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Frequently Asked Questions

Dear Potential Client, 

 

This will not be your normal Frequently Asked Questions page.  It's not going to be the 'meaningless fluff & sell' you may see on other websites FAQ's pages. I feel strongly that you, as a potential client, need to know exactly what you are in for on a typical project with us and maybe even other contractors. I am an optimist and a realist all rolled into one, shaped by what I've experienced over the past 25+ years in business, so it's important for you to hear (tactfully) about some of the issues I've run into and how my team and I have handled them. To me, one of the truest measures of a contractor is not just on the positive, easy, days where nothing goes wrong.  It's measured by the 'oh-shit moments' and the process by which we worked to solve those issues. That's where I think that Sullivan Construction really shines.  If I was in your shoes looking to hire a contractor, this is what I would want to know.  

If you don't see your question answered in the list below, please contact us. 

 

My answers are sincere, up front, and with a bit of humor too.  The answers below are based on my 25+ years experience in General Contracting and are strictly my humble opinion.   The stories are true.)

A: Go to the Home page and scroll down to the Process. Call me if you still have any questions or concerns. 509-336-3788 Sullivan Construction Inc.

A: Turn off your T.V. and try not to mention HGTV to any contractor. Its a major red flag for any contractor. Entertaining they are, Realistic they are definitely not. 


First off, there is no such thing as a typical remodel. Every one of them is as unique as the hairs on your head. 


Secondly, on the average, a remodel/renovation/repair is usually a 'complete disruption to your lifestyle'. This is real life, not Hollywood, not a home magazine, and definitely not a blog from who knows where. 


Third, for an enormous number of reason's that border between controllable and not controlable, a remodel will usually take longer than you think and will cost more than you think. Positive hopes and wishes are great, but they won't wish away 30 feet of rotten sill plate. 


Exhibit A: 


After 25+ years in this business, most of us, including you, will tell me that they are sticking to the budget on your project come rain or shine. Awesome, I'm all for that, but the moment we cut that hole in your wall for that new living room window you've been dreaming of to get more light and a better view, all bets are off and your budget...disappears into thin air. It's a downward slide after that. Suddenly, you are realizing that maybe that window really should have been a lot bigger like your neighbors, family and contractor nicely suggested and you are wondering how fast I can get a new bigger window made/delivered and if that the current window we have might just really fit into the dining room wall by the old hutch. Uh-oh, I think to myself, on this train again I see. That's ok. All of us go thru the same thing. You ask what our schedule would be like to remodel the dining room too because you've never really liked it and that color just has to go and it's really what you wanted to do all along, etc. I say that story as light heartedly as I can, but to some extent, big or small, it really does happen on a weekly basis, sometimes on a daily basis. This is exactly one of the big reasons that contractors are always running behind in their schedule. Its no ones fault, its just part of being human, so don't be too hard on yourself...or a contractor. It happens to us all, whether we care to admit it or not. We are all on the same train. 


Moral of the story: When we open up your wall and you think 'hmmm....lets see, well, maybe if we just.....,' Waaaiiittt.... just breathe. You've got two choices: either tell yourself it's good enough or tell yourself to go for it. Be decisive and move forward.

A: You're hilarious. See the answer above this one for that, especially Exhibit A. If that doesn't satisfy you, then please feel free to spend a full work day with me or any other contractor and you'll see. It will all make sense. You'll see.

A:   Does a bear shi....well....YES.  Respectfully, very much yes.  Like  an ocean, things are constantly changing in a contractors world and it  can be extremely stressful.... if you let it.  Look around and try to  put things in perspective the best you can.  Most of it is not in your  control or mine.  No, I don't think the window company is really going  to get us a bigger window by the end of the day.


