Recent General Posts
Our Detailed Estimates Make Life Easier
Estimates make the world go round in the type of business we run.
Being able to give a proper estimate that is detailed enough to justify our financial needs is the difference between getting approved for a project or being turned down.
When we begin writing down your Xactimate estimates we are sure to utilize all of the tools at our disposal. One of the most valuable assets we have is the ability to create line-item notes.
A line-item note is a descriptive note underneath an item that is part of the project estimate. We use these to give you an insight into the scope of the project and why we need the amount, time or money we’re requesting.
Let’s hypothesize that you need flooring installed in your primary bathroom. However, the flooring you want to use only comes in certain-sized sheets and is patterned in a manner that would show a cut or deviation in the pattern. Cutting the pattern and creating a “seam” in the design is something you don’t want.
Here at SERVPRO we know that to keep the pattern of the flooring and to cover the space of your bathroom, we will need to buy more flooring than what may appear necessary. How do we justify buying more material than you might think is necessary?
This is where we add a line item note. We make sure that in the total flooring cost we have also accounted for the wasted flooring cost. SERVPRO relies on your trust, so we ensure that the waste flooring cost and other items like this are made apparent in your estimate.
Project quality is Your Job.
In life, you often get out what you put in. This applies to many situations in business as well, but what about the times that it doesn’t work? Too often we assume that when we hire subcontractors for projects the more we pay them the better our project will turn out.
We couldn’t be more wrong.
Three obvious things that could dictate the quality of a project are:
- Local building codes/restrictions.
- The contract you’ve agreed upon with the subcontractor.
- Industry standards.
While these three things can control the final product you receive, something is missing.
You are the missing piece to making sure that you receive the quality you not only demand but deserve. If you have a subcontractor that has agreed to a contract and is delivering unsatisfactory work, the onus is on you to stop it.
You don’t pay for quality. You pay your subcontractors fairly because it’s the right thing to do. Quality in a project comes from a watchful eye and a set of expectations that need to be met.
Quality Is Free
By: Tom Walker
How many times have we used the phrase “you get what you pay for” in reference to quality and performance? Everyone has probably said it multiple times in their lifetime and career. In this blog, orginally posted by Tom Walker, he discusses just that,
As a project superintendent in the late ‘80s, Walker believed we did not pay enough for quality, so he was not surprised when a subcontractor failed to produce a high-quality job. Once, at his weekly production meeting, he and his team were introduced to a company executive who had come in for a visit. During his talk with the superintendents, he made a statement that floored me. He said, “Quality is free.”
Walker didn’t believe him at first, but what he said next has stayed with Walker for more than 30 years. In paraphrasing, he said we pay our subcontractors and vendors a fair price for what they provide, and they should produce a quality job in return. Whether you get a quality job from that subcontractor or not is totally up to you.
For Walker, that was a paradigm shift. No longer did he accept excuses from subcontractors performing less than an acceptable standard. If they agreed to the scope of work for the price he and his team offered, it was their responsibility to perform quality work. Walker realized they were delivering a lower level of quality because they were allowed. To drive that nail home, many times the difference between quality and not quite quality work was simply how Walker managed it.
5 Uses for Fall Leaves
As you all know, Lubbock has a reputation for being a windy city. In the summertime, this breeze is much needed to give some relief from the rising temperatures. However, in the fall the wind can cause leaves to fly around everywhere leaving everyone’s lawn and gutters a mess. Usually after raking or blowing the leaves into a neat pile they are thrown out and never thought of again. There are, however, a few different ways to use your leftover leaves so that you don’t always need to throw them away.
- Use them as an art project- You can create a wreath out of leaves, or even paint over them and make a whimsical painting. Pinterest has tons of fun and easy ideas to use for art projects.
- Mulch- Break the leaves up and repurpose them into your soil for a free, organic mulch.
- Save them- Leaves are always beautiful to look. Why not press them and frame them to go in your house.
- Let your kids enjoy them- Most people’s favorite fall memory as a kid was jumping into a pile of leaves. Have your kids enjoy rolling around and throwing leaves as a fun activity.
- Compost- Create a compost bin out of your leaves. Be sure to chop the leaves up first to speed up the process.
Finding new uses for leaves can help make decorating for the fall season more exciting. If you get any property damage due to the fall weather call SERVPRO® of Southwest Lubbock at 806-780-6311 to make it "Like it never even happened."
How to Save on Electricity This Winter
During the winter months it’s easy for your electricity bill to skyrocket. On average the electric bill can be 200 kWh more in the winter than in the summer months. Between cranking up the thermostat and decorating your home in Christmas lights it’s easy to see why the bill is so much higher in the winter. Here are a few tips that you can use to lower your bill:
- Turning the thermostat down at night and instead adding a few extra blankets to your bed can help keep down the energy cost.
