Qualified Remodeler Magazine

JUL 2018

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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n 1995, during its first year of busi- ness, Kitchen Kraft averaged about $12,000 on each contract the re- modeler closed with a homeowner. e size of its projects has grown consistently, however, as the industry innovates products and more clients request opening up their kitchen to the rest of their house. Now the company's standard kitchen job is approach- ing six figures, says president Jim Deen. "Houses that were built in the '80s and '90s are [mostly] closed off. ese newer houses, for the past 10 years or so, they all have open floor plans," he explains. "So that's where peo- ple get this idea. ey want the open floor plan, which means knocking down walls. Kitchens now are more like entire first-floor [renovations]—not just a kitchen remod- el—once you start taking out walls. "Even 15 years ago when we were selling kitchens, we told people we didn't take out walls. We didn't know how— especially if they were load-bearing or structural," adds Deen, who recently took out a wall bracing 30,000 pounds. "We had steel I-beams craned in and A-frames built for support as they [re- moved] the old wall. I couldn't imagine doing that back in '95 or even 2005." Kitchen Kraft has sought additional em- ployees with experience in construction as well as demolition to carry out larger project scopes. e company also takes advantage of any opportunity to learn further about design- ing and executing an extensive remodeling remodeler offers clients a good, better and best option, which helps to simplify the se- lection process for its five in-house designers as well as homeowners. Deen values smaller cabinetmakers who appreciate his continued business and can support him in growing the burgeoning company. "I know many people in the industry, and they're always picking up new cabinet lines. ey'll have seven or eight manufacturers they deal with, and every year they're getting rid of one and adding another," he says. "I go for manufacturers that are individually held, not big corporations, where I can establish a relationship with that company, the owners, their staff [and] the factory." Over the last few years, Kitchen Kraft has nearly doubled its gross remodeling sales, from $3.75 million in 2015 to $4.67 million in 2016, and more than $5 million in 2017. "We're right where we want to be," Deen ex- plains. "I anticipate this year being between $6 and $7 million in sales. e way we set this up, that's all we can do. And that's all we want to do. Anything over that means we need a larger warehouse, more people and more trucks. We're not interested in that." | job. At times that education occurs on the worksite because only so much knowledge can be ascertained from sitting in a classroom. "We're up to five site superintendents, and each one is in charge of three or four projects on any given day," says Deen, who solicits potential employees mainly through his pro- fessional network. "A typical two-week project for us back in '95 is now an eight-week project. ere are so many details that are involved that you've got to have somebody who is qual- ified and knows what they're doing." e remodeler opened a second showroom in September 2015 on the opposite side of Columbus, Ohio, to highlight its bathroom division, Dream Baths Remodeling by Kitchen Kraft. Whereas its first showroom caters to customers who already had a designer visit their home, the new location draws more walk-in traffic because the com- pany established a retail environment, Deen explains. "We knew we had to do some- thing [and] take advantage while the market was hot," he adds. "In that location, we're actually showcasing bathrooms more than kitchens because one [didn't] exist in Columbus—a showroom where you can go see literally 12 bathrooms fully put togeth- er; plus, you've got like 30 vignettes on top of that. Basically, everything for bathrooms under one roof." Kitchen Kraft deals with only three cab- inet manufacturers, one of whom has been a partner since the beginning in 1995. e Seizing the Day No. 286 Kitchen Kraft capitalizes on a trend of open-plan living and the demand for bath remodels to achieve its revenue goal. By Kyle Clapham We knew we had to do something [and] take advantage while the market was hot. Jim Deen, president JIM DEEN, President COMPANY: Kitchen Kraft Inc. LOCATION: Columbus, Ohio DESCRIPTION: Kitchen and bath specialist 2017 TOP 500: No. 286 I 66 July 2018 QR QualifiedRemodeler.com PROFILE TOP 2017

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