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The Advantage in Using DeBoard Remodeling

This is not going to be a long line of BS. Just long.

You can read the story on my website (at deboardremodeling.com) that tells how I had to relocate to Maine back in 2014, after 25 years in Dallas, Texas. But finish reading this ad first.

For some jobs, the homeowner is wise to choose a large construction firm. Large companies will have Worker’s Compensation Insurance and Liability Insurance, to cover their employees in case of injury, and to protect their company and personal assets in case of injury or accident. As a company owner who previously had employees, I know that these two insurance policies are expensive. Large companies usually also have an office, some staff, a warehouse, multiple vehicles, vehicle insurance, and quite a list of other expenses. So their billable labor rate is quite substantial. This is understandable, necessary, and appropriate. They have to charge what they do, to pay the bills, pay themselves, make a profit, stay in business.

On the other hand, DeBoard Remodeling is a sole proprietor with no employees, no office, no warehouse, no staff. I do have 100% medical insurance coverage for accidents and health, from both Medicare Hospital Insurance and the Veterans Administration Health Care network. (I served four years active duty, and two years reserve duty.) In over 30 years in business I have never caused damage to a customer’s home, so I have never purchased Liability Insurance. If I break something, I will fix it, but I have not broken anything yet. Knock on wood?

While I don’t have big company expenses, I still have significant expenses and have to charge enough to cover them and then pay myself a carpenter’s pay. However, the relative economy of my labor rate compared to a large company’s labor rate for a crew of 2 or more workers, is only one of the advantages of my company, DeBoard Remodeling.

The main advantage of my company is my professional training and experience, which has uniquely qualified me to figure out and correct irksome and difficult repair situations, especially those that involve water. There are some problems that require the most qualified person to look at it, troubleshoot the cause, and rebuild the area so that the cause is removed, the damaged elements replaced, and the likelihood of a recurrence being removed. In the Dallas metroplex I had developed the reputation of a contractor who could do this, and much of my work was spent doing just these kinds of problems. I would be asked to look at areas that had already been repaired once or multiple times, and needed repair yet again! Usually the problem was in the rain path. Houses are built with numerous details that allow rain to run off the house onto the ground. If a detail is constructed incorrectly, the water will get into the house envelope, wet the structure behind it, and because it cannot evaporate, the water will decompose the wood structure, leading to bugs, mold, and wood rot.

These water-related problems are most often found at doors and windows, especially front doors and bay windows. Other areas are chimneys, siding-to-roof junctions, siding-to-wood junctions, eaves (soffits and fascia boards), and where ever flashing has been installed incorrectly or not at all (it happens).

While a large company is uniquely qualified to do very large projects and get them done in a timely manner, their expertise is in management of personnel, subcontractors, and suppliers. It takes great skill and talent to manage complicated projects, and I personally admire those who can do it. My forte, however, is not in management, but rather is in working with my hands and mind on the physical work of constructing things in a house, especially in maintaining the integrity of a home. For example, look at the pictures of the white oak door sill I made and installed. Notice that it has a slope and that there is a groove – a drip groove – on the underside of it. White oak is used in pickle, wine, and whiskey barrels (scotch, too), because it is impervious to water. Oak molecules don’t conduct water. So using it for door sills keeps it from rotting. The slope and the drip groove direct water to the ground, preventing it from getting under the sill, or under the threshold, or behind the siding below the door sill. These are important details for a repair job to be “lifetime”. Nobody wants to do it twice, so why not just do it right the first time? Sure oak is expensive, but it lasts for decades. I don’t think you can wear it out. Unless you wear your golf and baseball shoes around the house...

I have taken classes in house framing, cabinetry, roof framing, and custom roof framing. Before launching myself into self-employment, I spent three years working for a custom home builder, working my way up the ranks from helper to carpenter to layout carpenter. When I started in business, I started with small jobs, all kinds of “odd” jobs, from small concrete projects, to trim work, porch repair, whatever people needed. Of course I wanted larger jobs, and eventually I got to build a number of room additions. I even did one multiple-room upstairs second floor addition, where I removed the roof of the house, put a floor on it, and walls, and a new roof. The bathroom was luxurious, a his-and-hers affair, and her closet is still larger than my living room. I also did renovations, many remodeling projects, and a huge number of home repairs of every kind imaginable. I have been at it for over 30 years! And despite being of full retirement age, I think I have two more years of good strength, at least, to continue. Then maybe I’ll buy a property to fix up and retire on it, and grow vegetables, chickens, and who knows what. Or slow down and flip properties. We’ll see.

The point of all this large amount of words is that the advantage of using me is that you get someone who is more experienced than the average highly-paid carpenter. I’ve been at it a while, have a large range of experiences in construction projects and problems under my belt, have all the tools a man could want (well, a man usually always wants a couple more), and my overhead is less than the big professional companies. I’m well-suited for doing the smaller jobs, as I’m one man, and I like small jobs. Usually they are challenging, and I like a challenge! One of my best strengths is troubleshooting – figuring out what’s wrong with something, and what needs to be done. I’m past tackling the room additions, but I can manage replacing all the windows and doors in a house (I did that for a fellow in Portland two winters ago) as well as the counter tops, microwave, and every single piece of molding. There are pictures of that job on my website.

I’m diligent in my work, don’t skip details, and am accurate in my cuts. I “cope” my corners when running base boards and crown molding (it’s a technique that gives tight joints). My equipment that I use to cut wood is all professional, contractor-grade, and expensive. My truck is full of tools, and I have to use a trailer to load wood. There’s no room in the truck!

I like to work. It gives me pleasure to look at my accomplishments. I believe that my abilities are a gift given me by God, and I really, really appreciate them. With all humility, I’d like to say that I’m a straight-shooter, as well. I speak plainly, keep my word, show up on time, work hard, charge a fair price for my work, and am sociable. Sometimes I manage to be funny, which is always a plus.

Give me a shout. I’ll be glad to look at your project and give my opinion, an estimate, and maybe we can work together. Click on the “Reply” up at the top left, and visit my website.

Cheers!
Patrick DeBoard
deboardremodeling.com
  • do NOT contact me with unsolicited services or offers

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