Letters to the Editor

Remodeling Myths Decoded

Dear Editor,

I really enjoy your column in Qualified Remodeler. I have just finished reading Myth No. 3, (Weiss, Feb. 07), which I found to be very informative (i.e. I plan to “convince” the boss to instate the Presentation and Acceptance at the end of jobs).

I would like to know what all of the myths are and how you have addressed them. Have you published all of them?

Thank you,

— Tracy Driffill, office manager Bond Construction Company Galesburg, Ill.

Weiss’ response:

Hi Tracy,

The Myths of Remodeling are my imagination and the results of listening to myself, friends, competitors and my employees. There is not a real list; although I’ll admit to a little underhandedness in jumping around with the numbers. I am in the process of writing a book that will include a full list. If you have a subject that might make a good “Myth” if exposed, send it to me and we’ll share the credit. If you scan the back issues of QR you will find four or five of the others.

Thank you for the nice things you said, those kinds of comments make the stories worth telling.
Good business and tell the “boss” if he’ll agree to try it, I’ll send you the Presentation/Acceptance form we’ve developed.

Green Building

Dear Editor,

I read with interest your (Francis, The Rise in Green Profits) January QR column in which you mention you now are teaching about sustainable business.

Having been active in the green building movement for a decade or more, I was particularly interested in your comment that we need to move beyond what I will call the “surface values” and towards “green behavior” — how we treat employees, how we support our communities and the world. This is a major challenge, but clearly one we all must tackle to “take it to the next level”. Best of luck to you in your endeavors.

— Michael McCutcheon, president McCutcheon Construction, Inc.Berkeley, Calif.

Delivering Your Final Presentation
Dear Editor,

I just read your article on Myth No. 3 — A Punchlist is a Good Idea (Weiss, Feb. ’07). Could I ask you how you do your final “presentation.” Just a little background on how I have done ours.

We do a walk-through prior to the homeowner moves in. Then I tell them to keep a list of items after they move in if they find them and we’ll come back and take care of them all at once at that time — usually in two weeks. Then I tell them we will be back again in 11 months to take care of anything else that needs attention (i.e. nail pops etc.).

I feel like if it is written down and documented then the new owner can’t come back and say that this “ding in the door” was there prior to moving in — kind of their word against ours.

Just curious how you handle your “presentation.”

Weiss’ response:

Hi Paula,

The “punchlist” article has struck somewhat of a nerve judging from the amount of mail I have received. Our system deals with a very simple walk through of the project (or in some cases of large remodels, parts of it) wherein the client inspects the job; we are of course there and anything they see with which they have a question is either answered or listed on the “acceptance” form (which has only 6 lines). Anything that is backordered such as a fancy faucet is also listed and anything like paint touch is done on the spot. Both clients sign as do we and both parties get copies.

The secret is that we do a detailed inspection and all the rework we can find, then if necessary reclean (maid) before we have the presentation — I don’t want to find anything. The following is the language we use in it.

“As a result of this final inspection, we (I) agree that the work contained in the Job Scope Description (and any Change Orders) (have) has been completed per agreement and are acceptable with only the exceptions listed below.”

This allows us to make sure there are no defects in the final product and greatly facilitates job-end collections. It’s not foolproof but a lot better than the “ugh – punchlist.”

Qualified Remodeler

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