 

If you could have a 30-minute conversation with any business leader in the country — to pick their brain for business ideas, who would it be? 

Joseph W. Lstiburek

 

Finding qualified labor is a challenge — are you hiring this year and how are you going about finding the right people for your company? 

Yes, I am hiring this year. I am talking with other businesses to inquire if they know of good people

 

What is your No. 1 source of leads right now and why is it working? 

Referrals. 42 years is a lot of past friends/customers.

 

What is the most unusual project your company has completed? 

Converting a garage to a stain glass studio and building a new sunken three-car plus garage with a deck on part of it.

 

What is your favorite item in your office? 

My wireless headset.

 

What is the best advice you’ve received in your career? 

Diversify.

 

What does being part of NAHB mean to you?

Being part of planning for doing things better in the future.

 

What have you done to grow your business during the current economy? 

Scramble to keep up.

 

What motivates you every day? 

New and different challenges.

 

Anything else you’d like to mention about career accomplishments? 

Diversification adds business stability while driving my staff and me crazy changing hats and focus.

 

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