Remodeler Q&A: David Howard
Partner, Modern Restoration & Remodeling
Modern Restoration was started by Jacob Mode and David Howard out of a desire to offer a higher service than what was being offered in the community. Jacob began as a skilled painter in his company and over the years went on to become a remodeler. David had worked for a national homebuilder, then built and owned his own construction company before becoming partners with Jacob. They combined their talents and skills of 38-plus years to create their company.
Q: What are the top three things you look for from a LBM supplier?
A: The top three things I look for are experience, quality of products, and knowledge and service of products offered.
Q: Describe your best lumber/building materials vendor and why they are the best.
A: We use two of them, both because of the salesperson and their knowledge. Jeff Jones with Carter Lumber, if he can’t resource it or get it, nobody can. For most of our millwork needs we use Casandra Bulla with The Building Center. These folks have numerous years of experience in the industry and our local market. A lot of times we’re trying to find or match something that was installed 25 or 30 years ago.
Q: When was the last time you changed vendors and why?
A: So far, we have not had to change vendors. We’ve been very fortunate to connect with the great people that we have.
Q: When and why would you accept a meeting from a new supplier/vendor?
A: We’re always open to discussion, but it would have to be some kind of major shift in products that would cause us to change.
Q: What do you wish LBM suppliers understood about your business?
A: That we can’t accept “it’s not available or no longer made.” Instead, we need solutions or alternatives.
Q: What products (if any) do you buy installed?
A: The building materials that we buy installed include plumbing, kitchen cabinets and tops, roofing, shower doors, and mirrors.
Q: What is the number one problem that keeps you up at night?
A: Finding a reliable labor source.
Q: What do you see as your biggest opportunity?
A: Teaching and training employees. Your company is only as good as the people you hire to work for you. Finding the right employees who are qualified to be your replacement is key.
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