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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What little extra do you throw in on your jobs that set you apart from the rest? We all could learn from this, thus better our companies, and further distinguishing us. Not major details, just the little things you do. On roof jobs we paint all metal flashings, vent pipe and roof vents so they all match the roof as possible. This is not a major detail, yet it definitely completes the job. On carpentry jobs, any raw wood is fully primed on six sides before it is installed.
What sets you apart? Give up your secrets for the better of us all...
 

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Carpe Diem
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Ancient Chinese secret :chinese:

No secrets. Treat people fairly, do the job right, finish on time and CLEAN UP after yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ok...I guess I worded it incorrectly. I didn't necessary mean a "secret". I was referring to things you do to set yourself above the rest. What I mentioned are dully disclosed to all parties. If no one wants to give up their "secrets", that's fine. I'm ok giving out what I can to anyone that cares to use them to deliver a better product to customers. I thought this would help everyone on this forum?
 

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General Contractor
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3,444 Posts
We finish a 3" border into all our concrete drives and walks. It's obvious as soon as you drive up to the house.

24" soffit overhangs.
 

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DavidC
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Angus is on the right track. Sad but true, if you want to differentiate yourself from other contractors just do what a customer would expect from a business that values its clients.

Show up on time (call if you will be and before you are late)
Provide references and proof of insurance
Everything in writing, proposal, change orders, contract
Clean up after yourselves
Communication (there is no bad news that can't be made worse by delaying the delivery, good news not shared loses value)

Good Luck
Dave
 

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Finishing Carpenter
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well I am not sure if this is a "secret" or not, but everyone has their own way to do things, and after a while you figure out little ways to make something look really good.

Was out on a quote this morning, crown/kitchencabinets/halls/upstairs landing/bedrooms etc. the GC she had hired that did the tile work etc. did some crown work in the kitchen -oh man, its like he discovered the settings on his dewalt and went with that- lotsa caulk!!! problem is, she was happy with that part of the work!!
what pi#$ed her off was that he left a huge mess in her back yard.

This is not so much a secret as it is just a way to do things. Cope inside corners, and measure the angle of the wall for outside corners, tight miters and joints.
Baseboards in the kitchen and bathrooms, or any area that will have high humidity or possibility of water on the floor- spray the back/bottom of the baseboards with kilz or some such sealer, to prevent water soaking up into the material.


Laurie


http://www.lauriescustomfinishing.ca
 

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General Contractor
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This is something we have done for so long that I almost forgot it. Order your masonry sills long, and notch them for end returns with a saw. Almost everyone around here just buys them to fit the masonry opening and drops them in.
 

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Don't Eat Yellow Snow!
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The Secret is tidy up after your self everyday your on the job,an extra clean if your not working on the job over the weekend and at the end of the job leave nothing (apart from your work) that says you were ever there!!!
You can leave the best job in the world but if you leave the yard/garden/drive in a mess that is all the customer/HO will remember!
Cheers
Dave
 

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General Contractor
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On screen soffit vents that you can see up into, spray paint all the visible wood up in there flat black. That way you can't see the wood through the screen.... so tacky when you can!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
On screen soffit vents that you can see up into, spray paint all the visible wood up in there flat black. That way you can't see the wood through the screen.... so tacky when you can!
I totally agree! We do this for HVAC returns as well.
 

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General Contractor
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That blue, tacky plastic film is great for covering all your door thresholds, your fixed plate glass windows, etc. Anything that has to be in place before spraying and painting. And, of course, put one of those cheap plastic tub liners in the tub. Homeowners just LOVE those details of protection of their property.

As work progress to the point that you need to be careful, a box of booties by the front door for all trades to use is cheap, and VERY impressive to the Homeowner.
 

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General Contractor
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This sounds silly. But I worked for an outfit that had $30 custom lawn signs made up for each buyer, stating that "This home is being custom-built for the Smith family". (Of course they all probably wondered who that "Smith" guy was.)
 

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General Contractor
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Install all your doors with cheap hinges and strikes. Leave them in place till all painting and finishing is done. One man can swap them out for the fancy, polished set at punchout in about an hour. Makes both your painting and cleanup much, much faster.
 
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General Contractor
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Spray all your exterior windows and frames with WD-40 before stuccoing. Again, it makes cleanup a breeze.
 

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General Contractor
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Most good electricians seem to automatically do this, but some don't. It's small, but noticeable... in fact from now on, you'll probably never pass a switch without looking. Besides the obvious necessity of making sure the switches and receptacles are plumb, make sure all the screw slots are aligned in the same direction.

And run a thin, thin bead of caulking around your plates. (Same color as the plates) You won't see the caulk, but if any of the plates were somehow held off the wall by texture or something, it would show up like a sore thumb.
 

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General Contractor
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I assume all of you are using "Construction Locksets"? If not, you should be. See your lock supplier about this (usually free) convenience.
 
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Service & Repairs
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Lay down drop cloths at the entrance door to avoid any dirt or lawn clippings from making their way into the home. Of course drop cloths whichever room I'm working in. People have told me I overdue it and that's a good thing.
 
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