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Old Glory Renovations

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Why You Need A Great General Contractor

Rob Hefner, owner of Old Glory Construction in the Southeast Houston area, has spent decades in various aspects of the home construction business. He believes in ethical and transparent interactions in construction and renovation, which is often lacking in the industry. He feels it is important for his customers to know where every dollar they spend goes and have all their questions answered about what is happening on the job site. Watch the full video here:

 Why You Need A Great General Contractor - Rob Hefner, Owner of Old Glory Construction
Why You Need A Great General Contractor - Rob Hefner, Owner of Old Glory Construction

Video Summary of Why You Need a Great General Contractor:

1. **Background of Old Glory Construction**: Founded by Rob Heffner after observing unethical practices in the construction industry. The company merged with another after Rob was approached by a general contractor tired of the paperwork. Old Glory focuses on ethical and transparent operations.

2. **Naming the Company**: "Old Glory" was inspired by a playful conversation Rob had with his wife about his age and starting a new business. It also ties in with Rob's veteran background and the company's restoration projects.

3. **Role of a General Contractor**: Many homeowners often underestimate the complexity of home renovations. General contractors like Old Glory can oversee projects, ensuring timely completion and dealing with unexpected issues that arise. They coordinate different aspects of the construction process, which can be likened to a conductor in an orchestra.

4. **Cost and Pricing Dynamics**: Pricing includes costs related to overhead and risk. Old Glory stands out by offering transparency, showing clients exactly where every dollar goes, invoicing weekly, and ensuring communication throughout the project.

5. **Contacting Old Glory**: Interested parties can reach out via their website,, or contact Fawn, a team member with a background in real estate and house flipping, at 409-295 1951. The company is also present on various social media platforms like Facebook, Google, and Yelp under "Old Glory Construction management."

Full Transcript of "Why You Need a Great General Contractor" Provided By YouTube:

(26) Why You Need A Great General Contractor - YouTube


(00:00) foreign hey beautiful friends this is Sarah Blumenfeld host of networking done different and Outreach of an invitation to today I'm pleased to be here with one of my Toastmaster buddies Rob Heffner of Old Glory construction and we're going to talk about General Contractors what that is why you would want one and sub subjects like that so good morning Rob how are you I'm doing outstanding today I hope you're doing as well thank you thank you so tell us first a little about your business and how you got it started and

(00:39) what you stand for I've spent a lot of years in the construction industry mostly in vertical construction building new homes uh built so much semi-custom and Custom Homes and I've done some but not a whole lot of remodeling I finally reached a point where I just wasn't comfortable with some of the things that go on in the industry so on the the brilliant idea brilliant if you ask me at least of starting a company that consults and advises people that are having to deal with construction issues you don't know

(01:21) what the Builder is negotiating with you and he says you have to do this that may or may not be true uh the general contractor says oh well we have to wait because we can't get material yeah really I'm not quite sure that that's valid and the idea was to be an on-call construction professional when you're dealing with a construction problem and you want a professional in the industry that can help answer questions and help you get what you really want out of the whole thing I was going to be that guy

(01:58) however business sometimes takes a turn I I ended up just because of business pressure people saying hey why don't you do this for me well I'm not a general contractor I don't want to be a general contractor but I kept getting the questions and about the same time A friend of mine came to me and said hey I've been a general contractor for over 30 years we've done all this beautiful work we've done all this stuff I'm just tired of the paperwork will you take care of the paperwork and let me

(02:33) just build stuff so we ended up joining forces uh Old Glory and and the other company just kind of merged together into one and we've grown a lot since then the foundation of everything remember why I started the business in the first place is ethical and transparent uh I want all my customers to know where every dollar they spend goes and not to have any questions about what we're doing on the job site or what they're actually paying for so how did you come up with the name Old Glory Construction

