Hamtil Construction

by Emily Blackburn
David Hamtil
Paul Hamtil

Saint Louis, Mo.
GQ All-time Recommend Rate: 100%
GQ 2021 Recommend Rate: 100%
Number of Jobs in 2021: 31
Type of Firm: Design/Build, Full-service Remodeler
CEO: David Hamtil, Paul Hamtil

Business technology and business software are offering new ways for remodelers and home improvement professionals to improve client experience and customer satisfaction. In what ways are you using software or technology to improve client experience?:

Hamtil Construction embraces technology to help deliver a better client experience. One essential tool we utilize is Buildertrend as a project management program. Our clients have the option to get access to Buildertrend via an app or website, where they can access our project calendar, see daily logs and pictures of our progress, and interact with us via messaging and comments.

We have found Buildertrend essential to delivering the best client experience. On the administrative side, we utilize QuickBooks ACH payments. This allows our clients to pay invoices with ease from the bank account of their choice, avoiding the tedious process of move money to their checking account, writing checks, and us having to wait for the checks to arrive in the mail. Adobe Sign has also been extremely helpful in expediting the process for acquiring signatures on contracts or change orders. To stay in contact with our clients and each other, we use Zoom, phone calls, texts, and email.

Rising costs for labor and building materials along with higher inflation on everything else is forcing remodelers and home pros to raise prices dramatically. Tell us about the most effective ways you are passing along these rising prices to your clients?:

Rising prices are a serious challenge for homeowners that want to remodel. For some items, we had to switch to allowance-based pricing. For example, we provide lumber for a home addition project with an allowance amount in the contract. This is the fairest method for both the homeowner and remodeling contractor as the amount charged is exactly what was purchased and used. If lumber prices decline, the homeowner will reap the benefit of savings. If the lumber prices increase, we have a materials escalation clause in our contract to help cover the extra cost. This clause states that if material cost increases over a certain percentage, we can charge extra. We are doing our best to avoid this by updating prices on materials as close to the contract presentation as possible and purchasing the material as fast as possible once the contract is accepted. This may mean storing materials either onsite or offsite before the project even commences, ensuring that we have locked into the pricing that the contract included.

Supply shortages have required you to ask clients to go back and pick another finish or building material. What are your tips for handing these product trade-off conversations?:

We do our best to avoid supply shortages by purchasing materials ASAP, and even stocking some materials for later use. As we create project estimates, we make sure to ask vendors about product availability when we obtain pricing, and re-check this info close to the contract presentation. Once the contract is signed, we order the materials immediately. If we handle things correctly, there should be no need for a product change due to supply shortages. In the unfortunate circumstance that we cannot get the promised product, we do our best to source the most comparable item and present it to the client in a positive way. Our design staff is also cautious to only recommend products that we know we can currently obtain.

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