Exhibit B:

Many years ago, this was my day:

I  woke up and saw that my late night of planning and pricing went down the  tube on a current kitchen project from a great client.  The voice text  they sent me said that their beautiful old tree that they swore up and  down was rock solid had indeed succumbed to the fierce windstorm last  night and had fallen directly onto the front porch, completely smashing  it, ruining the siding and the new front door we just put in a year  ago.  While also partially destroying the corner of the living room,  loudly snapping 3 wall studs which literally scared the poop out of both  of their little old dogs curled up asleep in that very same corner, who  consequentially went ballistic at each other, barking wildly, tearing  circles in the carpet. Ya know Sully, we didn't really like that carpet  from the get go but the dogs sure did, so oh well, hey, since we have to  do structural framing, siding, drywall and yea, new carpet to fix  things, well, Sully, what do you think about the possibility of maybe,  if you had time to fit us in with well, just a little 12x20 addition?  I'm just saying maybe if you thought it would work to fit it in.   And  by the way, our gas is shut off, because when the tree blew over, well,  the stump sorta pulled the gas line out of whack.  Avista was great and  said if we can get the 30-foot long ditch dug sometime today, then maybe  they can get us a new gas line put in the next day or so, but no  promises they said.  Is their a way to dig the ditch so not to disturb  the pet fish cemetary so our kids don't fall apart, and Oh, and we can't  find the cat, that poor little thing, do you think its in the walls?.   Its starting to rain, could you bring a tarp and let's put a hold on the  kitchen for now anyway, sound good?  Ok, I'm gonna draw out a sketch  for that addition and talk soon, ok, bye, thanks Sully.


True story.  And that all happened before I even had breakfast.  I had to reread it  and I wish I had saved that text because I would have framed it.  I did  wonder if they were really going to need that big window I had just  installed a year ago, but they kept it.


Many  days, all it takes to mess up a contractor's schedule is an employee  calling in sick, or something small you had ordered that was key to  making the day flow smoothly is delayed a few hours because of snow/ice  road conditions.  In this business, there are just too many moving  parts.  Something is bound to go wrong.  The key is how you solve it.    Yet, somehow things get accomplished and customers are happy.  The hard  part about that story is that we pulled off another job to get the roof  tarped before the rain made things worse for their interior, which in  turn meant we missed the inspector who, turned out, only had that time  slot available that week.  Ah, those hidden costs/losses that we have to  endure with a smile.


What you need to  remember, is that most contractors, including me, try to do our best at  controlling the uncontrollable or at least steer it in the right  direction.  Each day's success can be attributed to many things: skill,  timing, planning, luck, or just a really great lunch.  Regardless, we  here at Sullivan Construction are always moving in a forward direction  to your projects completion, as efficiently and safely as possible.    Aim True.

A:  Either one is just fine.  Tim is my name and Sully is my nickname.   There are other Tim's around, but there is only one Sully in the local  trades that I know of.

A:  Excellent.   We 'over-communicate' many times, which means even  though we know the answer to something, we are just double checking  details, simply because we are trying to stay ahead of possible changes  from a large number of factors on an ever-changing scale of situations,  aka, a remodel.    This saves us from ordering a special order item,  when you tell us a few days later, you've changed your mind but its too  late to cancel the order.

And yes, we like all forms of communication and are quick to reply most days, except when I'm busy looking for a bigger window.

A:   No, not yesterday, not today, and not tomorrow.  Here at Sullivan Construction Inc, everyone pushes a broom.   To each their own, but my office is on the main ground level of the shop, because I enjoy who I work with and like being easily reachable for questions, comments, concerns, and laughs.   It keeps me connected to the day's events and helps keep me humble & grounded

A:   No contractor does.  Be wary of one that says they do, too.   Humbly, yes, we have a very good homerun record, but it is not perfect by any means.  99.8% of all jobs have happy customers.   I can count the jobs that only went so-so and I still have room on one hand.  A part of me is proud of that, but the other part of me say's that .02% too many.   In those times, fault doesn't matter, but solutions do.   I can say that we have always tried our best and have exhausted every path to find solutions and all parties have been appreciative of that.   Life is not perfect, but those of us at Sullivan Construction will always strive to do our best, treat others the best we can, and try to Aim True every day.  