(03:13) well this is kind of funny my wife and I were sitting on the couch talking about naming the new business and uh she asked me honey are you are you sure you're not too old to start a business right now a new business is a lot of work and I said well I may be getting old but I'm still glorious and that's where the name comes from oh wow I love that yeah and and you know it works in a lot of ways I'm I'm a veteran the Old Glory Synergy there we do a lot of Renovations restoring things to their Old Glory oh

(03:58) nice so it just works very very well as a company name and what we do yeah oh that's great I love that tell us what is a general contractor and why would you want one general contractors okay they kind of have a bad reputation if you if you own a home uh if you're buying a home and there's a list of things that need to be done if you own rental property and somebody moves out and you need it to get rid but you don't have the time to do the work you call a general contractor to come in now a good general contractor is

(04:39) registered with the local municipality he has a website uh he's actually you can verify that he's legitimate you know there's a lot of there's a lot of horror stories everybody's heard the horror stories but General Contractors but if you need some things require permit let me back up a little bit some things require permit from the city dealing with permits and getting all the proper paperwork lined up is a big part of what we do just because it's such a hassle and if you don't understand the system if you don't

(05:16) understand the process it's kind of hard to figure out on your own you need a general contractor to do that for you you you're comfortable painting the walls you're comfortable doing a lot of work but you need to put down new floors and you need to install new doors and you don't have time to do it all yourself you need a general contractor so would it be correct to say that the general contractor is like the Orchestra conductor he knows who needs to do all the pieces how each of the pieces need

(05:50) to play together and he brings it all together into beautiful music yeah you know I kind of like that uh I need to get myself a conductor's baton just there's a lot of days I would just use it to point people on the head when they're not doing what they're supposed to but that that is really my role as owner of the company is to get the right people doing the right job at the right time for the right price and ensure my customers are happy with it start to finish it is hurting cats is a common analogy but

(06:25) cats are much easier to control yeah well the the conductor analogy just came to me between the time that we agreed to do the interview and now it came to me it's like Oh I like that a lot it's a beautiful analogy and it absolutely yeah so I've watched there's a there's a there are some jobs where you have to bring in a subcontractor generally we do all the work ourselves a lot of subcontractors a lot of GCS General Contractors subcontract everything but I have full-time guys to work for me

(07:06) that we do the work ourselves but there's times you need to bring in a good sub okay and uh those times is what the general contractor that's where he makes his money uh that that's where he earns his worth I should say we have been in business very long and this whole making money thing is still a dream not necessarily reality in a brand new business yeah well I'm sure our friends have watched uh HGTV like home renovation shows and I'm thinking of one in particular that's about a flipping show right and so the

(07:42) the expert flipper goes into these other guys and goes you need a general contractor and they're like I don't know I I think we'll just try it on our own right and of course they don't know how to find people they don't know what permits they need all this so at the end of the show where they've messed up again and again and again and again and had this problem this problem the lead guy comes back in and goes so next time you're going to get a general contractor right well and and that's that's absolutely I

(08:17) saw that same joke and uh you know it just kind of makes me shake my head there's when people come up with pricing okay there's a lot of things that go into it and one of the things that influences the price is the inexperience of the person you're talking to see most people don't know if two dollars a square foot is a fair price for sheetrock somebody gives me that number I laugh at them and walk away right that's that's not that's not realistic and and that is really the kind of decision I want to be involved

(08:55) with as a consultant now I'm doing it as a general contractor and trying to find ways to make sure that we're paying a fair price yeah yeah well and having your own crew is also important I think because you have longevity with them you know their capabilities you know it's not like you're going down to the corner store and picking up the people that are standing outside right well I would never do that I've been in the industry long enough that I have a pretty extensive Rolodex if I need a

(09:29) painter or a concrete guy and call somebody and say hey how's the wife and kids I haven't talked to you in a while by the way you got time to look at this for me yeah they're valuable I mean people need to understand how valuable that is just right there you know what it's all about relationships yeah it's all about making those professional and personal relationships that allow you to be successful absolutely absolutely all businesses so when you're negotiating um do you you work primarily with Renovations or

