Repeatedly, as I read & study, I am told to “remember your ‘why’?”
You ask, “Bob, what’s your ‘why’ got to do with hiring subcontractors”?
At the core of our business, is the “WHY” question … What is the primary reason I started Bird Family Insulation?
For me, it was simple and crystal clear. I have an amazing wife and four equally amazing children. Vocationally, before BFI, we had been ministers for 20 years. Because we homeschooled our children, we were always together! As a family, we were exhausted from serving families in the Appalachian foothills, and my firstborn, (Abbey) was 15 years old. Our youngest, (Chris) was 4.
I resigned from our post, and we were unemployed with no cashflow!
As we had taught scores of others, I was committed to self-employment. It took a couple of failures at first, but then that fateful day occurred when I was walking through Home Depot. While passing the insulation products, God put the entire business model for Bird Family Insulation into my head in a nanosecond!
You see, my business model had (and still has) at its core the necessity that we work & labor together as a family. We love being in relationship… serving others.
The Family Farm …
Bird Family Insulation was and is, our family farm! We don’t have crops & animals, but we have trucks, trailers, a few employees, and 1000’s of wonderful clients!
For me, it’s all about relationships. We love building relationships with our employees, and our clients.
If I was “subbing” out our jobs, my children and I wouldn’t be working together… putting our hands together on the plow (our insulation rigs), inside your homes, working toward a common goal: your comfort!
Our employees share many of the same family values that we practice. Bird Family Insulation is a great place to labor! Sure, it’s hard, exhausting work, but that’s what work is meant to be. When the job is your passion, hard isn’t relevant.
And, the Bird Family loves our employees!
Over the 18 years of business, we have used a few subcontractors.
Here is why:
● They provided a needed service that we didn’t yet provide ourselves, (spray foam rig, HVAC)
● They had a license or skill that we didn’t have, but we needed to satisfy a job requirement, (Electrician, Plumber, HVAC)
● Our rig broke down, and we needed to finish a project for a client.
Currently, for the last few years, we have not used subcontractors. When we purchased our spray foam rig, that ended the long-time practice of contracting our spray foam.
Here are a few issues we faced while using subcontractors to help serve our clients:
● Punctuality. We couldn’t control their start and finish time, lunch breaks, etc.
● Quality of materials. Sometimes material gets substituted, and I didn’t like that.
● Sometimes there was a language hurdle with the client.
● Equipment reliability. Not everyone reinvests in their equipment with proper maintenance. For instance, they arrive at your home, and the generator won’t run. And, there is no back-up unit.
● Understanding Building Science. Most insulation contractors in the Atlanta region make their living doing new construction. Take spray foam contractors … hardly any new-construction crew understands what to do with powered roof vents, chimney chases, providing combustion air for a gas furnace, controlling odor, or adding conditioned air for a semi-conditioned attic. Subcontractors are strictly product-driven. You’re taking a big risk when using a new-construction crew for a Home Performance project.
Our family values transcend our business, and YOU ALWAYS BENEFIT:
● We are punctual! We arrive at your neighborhood early, take a brief nap, and ring your doorbell between 7 and 7:30 AM. We’re predictable.
● Our supplier, for MANY years now, is Rod McKenzie at Green Building Resources. He knows exactly what I want, and keeps it in stock for me. I don’t’ shop around, trying to beat his prices, looking for a substitute this or that. You get the highest quality materials, and our crews are trained on these exact products for a superior, high-quality installation. You Benefit!
● Everyone here at Bird Family Insulation is USA born to USA residents, with English as our first language.
● As the son of an aircraft mechanic, I understand the importance of regular maintenance. And, after 18 years, we have a backup to virtually everything here. (Except the spray foam rig). If we break down on your job, we recover with-in hours.
● Building Science is the “meat & potatoes” of our business. Three of us are BPI certified, (Building Performance Institute). We are solution-driven, not product-driven. Believe me, it’s hard work to get certified, passing those tests and field exams. You benefit because we understand the consequences of our actions while improving the comfort and Indoor Air Quality inside your home. Bird’s experience, education, & diagnostic tests bring you the assurance that your health and safety are being considered.
● Your COMFORT is our goal, each and every day. For a subcontractor, his goal is simply getting the job done, without using more time & material than what he calculated.
● YOU ARE MY EMPLOYER. For a subcontractor, you are not the employer. The ‘sub’ works for who’s paying him: the general contractor.
Does this mean Bird Family Insulation will never employ subcontractors on our job sites? Hardly! I’m sure there will be times in the future when we need the services of others. As that happens, if it’s at your home – rest assured that we understand the vital relationship of trust & confidence you are placing in Bird Family Insulation… and we are always responsible and accountable for the performance of everyone on our job sites… employee or subcontractor.
As I write this, Abbey is 31 with a family, Chris is 20, and I’m 60. At the Bird Family, we still value working together, daily in the business…. to assure you that your comfort and indoor air quality goals are enthusiastically met. For each of us here at Bird Family, it’s all about the relationship: with us, our employees, and you – our clients!