Stebnitz Builders Inc.

by Emily Blackburn
Chris Stebnitz

Elkhorn, Wis.
GQ All-time Recommend Rate: 99%
GQ 2021 Recommend Rate: 100%
Number of Jobs in 2021: 95
Type of Firm: Design/Build, Full-service Remodeler
CEO: Chris Stebnitz

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 lead carpenters are using tablets to access project details, client information, contact suppliers and connect with the office. We have also integrated a remodeling software, CoConstruct, into every facet of our process to create a singular space for our pre-production team, our carpenters, and our trade partners. It allows for better communication within the team, and therefore, better communication to our clients improving their experience.

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?:

Understanding our costs and where they’re expected to go is crucial to estimating a project correctly. We have regular communication with our lumber yards and other suppliers to give us current pricing on lumber and other building products, along with the projection of those prices over the next few months. We ensure that our clients understand our pricing and how it fits with their budget from the first conversation. We work through every lead to make sure we are a good fit for the client and the client is a good fit for our company. Then they are given a project development agreement that gives them an estimate of their contract price based on scope and certain selections. Through this process they are constantly aware of cost and pricing, and at each step, they say “yes” so they aren’t surprised when the contract is presented.

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 have not encountered a shortage we weren’t aware of. Any shortages we’ve had to deal with have been with products our clients don’t see or specify – framing lumber, sheathing, etc. Any selection issues we’ve had, have been as a delay only. These typically do not affect our progress significantly. When the occasional situation arises, it’s critical we alert the client of any change in approach or building procedure due to product delay.

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