Arkansas Winter Wonderland
Wow. What a week. I measured over 20 inches of snow at my house. My neighbor used his drone to catch this image of a winter wonderland in our neighborhood.
Our dog, Socks, who we think is part Australian Shepherd and Corgi, of course thought this past week was the most amazing week ever. While I laughed at her playing and stumbling in the snow, I hate how this weather brought a lot of pain and headaches to many homeowners throughout the state and the entire south. Unfortunately, weather events like this also delay Sideco's schedule for upcoming jobs. Please know that I will be contacting everyone currently in line for installation to update the Sideco team's estimated start date. If you did experience damage to your home because of the hard freeze, please do not hesitate to contact me if you need recommendations for certain trades. Sideco works with very reputable subcontractors in central Arkansas, including plumbers, electricians, and roofers. I can share their contact information.
When it hasn't been raining, sleeting, snowing, or frigidly cold, the Sideco team has been hard at work around the state, helping our clients to turn houses into dream homes. We wanted to share a few of our favorites from the last few weeks and months. The homes are gorgeous, yes, but I also want to acknowledge what a pleasure it is to work with our clients. The customers who live in these homes below have been a joy in getting to know, and they interacted with the team at Sideco almost everyday, which makes working on the job so much more engaging and fun.
With its five-foot-overhangs, this home is truly one-of-a-kind. It seems partially inspired by some of the single-family homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Sideco installed James Hardie Fiber Cement siding and trim, and we replaced the entire exterior deck/walkway, which was completely rotten, with products from TimberTech. We incorporated LED down lights in the soffit, which adds a soft glow to the walkway at night and really accentuates the home. We also built a deck at-grade with the customer's pool, adding more functional entertainment space to their backyard.
One of the many advantages of James Hardie Fiber Cement siding and trim is our ability to practically create any desired design, whether modern, historic, farmhouse, craftsman, or more. Our customers at this beautiful craftsman home in Hillcrest (Little Rock) wanted to recreate what would have been the original aesthetic of the nearly 100-year-old home, but using the most durable and advanced materials available today. The craftsmanship and skills of Sideco's team shine bright on homes like this, where literally every corner, soffit, baseboard, window, door, patio, and dormer requires custom designs with Hardie's trim.
This is a beautiful modern home in Little Rock that contracted with Sideco for Marvin windows. Marvin hands down designs and manufactures some of the most beautiful windows on the market, and they fit perfectly here. Sideco used Marvin's Ultimate Signature line, and most of the windows are in the casement style. The exterior color is bronze, and the interior is natural wood custom-painted by Sideco. The window to the right of the front entrance was one of the largest continuous window openings we have ever worked on. Sideco actually ordered six custom-made windows for this opening and mulled the windows together onsite. In total, the window as a single unit weighed more than 2,000 lbs, and it took six Sideco employees two solid days of work to finish just that one opening.
How Sideco Advertises
It's hard to believe it when I say it, but I have now been working in the home improvement business for more than 40 years. It is mind-boggling to think about how much the industry has changed, from the products and tools we use and how we conduct appointments with clients to how I would make phone calls while traveling and how I would get directions to a home.But there are a few aspects of the business that have changed very little, and I think one of those is how Sideco advertises its services.I've literally tried every means of advertising there is. Back in the 1980s, we would knock on doors, and folks would invite us in for coffee or tea (I even made my son do this in the 2000s when he was in middle and high school, so that he could literally learn what we mean by a "hard-knock life"!). I'm almost embarrassed to say that I once tried "infomercials" late at night, and of course we have used newspaper ads, magazine ads, sponsorships, and home & garden shows. Since the rise of digital and social media, we have tried paying Google and Facebook to "ensure" that folks see us.After all those years of trying to different methods, I'm left thinking, "same song, different chorus," especially since, at the end of the day, no advertising is better than the reputation that precedes you.I ran the numbers the other day on our business activity for the past 12 months, and I was stunned (and humbled) to see that approximately 60% of our jobs to date are either referrals from previous customers, or previous customers hiring us again. And as I thought about that, I realized that this is a type of "advertising" that you simply cannot buy, as if it were a Google ad or a newspaper clip. It takes time ... literally 35 years for Sideco.So, Sideco really doesn't have a secret to advertising. If anything, it is simply the fact that, if you work hard and try to offer the best product and service to your customers, then perhaps, indeed, your reputation might precede you.Ultimately, this is all due to the generosity of our customers. When you hear someone say that they are interested in a new deck or windows or siding or doors, or when someone comments on your home, many of you think of Sideco and mention our name. And for that, we are incredibly thankful.