(10:10) with new build or both yes okay we we are probably 70 percent of our workload right now is Renovations okay um I would I would say roughly 70 percent we have one or two commercial build outs that are I I won't stand up a commercial building that's not my background but as far as installing walls and putting up sheetrock and that kind of thing I've done enough of that to be to be familiar with it be comfortable doing it right uh where I I would love to get into new home construction that is my background but

(10:56) it's not the focus of my company our our flywheel the our center of gravity however we wanted to find it is home renovations generally I tell people we'll do anything residential okay so what do they need to know about negotiating prices it's not about the labor costs it's not about the material cost material costs can vary a little bit from a job to job but if you have five thousand dollars in material the best purchasing guy is going to get it for 4 800 or 4700 the worst for a couple hundred in the other direction

(11:38) that's not where the cost comes in the cost comes in two different places overhead which everybody has overhead right right you have to pay for a business and overhead is not a bad thing if you're if you're looking for a Renovations company that has a showroom and can help you make selections and provide color choices and help you design things that's not the small kind of guy but that guy is going to have bigger overhead which equates to hire for Christ so paying at different prices for the same work

(12:22) you may be paying for something you don't need for example a designer but you may be underpaying as well When You're Expecting a small company to be able to design for you so understanding the overhead and what you really want from the contractor is a big part of the cost the most significant part though is risk if you've ever even looked at the stock market if you know what it is you know that risk has a price so when a general contractor comes in and says I guarantee I'm not going to go over that price

(12:59) he has enough risk built into that bid to account for all of the unknowns a little bit of fluctuation in pricing somebody a vendor UPS their labor costs by 10 percent [Music] is the things we can't see we did a job a couple weeks ago it was just a white painted wall not a big deal small space about two foot by three foot the paint had bubbled up due to a water leak when a air conditioning units had overflows no big deal we'll take out the seed Rock put it back in I bid it at two hundred dollars we're

(13:39) just going to take out the sheetrock put it back in retexturing painting we took out the Sheep Rock and there were carpenter ants in infested in that whole wall so we had to get rid of all the carpenter ants assess the damage they did and we ended up rebuilding that wall oh my goodness in what looked like a little simple job turned into a two-day Affair oh wow well nobody nobody wants to have to go back to a homeowner and have that uncomfortable conversation hey we found this I need more money so a lot of times people will add enough

(14:21) into their bid to cover some of that risk right there's there's a risk of not getting paid on time uh and all those risks drive up the price now understanding that risk there's a couple ways to mitigate it and this is where the negotiation piece goes in can I go there now yeah go there a flat rate bids are just that if they if you request to change something then submit a change order and accept the additional cost but otherwise they should meet that cost what we do differently it's all about standing out from the

(15:06) crowd right I can say we do quality work so does everybody else right that's like putting I'm a people person on your resume you know what what else you're going to put of course we do quality work and I feel like I can control the quality of work because of people doing it work for me right I give a bid an estimate and I really truly believe I can make that bill and I don't ask for money up front uh I don't Adam unless there's a big expense in material up front before we get started for example we're doing a

(15:50) sun shade and the sun shade itself has a two-week delivery time and costs about twelve hundred dollars okay I'm gonna ask for that money yeah but generally we go in and go to work and we bill on Thursday every Thursday okay um we don't ask for money up front unless there's a big upfront cost you know where your people are you know where your workers are because when we start a job we assign a lead to that job and his job until it's complete is to be there every day oh nice it's so in looking to differentiate ourselves

(16:33) we look at what do people complain about but the biggest thing is money up front how do I know where my money's going they want 50 up front how do I know they're ever going to show up again right right here stories about that right we all have so we address that with weekly billing we hear well they showed up they worked for three days and disappeared I haven't heard from them what do I do right somebody will be on the job site every day yeah if they're not there you'll get involved saying hey they're