- Make sure you are closing all the doors to your house. If a door is cracked or left open the warm air can escape making the house feel colder than it is.
- Christmas lights are another large drain on the energy bill. LED Christmas lights can use up to 75% less energy than other brands. Also make sure to always unplug your lights at night before going to sleep.
- Bundling up in warm clothes can allow you to leave the thermostat lower. Wearing a sweatshirt or jacket around the house can both be comfy and cost effective!
- Unplug appliances around the house if you are not using them. Often, we can leave small appliances running without even thinking that they’re running the bill up.
This winter doesn’t have to mean a high electric bill. By following these simple tips, you can work towards lowing your energy costs.
There are several things that can go wrong in your home simply within your appliances malfunctioning and causing anywhere from a fire to flood. Because of this, it’s important to know about appliances that are created to prevent as many disasters from accidentally happening and to aid in the safety of you, your family, and your home. The GCFI outlet, or ground fault circuit interrupter, constantly monitors electricity flowing in a circuit to sense any loss of the current to protect from an electrical shock.
Why do I need a GCFI outlet?
A GCFI outlet is instrumental in preventing a fuse from heating up quickly to a point that becomes fatal before it even becomes noticeable. For example, if you are using an appliance that is plugged into a GCFI outlet while outside in the pouring rain, the GCFI can sense the current flowing through you and therefore prevent the circuit from fatally shocking you, and instead will trip the circuit to cut off the electricity.
SERVPRO® of Southwest Lubbock can assist you in making sure your home’s outlets are safe. Give us a call at (806) 780-6311 today.
How to Prepare Your Home for the Winter
The leaves are falling, the wind is blowing, and winter is whispering “I’m coming.” It is important to be ready for the cold winds and snowy days. Read this list to make yourself and your home cozy and ready for the cold.
- If the sidewalk is snowy, wear boots and walk carefully to prevent slips and injuries.
- Wear thick socks and long sleeves inside your For extra warmth, buy cheap tights and wear before putting on pants.
- Drive only if it is necessary. If you must drive, do it during the day and don’t travel by yourself.
- Make sure your tires have enough tread.
- Have a winter-kit (blanket, gloves, salt to melt snow, first aid kit, flashlight and phone chargers) ready in your car in case an unexpected event happens.
- Check your home’s exterior doors for cold air leaks. Do this from inside the house. Seal doors by installing foam or felt weather stripping inside the door frame.
- Look for damaged or missing pieces of your roof that may leak during winter’s storms or from melting snow.
- Clean the gutters, water can back up against the house and damage roofing.
- Turn on exterior faucets to prevent pipes from bursting.
- If you have a fireplace, keep the flue closed when you're not using it.
- Lower the hot water temperature.
- Set fan blades to move clockwise in winter.
- Make sure your furniture isn't blocking your home’s heating vents.
Winter can become a dangerous season if you are not careful and prepared for it. If you follow these easy steps we assure you will be able to enjoy this season and have fun playing in the snow. Don’t forget to have hot chocolate, blankets, and gather with your family to keep the warmth flowing in your home.
Explore Décor: 5 Ways to Spruce Up Your Yard
It’s easy to remember to decorate your yard around Christmas time, but during other times of the year we often neglect our outdoor spaces. Take these 5 tips to add some flare outside of your home during the warm months without breaking the bank!
- String Lights
While we love the colorful ones during Christmastime, basic string lights are an affordable way to brighten up your yard and give it a cozy feel all year round. Let them drape down from outdoor ceilings and railings, wrap them around trees, or hang them from walls to turn your space into a captivating oasis.
- Old Toys
Take old toys your children don’t play with anymore, like a wagon, to use as a base for your plants! Get creative with items that are just sitting in your garage collecting dust. Have an old tire laying around? Hang it from a tree like a tire swing, but beautify it by planting flowers inside!
Yes, we said wine. Use wine bottles that you’ve finished in place of tiki torches! Spread them out around your yard to create a dreamy atmosphere during the summer months.
- Rocking Chairs
Add a little flare to your front porch by adding a rocking chair! It doesn’t have to be new – find one at a garage sale! Give it a fresh coat of paint if needed, and you have yourself an endearing little porch setup. Add a plaid blanket to take away the chill during the fall and you’ve taken your summer décor straight to pumpkin season!
Yard furniture can often be expensive and can get damaged quickly in the outdoor elements. Instead of spending your hard-earned money on brand new expensive furniture – utilize what you have! Add cheap hammocks and metal chairs to create cozy nooks for eating, entertaining, relaxing, and more! Have old furniture that’s been the victim of rain or other weather? Contact SERVPRO® of Southwest Lubbock to see what we can do about getting them back to usable condition again!
Decorating your space doesn’t have to be expensive, and it shouldn’t be. Take these 5 tips and turn your lawns, patio, and porches into more than just grass and walkways. You’ll have an enviable place in no time!