HIVEX Basement Finishing Co.

by Emily Blackburn
Lena McNally
Christopher McNally

Fredericksburg, Va.
hivexbasements.com
GQ All-time Recommend Rate: 97%
GQ 2021 Recommend Rate: 92%
Number of Jobs in 2021: 99
Type of Firm: Specialty Contractor – Basement Finishing
CEO: Lena McNally, Christopher McNally

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?:

Our business understands the importance of innovation and technology. Over the last several years we have acclimated to changing platforms in many of our online marketing and social media sites. We have followed suit and taken advantage of technology to increase our efficiency and overall communication internally as well as with our clients and have reaped the benefits.

Several examples of how using technology and software have benefited our clients includes programs we use for our floor plans, outgoing project status and marketing emails, electronic invoicing and payments.
A great model of how technology has helped us with efficiency is that in the past when we would have a change order during the course of work our project manager would have to find a convenient time for him and the homeowner to meet during business hours to get the change order signed which could in turn cause a delay in progress as it was not always a meeting that could happen immediately. Now, using software that allows for electronic signatures to process change orders where homeowners can sign right from their email instantly, allows for us to keep things progressing in a timely manner.


Internally HIVEX uses software that allows for instant file sharing allowing our field crews to access building specifications, contracts and change order through an application they use on the job site which in turn provides a more seamless means of communication in house improving clients experience with our company.

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?:

The increases across the board in our current economy have most definitely affected building materials and labor costs. The sales team here at HIVEX does a great job explaining the long story to our clients. Clients are not naïve to inflation, but explaining to them the direct impact on the construction industry over the last several years helps them see the bigger picture – we find transparency is the best approach. We help them understand that these increased costs are not HIVEX’s problem, but an industry wide circumstance. We explain that we monitor prices closely and work alongside our vendors for updates. Over the last 2 years we have been very clear that prices are not looking like they’ll be going down, but continuing to rise and it’s ideal to purchase now rather than waiting.


In general, we raise prices with a price “per square foot” increase – this number is based on lumber and drywall costs which affect every job as they are always part of our scope of work with basement finishing. We also have increased our prices on other line items based on the rising cost of labor and materials. This allows the price to be a fair price based on the work the client wants completed. We also look for ways to offer cost saving strategies to our clients such as a tub/shower kit vs a custom tile shower in their basement. Through using these strategies, we have been able to honor our contract pricing rather than pass on escalations to our customers as their job is in progress.

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?:

HIVEX Basements provides most construction materials for our projects. The exceptions to this are the more custom items the clients must select for us to install. We have found that because we do not offer to provide more custom items such as bathroom vanities or bar cabinets, but instead provide our clients a shopping list with specs on their project day of start they are able to go and shop for these and avoid a risk of an item not being available.


For the construction materials we provide, HIVEX completed a large addition to our warehouse to provide more storage space. Doing this has allowed us to buy significantly more in bulk and therefore have been able to provide the materials and finishes required to complete the job on schedule. We have also worked hard to create great relationships with our vendors and have been able to really stay ahead of the curve in regards to supply and demand.

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