Qualified Remodeler Magazine

DEC 2014

Qualified Remodeler helps independent remodeling firms to survive, become more professional and more profitable by providing must-have business information, namely best business practices, new product information and timely design ideas.

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the end of 2009, that all came to a screeching halt. Te phone stopped ringing, jobs under contract were scaled back or put on hold, and our income stream nearly dried up. I had invested the past 10 years into making my company into a viable remodeling company, and even though I was devastated I wasn't ready to give up." Hard choices were made: the entire staf was let go; the ofce was closed; memberships in the NAHB and NARI lapsed; and trucks, trailers and equipment were sold to satisfy creditors. Todd set up shop for himself in a 400-sq.-ft. room of the back of a detached garage at his home. He fnished a large project that had been under contract himself, and enough other work came in to keep him and his company afoat. Maintaining a web- site, Todd believes, has helped his work increase for the past two years. He also credits "repeat cli- ents, good references and word-of-mouth" with helping. A part- time ofce assistant answers phones and keeps the books, and Todd mostly uses sub- contractors if he needs assistance. "Ironically enough, when we were growing like crazy [before 2009], we were not proft- able," Todd says. "Now, I am more focused on profts as opposed to volume." in 1987 being owed hundreds of thousands of dollars and ongoing lawsuits in hopes of collecting the money. In the aftermath, Todd and his family moved to Georgetown, Texas. "I formed a one-man building and con- tracting company with an emphasis on re- modeling, and over the years I became known locally as a reliable, quality minded, general remodeling contractor," Todd says. "Making money wasn't really the object; earning a liv- ing and getting my three children through school was, so if work was slow, and it was a few times during the 1990s, I would hire out to a larger builder." Todd went back to school in the late 1990s to earn a business degree, explaining, "I was a good contractor, but not a very good busi- nessman." The de- cision was made in 2005 to incorporate to grow the business. Te company's income increased for the next four years, eventually grossing more than a million per year. Te staf also grew from three people to eight with a feld superin- tendent and two lead carpenters. "We maintained an ofce, developed sys- tems without our ofce managed by an ofce administrator, maintained memberships in the NAHB and NARI, and I became certifed as a NARI CR and CKBR," Todd says. "By he recession was not an easy time for most people, but it was espe- cially hard for those in the build- ing and remodeling industries. Survival during that time is something to be proud of, and there were lessons to be learned. Tree remodelers share their stories from the recession and the keys to their survival then that continue to beneft them today. TIM TODD T.A. Todd Construction Inc. Georgetown, Texas Tatoddconstruction.com TIM TODD, owner of T.A. Todd Construction in Georgetown, Texas, built his frst house when he was in grade school. With the help of his brother, a tree house complete with frame, deck, porch, walls and a roof was built over the course of a summer. Although Todd and his brother had to tear the tree house down in the end, his next eforts in the building industry when he was in college developed into a career as a contractor and builder. Todd and two of his brothers opened a con- crete contracting frm in Austin in 1981, but the real estate and construction markets in central Texas crashed in 1985 with the savings and loan crisis. Te company closed its doors Lessons learned from survival By Kacey Larsen Remodelers share stories of hard knocks and picking themselves back up after the recession T Maintaining a website, Todd believes, has helped his work increase for the past two years. 40 December 2014 QR ForResidentialPros.com PROFITS: Market Insight

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