A:   All of us are different and I'm not going to tell one guy that he has to wear only one color of work uniform.   That would get a bit old after a short while for me, and I figure the people I hire might feel the same.   We have our Sullivan Construction on many types of apparel:  hats, hoodies, T-shirts, fleece and work jackets.   T-shirt colors range from grey, white, navy blue, red, and tan.  I've also found the weather plays a key role in uniform apparel choice.    Ah yes, our work vehicles.   You're right, we really do have a wide variety of work rigs.  25+ years ago I started the business in my 1969 Red Chevrolet 1/2-ton truck.  8 foot bed and those coil springs didn't do me any favors hitting a pothole on a gravel corner, but it did it keep me on my toes and there was something about that truck that made people smile.  Fast forward to today and there are quite a few retro Square-Body Chevys and GMC's.   We have these trucks because the price was right, they are almost bulletproof, easy to fix, easy on the eyes, and they are in fact alot of fun to drive. They already have a few scratches in them, but the patina is still respectable.  And when you load them all the way up with tools and supplies, they get around the same gas mileage as the brand new ones do today.  Yes, that's not a mistype, they really do.    They also have a simplistic style that seems to resonate with alot of us around the Palouse region.  Sometimes 'shiny' is overrated.   Don't worry, we like the new work rigs too and they definitely have some great attributes, noticeably in the tech department. We also have a couple white Ford vans that are extremely reliable, a Toyota Tundra, and a Ford Bus that is a handy mobile shop, and the Little Red Vardo.   We buy vehicles that work for us and will get the job done, with a little style. Maybe, our view on structures is sort of the same way...

A:  Yes, its sort of a recurring theme on certain projects.  They are super solid, strong, and elegant, and are alot of fun but take a steady hand and a knack for timing. I caution anyone attempting this type of concrete for this very little room for error. We can design/build any type or size of form for your project.  Smooth, textured, dyed or rainbow rock concrete.  Or something new! 

A:   We can still get you a price!  For the parts of the project that we know, like cabinets, plumbing, flooring, etc we can definitely get you a price on those.       Usually, on the unknown parts (rot under floor, failing walls, leaky roofs, etc) we get you a rough idea of what our labor is going to be and then do it T&M.        That way, all the knowns of a job have a price and the few that don't we get as close as we can.  

A:   Usually it will be me that calls you back.  But for some projects, its sometimes more beneficial to have you email or text me some pics of your project and I can give you a 'rough' estimate.  If that works, then we can take more time to meet.  Reason being, is contractors don't want to spend hours, days, or even weeks of chasing our own tail around just to find out that the potential client changed their mind.  Hard to pay my bills doing that ;-)     Also for some projects, it might be one of our managers/foreman that decides to meet with you too in case my schedule is slammed.   This way we can get your project going faster.  

A:    See the Process on the Home page.           By phone, email, or text.    Usually, I'll get back to you within a day, maybe two.   If for some reason I am unable to return your inquiry, feel free to try again after a few days.         Don't be surprised if I delay setting a time to meet you until after Monday is done.   Monday can go smoothly or it can be insanely crazy.  Usually the later.  And my entire week can  completely       change by what happens on Monday.  Every Monday is a new adventure! 

A:    Yes!  Many times we have a jobsite punchlist on the jobsite written on a scrap board, notebook, etc.  We like tech, but the less we have to pull out our phones during the day the better, and the less scratched up they get.  So, we will more than likely have something written on a scrap board, mostly because its easy, simple, and it won't blow away in the wind.   We then will transfer that to an electronic list.    Yes, by all means, make up as long of a list as you'd like and with as many details as you'd like.  We love that!  It really puts everyone on the same page.   Feel free to email it to us to if you'd like.  We won't ever take offense or think you're stepping on our toes.  In fact, we may offer you a job ;-)  

A:  Yes, if you have a place to go.  Depends on the size of remodel too and the overall layout of your place.  Sometimes we have done full house remodels on the main floor and stuck everyone upstairs.  Family is out by 8 and we start shortly after.  We are gone by the time they come home.  That's worked really well.   Or you could always go on vacation during the first week of demo because that's the loudest and craziest time of a typical remodel.  

A:   I'll answer this as delicately as I can so I don't tick off the builders that only build new stuff.  This is by no means a generalized or stereotyped answer either.       Because we have to work around all your stuff, contain all the dust, watch what we say, remember to close the gate so the dog doesn't get out, and be able to work some sort of magic at blending the old with the new as seamlessly as possible.    That means it takes longer and requires someone with a totally different patience level and mindset.  Easy fellas, I'm not saying anyone is better than anyone.  Besides, I don't have what it takes to build nothing but new houses.  If you'd like to sell, then do what makes you comfortable.  We want the best for our clients and potential client.  Remember to take into account the moving costs, including packing and unpacking, change address forms for everything in your life, and the other truckload of hassle that comes along with moving.  

