By Jerri Stroud, BBB Editor
Simon Pataky’s years of construction experience have taught him to spend a lot of time on the front end of a project making sure the client and he are in agreement on the scope of work and the budget to minimize or eliminate any surprises.
“If there are problems, I try to talk it through before we start, to foresee things,” said Pataky, president of Simon Ashley Contracting Co., a BBB Accredited Business.
Although his company address is in Washington, Mo., most of Pataky’s customers are in the central corridor of St. Louis County, with a few projects in St. Charles and Jefferson counties and the city of St. Louis.
When he first started working in construction, Pataky specialized in historic renovation, mostly in Kansas City and St. Joseph, Mo. Later, he worked with designers and architects to complete projects they had designed. More recently, he’s specialized in design-build additions, kitchens, bathrooms and other residential remodeling projects, though he’s still doing some historic renovation.
His business has grown mostly by word of mouth, and he’s stayed too busy to do much marketing or even to keep his website up to date. He has five employees, including a part-time secretary and bookkeeper, but he mostly runs the business from his home – or the cab of his truck, where he sat while talking to BBB. The company is in the process of remodeling space in the Watson Industrial Park in Crestwood for a showroom that should open in the fall.
Pataky tries to visit each work site almost every day, spending some time helping crews at the several projects he has going. “I make contact with customers practically every day.”
“Integrity is our big thing,” Pataky said. “Everyone I hire, I say, ‘Do what you say you’re going to do. Don’t cover up or cut corners.’ It’s what you do when no one is looking that shows who you are.” He offers a five-year warranty on parts and labor on most projects.
Pataky said many of his customers have hired him over and over again. “They become like family. I take their dogs home when they go on vacations.” He has some second-generation customers.
BBB Accreditation has become more important to Pataky as customers shop around. “In the beginning, I wasn’t sure (about the value). I just thought it was good to be able to carry that sticker. Over the years, BBB has grown, and I have had jobs referred from BBB or customers have gotten my name from BBB” through BBB’s website.
“It’s important to have that stamp of approval and for customers to know we’re here and have been around a long time,” Pataky said.
Pataky says he’s comfortable with his company at its current size because he can control quality.
“I don’t want to be the biggest,” he said. “I just like what we’re doing.”
Pataky has been involved in several projects for Oasis Ministries in south St. Louis, providing labor to build school rooms, bathrooms and a full commercial kitchen. He’s also helped others in need by providing volunteer labor and has delivered used appliances from homes he was remodeling to single mothers.
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.