Remodeler Q&A: Bob Gallese
President, Acclaim Renovations & Design
Based in Mentor, Ohio, Acclaim Renovations & Design specializes in luxury kitchens, bathrooms and room additions. Acclaim Renovations & Design also manages the whole design and remodel process, from beginning to end. This process starts with the initial estimate and follows through with the concept design, product selections, renovation process, and a final walk-through for full closure of the project.
Q: What are the top three things you look for from a LBM supplier?
A: The top three things I look for in LBM dealers are product quality, quick response to rectify bad materials, and price.
Q: Describe your best lumber building materials vendor and why they are the best.
A: Commonwealth Lumber in Willoughby, Ohio, because the rep, Larry, is a wealth of knowledge especially when it comes to structural requirements. Larry visits job sites when asked, quotes jobs quickly, and he reacts quickly to any problems.
Q: When was the last time you changed vendors and why?
A: We changed one a few months ago, because every job that a particular vendor did was a nail-biter. Would they show up? Have all the materials? Get the job done in a workmanlike manner? Then to top it all off they were horrible with communicating with our clients and us.
Q: When and why would you accept a meeting from a new supplier/vendor?
A: If a supplier begins to trend the wrong way, we begin to look around. We realize that everyone has a bad day, but we can’t have a bad day three days a week. Also, if I notice the prices slowly creeping up without reason except that they think we are not paying attention. I am very loyal to my vendors, as they are to me. Most vendors appreciate loyalty. Some, albeit few, worry too much about profit when they should focus on true customer service. The profits will come if all else is in place.
Q: What do you wish LBM suppliers understood about your business?
A: I’m pretty sure that most understand the construction business. One thing I need them to truly take to heart is that every time they send out bad materials or delay delivery, that client is not going to be happy. As the contractor, we bear the brunt of the anger while the vendor goes on their merry way. Making the client angry/disappointed for any reason creates a tough working relationship all the way around.
Q: What products (if any) do you buy installed?
A: Counter tops, shower glass enclosures, and some shower wall material.
Q: What is the number one problem that keeps you up at night?
A: Not being able to get estimates done quicker so we can continue closing a potential new project. Other than that I don’t worry much because I have an outstanding group of people who take as much pride in their work as I do in mine.
Q: What do you see as your biggest opportunity?
A: Room additions. We don’t do many because of the time required to prepare the estimate. If I were able to hire an estimator/salesman with a deep background in additions, my business would practically double overnight.