A:  Small jobs we bill directly after the job.  If materials are involved, we sometimes like to wait for end of month so we can add up the receipts to make sure we are accurate.  Medium size jobs and larger jobs, we will do a down deposit and also regular payments throughout the job usually every 2 weeks or sometimes on passed inspections, so it just depends.  One thing is for certain, cash flow is key.   We need to get a check from the client the day of invoice up to a few days.   Its a super quick turnaround but I like to make sure subs are paid quickly, materials are paid on time, my guys are paid, etc.  

A:   No.  That is seriously frowned upon by any contractor and is just a red flag.   When you call Sullivan Construction to come do a job, we bring with us a wide roster of subs that are on our team.  Generally, we have worked together before on countless other projects and things flow really smoothly.  Often time, much laughter is involved, which is a good thing because we enjoy working together.   We bring our team to get that projects 'scope of work' done.   Everything is run through the General Contractor (Sullivan Construction Inc).  We make all the calls, we set up the meetings, we arrange/schedule and we collect the money and we pay the subs and materials.   Keep in mind:  I don't own subs or the rights to any subs.  Lets say, down the road a couple of months, if you decide that you'd like some nice office shelves built by the cabinet maker we used on your previous remodel, then feel free to call them and work with them directly.   However, if the project becomes bigger, need a wall moved, some drywall repair, paint the room, new flooring and trim, then that changes things and then it would be a regular job where the client would go through us.  Make sense?  

A:   No thanks, I'll pass on that trainwreck.  And 9/10 times, it is a trainwreck.   Sorry, no thank you.  We value our reputation too much. 

A:  Yes.  Every contractor including me charges a markup.  The only difference between them and Sullivan Construction is we are up front about ours and most of the time, it's usually shown on the estimate.  'Transparency builds trust.'   I'm 25+ years of proof on that saying.  For most commercial jobs, we don't show it.    Most remodel contractors markups are anywhere from 10% to 65% on their materials/subs. ( Ours is 19.5% and its been that for many years)   Other contractors can do what they want and its none of my business.  A couple of them can even say they charge 15% but in reality bill the clients for 50% and not show it.   Again, what they want to do is none of my business and I'm not about to name names.  In the modern world today where things are more and more transparent each day, especially with the Internet and social media (to a point), almost anyone can look up a price and sort of get a rough idea how much materials are going to be.   I decided along time ago, that it just wasn't worth the stress or headache of trying to hide things.   It put everyone on different pages and didn't foster a team approach.   Its just not my style.  Moral of the story:  Would you rather hire a contractor that was up front about his markup and valued establishing trust & a team mentality or hire someone that possibly does the opposite?  A markup is for a lot of stuff and most people have a different answer to it.  So I'll let Google help you out on that one.  Yes, you do have to pay for it.    This is my livelihood.    No, it's not a bargaining chip for you to negotiate on.   Again, its there to establish trust and be up front with you.  If it really bothers you, then I can write the estimate/invoice differently but the amount is going to stay the same. 

A:  Most of the time its on a 'first come - first serve' basis.   Jobs have a way of coming in at odd times and last minute.  More than a few times, I've meet a potential client in the morning to talk about their project and when asked, said my schedule was out a few months.    Yet, when I come home, I find a signed estimate in the mail, and two other verbal go-aheads on the voicemail.  Suddenly, I'm forced to call those other folks and say sorry, this is what happened.   Contractors schedules can change drastically.  I wish it wasn't so, but much of that is not in anyone's control.  At Sullivan Construction, we will do our best to see if we can accommodate your timeline. 

A:  Only the basic ones.  I say that, but I'm reminded that not all contractors are alike.   Roughly 5 simple rules: 1.  Be Safe2.  Leave your politics and religion off the job 3.  Think ahead. 4.  Respect5.  Finish Strong

A:  Maybe, but our bodies would be worn out in short order from all the repetitive tasks of doing just one thing.  And we would be bored or burned out.   We really enjoy the challenge of new things and figuring out ways to solve problems.  It's why we are happy doing what we do each day. 

