By Jerri Stroud, BBB Editor
Padgett Building & Remodeling goes to great lengths to make sure a customer understands what a project will look like and how it will be completed. The 2015 TORCH Award winner will even go shopping for components with clients or make cardboard mockups to be sure both contractor and client agree on the desired outcome.
Clients receive a copy of Padgett’s detailed schedule for their jobs, and Padgett has weekly meetings to update clients on everything that’s happened and advise them on what will happen next, continuing through the end of the project.
“We do everything we can to make sure they know what they’re getting,” said David Padgett, general manager of the firm based in Swansea, Ill. “They always know what the next step of the process is.”
Identical twins Ron and Don Padgett got their first construction experience building their family’s home in 1979 in Fairview Heights, Ill. The twins worked in construction during college and started their own construction company soon after graduating with degrees in business administration.
After five years, they closed the firm and went to work for others in the construction industry. In 1992, they opened Padgett Building & Remodeling Co. with their sister, Peggy. Ron focused on building new custom homes, and Don did remodeling. Ron’s son, David, came on board in 2007.
The company focused on remodeling when the recession killed many home-building projects, but it has begun building houses again as the economy improves.
“What we really do well is communicate with our clients,” David Padgett said. “When someone calls us, they get a call back within 24 hours.”
Studies have shown that if a contractor communicates well, customers are likely to rate them highly in the end, Padgett said. “It’s not always about the quality of the work. It’s about that whole process. That’s what we focus on.”
Monthly and weekly company meetings focus on making sure customers are happy and that employees are communicating with them. Until a recent hire, Padgett’s employees and even its union carpenters had all worked with the company for six or more years. The company has done formal training as needed.
Padgett won a 2014 Remodeler of Distinction award from HBAR, the Remodeler’s Council of Greater Southern Illinois. Its projects range from elaborate additions to jobs as small as replacing a door or adjusting a shower. Its custom homes have cost as much as $7 million. About 71 percent of its business comes from referrals.
Padgett is currently working with a consultant to develop a strategic plan. Part of that process will be revising a somewhat outdated code of ethics. At its root, the code will reflect the company’s goal of treating customers as Padgett’s owners and employees want to be treated.
David Padgett said he recommends that clients research the company by looking at its BBB Business Review as well as customer reviews on Guild Quality, a third-party survey and review company. “BBB is a name brand source that you can go to” for research, he said.
The Padgetts are involved in several community and charitable organizations, including the Greater St. Louis Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Violence Prevention Center of Southwestern Illinois and the Belleville Area Humane Society. The company has also sponsored numerous community and charity events, often reflecting interests of its employees.
Padgett said the company doesn’t take jobs where customers just want an estimate. The firm likes to work with detail-oriented customers.
“If they don’t value what we’re doing,” David Padgett said, “then we’re not working for them.”
“It’s not the quality of the work we do, but the quality of our clients that has made us who we are today,” said Don Padgett.
Profiles of BBB Accredited Businesses and BBB Accredited Charities are created as part of BBB’s TORCH Award process and are not intended as an endorsement. To register for this year’s TORCH Awards luncheon on Nov. 13, go to http://www.bbb.org/stlouis/events.