Thursday, March 21, 2013

THUMBTACK.COM - Review of services

Without question there are lots of entities online which are trying to act as a go between for customers and contractors.  For the customer they offer a means of easily gaining access to local contractors.  For the contractor, the online service, amounts to a form of advertisement, as they pay a fee to be placed in front of the customer for consideration.

It has been my experience, having been a business owner and licensed residential contractor since 2004, that many of these online services which seek to act as an interface for home owners and local contractors are poorly conceived, poorly managed and whose end result is mediocre at best.

Some of these online customer/contractor services have even changed their online names because of the bad reputations they have incurred nation wide.

When I first signed up with THUMBTACK.COM I knew little of what reputation they may have already acquired.  I knew less about what made THUMBTACK unique in the mix of all the other online services.  And as such online services are not my primary form of construction work, THUMBTACK did not immediately stand out as my attention was not focus on such online services for the same reasons I named above.

Slowly, none the less, THUMBTACK began to push threw the fog of similar online companies.

Essentially THUMBTACKs benefits are these;

1).  A functional and practical online platform for contractors to present their services and links to their websites.

2).  A contractor review forum which THUMBTACK verifies the authenticity by calling back the customers to ascertain that the reviews are legitimate.

3).  The customer gets more than phone calls from contractors who have paid for their contact info.  Rather the customer first may view the contractors online reviews, profile, portfolios and linked websites before deciding to them selves contact the available contractors.  This allows the customer to make their own estimation of who they want to talk to instead of being inundated with phone calls from contractors who have paid between $35 and $75 for there phone numbers.  Contractors who have paid that much for a phone number are already over invested and are expecting some thing in return.  Which puts an inordinate amount of the pressure of the potential customer.

4).  THUMBTACK leads can cost the contractor as much as a few cups of coffee.  The benefit is a contractor who, for little financial investment, can present his or her services.  And a customer who can make informed choices.

Portland - General Contractors

Monday, February 25, 2013


How a project comes to fruition has everything to do with how it was conceived. 

Upwards Custom specializes in residential remodels, additions, kitchens and bath remodels, craftsman siding, custom carpentry, framing and decks. We value craftsmanship and fulfilling the design goals of our customers. 

The way we deal with people in the community is as important as our construction expertise; the two go together.  Our belief that professional business relations measures the success of our projects has, over the years, proven itself true. 

We want customers to be satisfied with what they pay for. Not only do we fulfill the written terms of our contracts, we also make sure the finished work matches what was imagined and desired.  

Because respect is the foundation of good relationships, we believe contracts must be clear and concise. Agreements must be completely defined in specific and sound terms, avoiding conflict between different interpretations.

Thorough contracts serves as a protection for all involved against conflicts and unfulfilled design ambitions.   Thorough contracts allow for the clearest perspectives in realizing a project scope. When problems arise, our clearly defined contracts give a firm ground for resolutions or amendments to be built on. This helps secure and maintain the success of a project and the satisfaction of a paying customer.
Like all other things, business liability, construction, design challenges, craftsmanship, and professionalism come at a price. The cost of equity, stability, and sound methods are part of any responsibly executed project investment.  Poorly executed projects can cost much more than what was originally sold to a customer.  Often setbacks and unanticipated costs are resultant when projects do not get started on a sound footing.  Ultimately a well conceived project is money well spent as its benefits will be realized repeatedly long after the project's completion.

Satisfaction cannot be fooled.


Friday, February 22, 2013


Churches are such awesome buildings.  It seems a sign of mediocrity when their inherent pulpits grow silent and mistakenly irrelevant in our modern culture.  And though the orators of the pulpit may retire for a season, the wealth of the structure can live on in residential uses.

And even as such residential conversions serve as new, interesting living spaces, the conversion of church assembly to music venue seems a more natural and relevant context for such functional community spaces.