A:  Maybe, but not usually.  Every company/person has their own tolerances and reasons for doing things the way they do.   Each values certain things more than others and that's ok.  It doesn't mean that other subs won't do a good job for you.  It means that I simply don't think they would be the best match for a particular job or client.  Every contractor, every sub has their strengths and weaknesses as defined by the industry. Let me put it to you another way...I have a picture hanging in my shop office of the 1980 U.S.A. hockey team when they defeated the Soviet Union.  What a great moment in time that was and the country really needed that inspiration.  The 'how & why' they got there was an even better story.  The main reason was that the hockey coach did something that no one else was doing at the time.  When he put that team together, he didn't just pick the 'best' players, he picked the players that would 'work' together to be the 'best team'.   He put together the best team he could to win the most games they could.    That's what I do on my jobs with subs.   I weigh all the factors and I pick my team for that job.  On the next job, it might be slightly different too and hopefully nobody takes any offense to that.   (incidentally, that's how I hire too)  That is why I pick the team.  It's part of my job that you pay me to do.     

A:  Even before Covid hit, something had changed with how many people did business.  I think it all started five or six years ago.  Basically, the game had changed.  I have some theories, but regardless, subs were not as honorable as they had been over the past years. Sometimes clients weren't either too.  It was an odd time.  I've seen subs flat out lie to me, the clients, and other subs just to avoid an issue.  I've seen subs not follow thru what they wrote to the client and I that they would do.  To top if off, I've seen them lie that they had never even written any such thing, even when presented with that very piece of paper that said otherwise.  I'm a patient guy, but that's a problem.  Its like dealing with a toddler who got caught red handed with their hand in the cookie jar, crumbs all over their face, and then denying it.   Indeed the game has changed and it's important that you as a potential client know that.   It will hopefully save you stress, money, and heartache.  Unfortunately, some of the great subs have retired.  They new how to solve a problem together, especially if one of us messed up a detail on the job.  It could usually be handled in a short phone call, or even a quick coffee meeting.   We'd figure it out, come up with a plan, and how we could share the cost of our mistake, and then go fix it.  There was no drama and more often than not, the client never even knew.    My team and I, as well the local communities around us, miss them greatly.  We miss the way they treated people, their humor, their tact, and their ability to collaboratively solve a problem, with no drama, behind the scenes with us.  The important part of all of that is, thankfully, all is not lost and we are still lucky to work with a roster of solid subs that still hold true those values, we-can-figure-it out-attitudes, & integrity.  There are even some newer subs who continue to impress.  

A:  (See the above answer)  98% of the time, no, the subs I use now at this current time are wonderful.   Truly wonderful.  They bring valuable experience to each job.  

A:  Yes, Lots and lots!   Enough to fill up many more pages than i do of the negative stories. 

A:  Most of the time, its wide open, but there are always exceptions.   We view the competition as an ally, not an enemy.  Most of us here locally, know that there is plenty of work around for us all and we know there is no reason to start rumors or stab anyone in the back.  Besides, that's not how you get thru the tough times.  More often than not, if we can't fit your project in, we will know who maybe can and will send you there way.  The way I see it, is the stronger a community is, the easier it is to weather the economies woes together. The more circles that are strong, the better the community and your dollars stay local. 

A:   No.  If you want me to do your job, then I pick my own team of subs, not you.  I am open to any suggestions though, but we respectfully reserve the right to pick our team or even pass on the job.        This is the one of the ways that I can give the potential client the best product and also the least amount of 'unnecessary stress' for everyone.    Remember, its Sullivan  Constructions name on the project.  I'm           not banking on your painter doing what he says he'll do.  

