Featured Member: John Oetking of A Street Builders
A Street Builders, Inc. was started in April, 2004 by John Oetking. John wanted to bring to the construction industry the customer service discipline that he was accustomed to providing his clients when he was in the business world. In talking with friends and neighbors who had done remodeling projects, the common complaint was the number of surprises that developed during a project that kept the homeowner up at night. The surprises could be associated with not knowing what was going to happen when, additional costs that developed when things they wanted were not included in the original proposal, and other unknowns that developed during a project.
To begin the process, John sits down with the homeowner(s) to understand the ultimate goal of the project. With this understanding, a discussion of the possible design options begins.
John’s plan was to create a “boutique” remodeling company to serve homeowners. John is the first person the homeowner meets to initially discuss the project. He is the person who works with the client on the design and is, ultimately, the project manager he/she works with day to day as the project progresses. This single point of contact is well received by homeowner(s). John’s goal was to try to remove (as much as possible) the stress that many homeowners experience when they take on a project. Communication was to be the important tool used to mitigate stress. In real estate the three most important aspects are location, location, location. In the remodeling world communication, communication, and communication are key.
To begin the process, John sits down with the homeowner(s) to understand the ultimate goal of the project. With this understanding, a discussion of the possible design options begins. First comments are usually that the kitchen/basement/bathroom needs to be updated or that more space is needed. To fully understand the ultimate goal requires a series of questions and a discussion about how the existing space is not working. Once the short comings are identified, a new design can be created to provide the desired functionality and look. A Street Builders, Inc.’s process walks the homeowner through the many steps required to come up with the final design.
When he hears “the final product is just what we wanted,” John knows he has succeeded in providing an experience that a client will be happy to share with their friends and family.
John, personally, works with the homeowner(s) from beginning to end. Depending on the complexity of the project, many options and/or specialists are available to assist. A Street Builders, Inc. uses a design software package from Chief Architect that not only creates the floor plan layout but can also provide a 3-D visual of the space. For kitchens, John will also bring in a kitchen designer to work with homeowner(s) to create the optimal cabinet layout. It is important that cabinets include the most efficient and necessary features to provide maximum functionality. The smaller the kitchen floor plan, the more critical this selection becomes. If the project requires major interior reconfiguration or a home addition John will bring in an architect to assist.
Once the design has been agreed upon, a scope of work document is developed that supports the design. This document identifies every trades person that will be involved in the project and what they will be providing. Once the scope of work is agreed upon, a detailed proposal is developed. This process takes time but provides necessary information to present a proposal that clearly outlines the project’s scope and, more importantly, a reliable cost to complete the project.
When John holds the end of project meeting with homeowner(s) to review it went, A Street Builders, Inc. gets high marks on both the design process and how the homeowner(s) felt throughout the entire experience. Homeowner(s) comment on the quality of the trades’ workmanship and the respect they showed as guests in the home and how the work space was kept clean. When he hears “the final product is just what we wanted,” John knows he has succeeded in providing an experience that a client will be happy to share with their friends and family. A Street Builders, Inc. relies on past, satisfied customers to pass along the good word. If this is the experience you want when you do your next remodeling project call A Street Builders, Inc. Check out our website www.astreetbuilders.com to find out more about A Street Builders, Inc. and review comments satisfied customers have made about working with John.