Scheduling and executing projects for H.J. Holtz & Son is a multi-step process that involves many people and, often, many changes.
“There are so many factors [at play],” says Production Manager Kelly Kutchey. “People get sick – both customers and staff – and weather can affect outdoor projects. We have spreadsheets for all our jobs, because everything relates; when something happens to delay one job, that affects others.
Because of increased demand for painting and wallpapering services, wait times for jobs to begin have lengthened. Currently, interior paint jobs are being scheduled for late November, and exterior paint jobs – where weather prevents most work through the winter – are booked through the end of this year. For wallpaper jobs, the wait time is approximately 6 months.
Sometimes, as a project is underway, problems will arise – such as unexpected wood damage that needs to be repaired before painting can continue. Projects are scheduled to allow for small extensions, but larger changes – such as adding to an order – are harder to manage. Kutchey notes that once customers see the improvement in one area, they often want to paint another area, so it doesn’t look dull by comparison.
“A lot of times, we’re hired just to paint walls and the ceiling, but then the client wants to add trim, which can take days,” he says. “And if we’re painting the first floor, a lot of people want to add the stairwell. We can’t do that, because it pushes other jobs off schedule.”
The best way to avoid that situation, Kutchey says, is to have a thorough conversation with the estimator, to ensure the project includes every possibility. “We might be able to add a door or a closet to a project and stay on schedule,” he says, “but to redo an entire room really takes a week.”
H.J. Holtz & Son President Rick Holtz says the company prioritizes returning customers over new clients, but recommends that people think about what might be on the horizon.
“If you know your house is going to be on the Historic Garden Week tour, or there’s a party for graduation or a baptism, it’s best to plan ahead,” he says. “Our relationships are important. We are loyal to people who have been with us through thick and thin. We’re going to do everything we can to continue to be your paint and wallpaper contractor.”