(17:11) not going to be there tomorrow and this is why [Music] there's been a couple times where we call that morning and said hey he had a heart rate I did actually have uh one guy working by himself on a job he didn't show up and uh it was because he got rear-ended on the highway and had to deal with that well so we put somebody on the job to stay there the whole time the the third biggest complaint is where's my money going I'm giving him ten thousand dollars for this job where does it go so we break it

(17:46) down when we submit our bids it shows how much we expect to spend in material with a list of what we expect to purchase how many hours in labor and the labor rate that we charge what the markup is how much money I make on the job and what the tax rate is four different columns that come down to a total at the bottom so you know exactly what we're asking for when we invoice every Thursday it includes how many hours we worked and it includes if a homeowner really wants it I can provide copies of the invoices but all

(18:30) of the invoices are listed on the page showing this is how much money we spent this is how much money this is where we spin it wow and this is what we bought with it so it's completely transparent you'll know who's working on your job site where we're spending money to buy stuff how many hours we spent to do it categories labor material taxes and markup [Music] that's awesome trying to directly address all the horror stories that we've heard yeah and and trying to separate ourselves from

(19:10) the crowd by calming those fears you know if we do it like this the big three things people worry about with contractors they go away yeah wow that's great so what else do you want people to know about General Contracting and how they should like when should they need you like I bet the people who just had the little piece of wall might have thought I don't know right but turns out right it was really important well it that's true in that in that situation it did um generally if somebody's calling us it's

(19:57) because they have a need that they either don't have the time or don't have the willingness to address okay there's uh a job we're waiting on word back on where uh he's in a wheelchair now and he needs his house adapted to allow him to be in a wheelchair he needs the help he can't do it himself right so he has to call a general contractor to get that done because it's his first time in a wheelchair he doesn't understand all the implications of making a house Ada compatible not compliant that's a

(20:38) there's a difference but but the adjustments to the house to make it easier for him to live in it out of a chair yeah we've I've spent a lot of time with my veterans I I'm thinker where I spend a lot of time on the non-profit side with veteran benefits and and Veteran resources in Galveston County and we've worked on several houses for that purpose exactly not as Old Glory but as the construction guy on the non-profit side and now as Old Glory we've done a couple as well wow so tell us about some of your most

(21:23) um interesting jobs my favorite job we've done so far and it's just because it turned out beautifully a customer had the idea there's walk into the house there's a living room and the stairs over on one side and underneath the stairs you know a lot of houses have that coat closet underneath the stairs well this was kind of a big one the back wall of it was about five feet high so it wasn't just a little bitty corner and they'd always wanted a wine cellar so we took that coat closet took it down to the to the walls with a

(22:04) stone tile on the sides Stone town painted the ceiling down right with painted the ceiling gold it turned out beautiful she had a cabinet and a mini fridge in the back with a uh a wooden countertop on top of it and gave them their little Wine Cellar that they'd always wanted now what we have not been able to do yet is find the right kind of metal garden gates to get in and out of it I think it's very specific ideas and we showed them a lot of options and they just weren't happy with it and she finally

(22:43) said you know what we're gonna find it we'll call you when it's time to install it there you go there you go closet and turning it into a beautiful little wine cellar is one of my favorite jobs we've done so far oh wow that sounds so cool yeah mostly when I think of home renovations I think of bathrooms and kitchens right well bathrooms and kitchens are great jobs for one it's hot outside and they're inside indoors is great right but bathrooms almost always costs more than people think they will because

(23:26) there's so many little things to do it I want to move this cabinet over three feet well that's great but that means all the electrical components have to move we have to reap we have to adjust where the air vents come in we have to deal with all the plumbing issues and all that kind of stuff so it's not just taking out a cabinet moving it over and putting it back in right in in bathrooms and kitchens there are so many things behind the walls they get complicated quick yeah but I we love doing them the

