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Employees Vs Subcontractors

Welcome back friends for a 3rd installment!  Let’s talk about something that makes a HUGE difference for YOU, the consumer, when considering which contracting company to hire.  When you get a salesman to visit your home for a quote, ask them if their work is performed by their own employees or subcontractors.   Now here is where your poker face pays off.  Don’t except the first answer they give you.  We compete with many people that say they have their own “team” or their own 1099 employees.  Unfortunately, there is no such thing.  Just ask the IRS!  If you are employed by a company, you’ll remember that paperwork you need to fill out for your tax filing (dependents, married vs single, I-9, ect).  A person who receives a 1099 is a subcontractor.  Take a look at the highlights on the photo above. 

We just want to clarify.  There are a lot of companies out there who are very successful at utilizing the subcontractor business model.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with this model.  Just make certain that you choose what is right for your family, and you know what you’re getting and who it’s going to be performed by.  We’ve heard many stories about the topic and we would be happy to share over a cup of coffee.

We choose to do things a bit differently.  Why?  Years ago we saw the guy at the bottom getting paid a lousy flat rate to do work that is hard on the body.  We don’t think it’s fair.  In some cases the guy at the top makes all the money and the guy at the bottom gets squeezed and can’t afford to replace equipment or give his family a stable income.  We pay our crew an hourly rate (with benefits) so they are paid to care about you and your family.  This also means they are getting paid if something takes a bit more time to get it right.  How does that affect the price?  We work within the price quoted (assuming nothing is discovered or changed) for as long as it takes to get the project done, our crew make their same hourly rate.  Subcontractors on the other hand, are often motivated to get things done more quickly as their compensation is tied to a flat rate. 

It’s just who we are.

It’s what’s in the middle that counts!

!  Installment #2

Remodeling is funny thing.  It’s not like purchasing most other things.  We are so accustomed to getting online, finding which widget we want to buy, and then finding the lowest price on that widget.  We click a few times and it gets set on our porch in a brown box waiting to greet us, almost like a surprise after a hard day’s work. 

That is a wonderful way to buy items where the only variable are price, vendor, and whether or not you get free shipping.  NOT a good way to go about hiring a contractor!

We’ve talked to many people over the years and the assumption is that if it has Remodeling Project  A at the top of the quote, and a number that looks good at the bottom, everything in the middle is the same.  We are sorry to say, that’s just not the case!

Purchasing remodeling is more like going to a sandwich shop.  If the top slice of bread is the project, and the bottom slice of bread is the price, isn’t what’s in the middle make all the difference?  You need your local sandwich artist to really listen and know if you want that bread toasted, are we talking bologna here or the good stuff?  Is that avocado extra?   We have to stop, because it’s too early for lunch! 

You get the point.  In this particular installment, we are talking about quality of products.  You’ve worked hard and are spending good money on this project.  Shouldn’t you get the good stuff?  We spec out higher grades of paint to allow for a great finish, lower odors, a cleanable finish, and mildew resistance.  Our shower systems carry a 20 year warranty.  Our sunrooms are constructed of fiberglass, vinyl and high end glass just to name a few….and we haven’t even talked about service yet.  The next time your collecting quotes for a project your family has been dreaming about make sure to ask a lot of questions about what’s in the middle, or you may get served something you just won’t eat.

Will I see the owner??

biehl brothers contracting owners

Many people who are considering a home renovation will often interview several contractors and get several quotes.   If you’re lucky, you’ll interview several people that impress you and you would feel comfortable leaving your home to.  That can really make for a difficult decision. 

We are here to help!  We are going to make several posts on this topic.  Here’s numero uno:

Ask your contractor, “will I see the owner?”.  Now there are owner operators out there, and of course for them, the owner is on every job.  Perhaps that’s a good fit for you.  If your looking at a larger organization, that answer may change.  Part of our culture here at Biehl Brothers is that every week (typically Wednesday) is owner job check day. 

We feel strongly about checking on your project every week.  Why you ask?  Well, that’s a two part answer.  We want to make certain you as the client are happy and informed, and we were blessed to be able to hire a team of folks we like spending time with.  We like to make sure they are happy too!

It’s just who we are.

The Biehl Brothers on my TV?

We never thought we would see the day either, but it happened. Several weeks ago we filmed for a TV commercial and it’s been live for a few weeks now. We are really excited about it, and decided to share it as the very first post on our brand new website! https://vimeo.com/307074376

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