A:  Yes.  We are all guests in your home and will follow your lead if you'd like us wear a mask or not.       We will also follow state's regulations/rules on such things, regardless of any personal feelings or theories.      Sullivan Construction and our subs are very gracious about such things.       When Covid first hit, I did have to fire more than one sub, simply because of their ignorance and/or arrogance on the subject. They let their personal feelings and wild theories get in the way of the job.      Talk about uncomfortable, but that is part of my job as the General Contractor.   More than once     I have had a couple times where subs would not wear their masks though, even when the client was severely susceptible to infection.  The subs      simply didn't care.  On one occasion, the sub only changed their tune when I filled them on the reason that we were all at one job and that reason was      a very popular, well-respected, family in the area had referred us all to that job.  Sadly, that subs true colors came out right then to care more about those politics,      than they did our customers life & health.  That was the last job they were ever my sub and I want nothing to do with them or their drama.  Life is short enough and      none of us need to put up with that, especially the client.  We wore masks when it was required and sometimes even when it wasn't.  It wasn't a big deal to us, because we didn't make it a big deal.  Being healthy and getting bills paid was more of a big deal to us than anything.  If being practical like that is looked down upon, well, I'd suggest to anyone to take a step back and try looking at things from a different viewpoint.  If you ever see anyone not respecting your wishes in your home, let me know asap.  We are all guests in your home. 

A:   Not often, but it really just depends on the project and the client.  I once did a project where I wrote on the backside of the trim that this was just temporary.  A few years later the house was sold and the new owner was frustrated that we had done this and we were not aware.   Later that week, he tore off the trim, only to see the note I had written on the back of the trim.  He called me that day and felt horrible.  He also asked me if I could do it the way that I had drawn on the trim.   We laughed about it and we got the project done for him.   My point is, its a small town and bandaids are a slippery slope because not all the information gets passed from one homeowner to the next.  

A:  Actaully, most of the time we will.   Sometimes no.  It really depends on many factors.  So far to date, we have a great success track record when working for friends.  The trick I think is to be very professional and very clear in details and expectations that way you are all on the same page.  And you have to be willing to accept constructive criticism from anyone, especially friends.  More importantly, you have to be willing and open to have what it takes to act on what they are saying to you.    

A:  Yes, for 25+ years now.  We focus hard on quality and customer service.  Feel free to call around town and ask a few people outside your usual circle of friends what Sullivan Construction is like.  We would also be happy to provide a list of references too and show you some of our current projects.  

A:  Go with your gut.  That's the most important part.  Your brain is going to overthink it and your heart will just get all emotional.   Go with someone you trust, that communicates well, respects you, & understands the details/scope, and is able to laugh.  Many times I've had to shake my head at myself for messing up something, so a good chuckle to myself is a good thing.  Hello humility train.  Chose a contractor that can handle problems with little to no drama, be it seen, heard, or felt.  'Price' can be placed anywhere on the list of importance.  For some it matters, for some it doesn't. Having some humor helps too, because that will help you get through the tough days.  Especially when he walks across your carpet in muddy shoes.  Most definitely, there will be tough days on every project.  Days where you come home and see that nothing hardly has happened, yet the day before so much had happened.  You need to understand that despite the day and what you 'think' has been accomplished, usually far more has actually been accomplished.  Every day we are pushing forward and working as efficiently as we can.   One note on that is that if we are working T&M on your job, I've always been very fair with the hours.  Meaning, if we make an avoidable mistake, then that's on us and you will clearly see the hours deducted off the invoice.  Clients don't pay for avoidable, stupid mistakes.   

A:  Because change is slow for most industries, especially the trades.  Unfortunately, in my opinion, most insurance prices have not caught up to the contractors prices of fixing these emergencies. They haven't taken into account 'all' of the factors of what it takes to run a contracting business these days.  There are far more factors than what most realize.   I'd suggest calling them and have     a friendly respectful conversation and ask them when will they catch up.  Or call your local representative and ask them.  Best of luck on either of those options.  Change is slow for some industries.

A:  More often than not, we range from the middle to high.  We are not the lowest bid, so please do us both a favor and call someone else if you just want a low price.   I've been told by some that are our prices are too high and by some that our prices are too low.   Based on how we handle a project, issues, the process/experience, and the overall quality, many feel we give more than most and therefore our prices should reflect that and be even higher.   Sure, in a perfect world, that would be great, but this is not a movie.  I charge what I feel is right and fair to do each project.  Half the time a potential client will have sticker shock, and the other half the time they will say that's about what they thought it would cost.   What most people need to understand is that almost every project is much more work than what it appears and I'd be happy to discuss it with you.   We have been in business for 25+ years and we didn't get there by doing quality work at the lowest price.  Companies like that are short lived.  With that said, we are looking forward to another 25+ years too ;-)A big reason our pricing is where its at, is that I treat my team right.  I pay them well and I pay them on time.  I offer some benefits, PTO, paid holidays, paid-paternity leave, bonuses, unlimited vacation, company vehicles, stipends, retirement, etc.   We have far less employee turn-over that plagues other companies who give low ball prices.   The fellas are not a number and they matter greatly to me.  They are practically family and they are a very big reason that clients get a solid product and a great experience with Sullivan Construction.  Without them, many things would not be possible and I wake up each morning knowing that, as i walk from the house to the shop. Usually, 'you get what you pay for'.  After 25+ years of projects pictured on this website, we here at Sullivan Construction are honored and grateful you feel the same way too!   

A:  Its a motivational saying.  It can mean different things for different people.  For me, it means that you've got one shot, so make it count, Aim True.  You could say that about a lot of things, even life itself.  

A:  Yes, they actually do and I will go out of my way to nurture a great culture here at Sullivan Construction.   Everyone has a bad day from time to time.  However, it's in their best interest to do well so they can get bonuses based on how jobs go and customer satisfaction.  We have a really talented team, but I'm no different from any other business thats been around for 25+ years.  All of us have had a few employees that just didn't work out, despite their skill level.   Usually they are loud-mouthed, slam-it together, high maintenance man-babies who need constant validation of their efforts.  No thank you.   We also have had some employees that are smooth talking, work when they feel like it, stir the rumor pot, drama queens to the highest degree.  Again, no thank you.   These type of personalities are NOT on our team.  And if they are, they usually don't last too long here.   Life is hard enough and people like that just make it harder.  I & my team and any client don't need them to make unnecessary stress both on and off the job for us all.  So....no thank you!   

A:  Most are not, but some are.   In fact, that's probably the same answer that can hold true for most professions in the world.  Some contractors are just better than others and some are worse and that's ok.  I've learned over the years that it takes all types of contractors in a town to really be able to address the full spectrum of jobs in a community.  Its sort of its own ecosystem constantly striving for balance.   I don't for an instant think we are above or below anyone in status.  We are all on the same train.Do we care about money?  You bet we care about money, don't you?   But we also care about giving you the best price we can and making clients happy with a solid product.  Fair being the relative word.  Like I said earlier, most of the time, a remodel takes far more hours to do a job than the average client realizes, so that fair price may or may not be what you thought it would be.  The bottom line is that we care about your job.  I don't hire guys that don't care. You'll probably notice that right away.  We are a personable bunch and we enjoy what we do.  Every day is a new adventure. 

A:  Yes.  In fact, sometimes more often than I care to say.   Please note:  nobody is perfect and mistakes happen.  And there is sometimes more than just a couple sides to the story.  Sometimes its a cluster of communication errors and assumptions by the ones before us.   When I say 'mistakes', that's different than just saying ' another way to build it'.  Because as mentioned, there are many ways to get to the finish line           and make everyone happy.  My way is not the perfect way, nor is anyone else's.  On these jobs, we are professional with tack.   What folks have to remember is that these jobs are also politically dangerous for me.  So, if I know the contractor that did the work and I feel that it was a simple misunderstanding, I'll lean towards getting the client and the contractor back in touch with each other, which more often than not, solves everything.   Now you don't have to hide or throw oranges at the other company in the produce aisle.  Half the time, word gets out anyway from the client or their kids, or their neighbor, that we might be doing some work there .  If you know anything about human nature, it's way easier to complain about something than it is to stay positive and compliment.  In these times, we sometimes get a call from the previous contractor about what's going on.  Or they won't say anything to you for years and just glare at you -- that's just weird.   Despite their talents, these companies usually go out of business because of their insecurities, hurt ego and severe lack of communication.   So, like I said, it's a precarious thing to fix other contractors work, especially in a small town.   Remember, while we may hit homeruns, no one is perfect all the time, every time.   My best advice to you, is if you have an issue with your previous contractor, please try to exhaust all avenues of hope/solutions with them first before calling someone else.    

General Contractor

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