(23:57) the guy I joined with Bill that was his specialty for 30 years bathrooms and kitchens is what he loves to do and we have gotten we've gotten into some what they call make readys if you're renting a house and somebody moves out then you need to make it ready for the next renter right or if you're getting ready to sell it house you need to make it ready to sell and that's just coming in in general touch-up things when you paint this bedroom fix that stairs to rehang that door this is water League

(24:34) etc etc those make readys is is one of the things that we like to do as well oh wow you need to be marketing to Realtors we definitely do because that's a valuable service you know and as a real estate agent myself I know we're not going to a house it's like oh man fortunately my broker has somebody to do that but it's it's so needed and such a load off of the homeowner or the landlord to have somebody that can just come in and do that and and quickly too and say hey let's turn this around let's turn this

(25:12) around well one of the interesting things about how we build and how we bid most importantly as it applies to make radiation real estate and that sort of thing we do line item bits so for example you want to remodel the kitchen that's one line on the bed sheet you want to re-hang a door that's another line refined the bedrooms that's another line and what that allows real estate agents to do is sit down with a seller and say okay you have ten dollars in your budget everything we need to do is going to be 15. so let's prioritize to

(25:51) get the maximum return on what you spend and then at the same time go to the buying agent and say Here's a bid for this stuff let's make a deal because this is a valid bid oh yeah to me that would be a valuable resource yeah marketing it is something that we're working on [Music] but marketing is hard it is it is absolutely the hardest part of owning a business yeah yeah so you mentioned sun shades which of course are Outdoors right what what kind of things do you do on the outside of the house we we've built a lot of decks resurfaced

(26:38) decks and that kind of stuff I try and avoid fencing unless it's part of another job okay I want to accept defense only starting a house soon up in Pasadena where they want several things done repaint the exterior of the house fix them keep Rock damage you're freezing up on me Rob all right friends hang in there we'll give it a second here hopefully he'll come back he hasn't fallen asleep he's just Frozen up so let's talk about General Contracting why it's important as Rob has already said it's somebody

(27:36) who can look at the job have experience in a lot of things he has a crew that he can bring in on his that are employed by him so they know how to work together and Rob is back Rob was freezing up on us there I was trying to build space well my apologies I I was just talking along and you were smiling nicely at me and then I realized you weren't moving yeah okay so we were talking about decks and fences and such things we we do we do a lot of decks they're kind of fun to design and build there's some interesting materials out

(28:20) there for him so just building a deck it's not as simple as just building a deck sometimes of the material you want how long you want it to last what kind of Coatings coverings do you need to seal it do you not seal it that those are those are interesting yeah the sun shade is kind of a one-off young man was trying to get a sun shape to put out in the backyard and couldn't find anybody to take the job he knew what he wanted but nobody's willing to do it oh sure we'll do it it's going to be an interesting little

(28:55) job we'll learn something from it that makes it worth doing yeah yeah for sure well we all need sunshine sun shades in this weather all right so what else do you want people to know as we wrap up today let's see we've covered a lot of territory this morning we have how did they get in touch with you if they'd like you to do the job for them well there's more than one way our website is oldglorytx.

(29:30) com the uh the phone numbers there are two different phone numbers actually one is mine my phone number Direct is 281-546-8836 and I'm always willing to talk but I'm always on the phone so if I can't answer like the three people that have called me during this interview I will call you back as soon as I can yeah another phone number to call is fawn fawn Kowalski she she is customer care job is to make sure our customers are happy from the first phone call until the final payment and keep maintain contact and everything

(30:17) else she has a background in real estate and flipping houses so she knows what she's talking about on the remodeling side as well she's been a huge asset to who we are her name is Fawn and her phone number is 409-295 1951 of course we're on the generic social media sites uh Facebook Google and Yelp As Old Glory construction management you got to put that management on the end of it and uh yeah look this up we're we're in a lot of different places we'd love to hear from you and well all right well I'm sorry

(31:07) what I got distracted for a second somebody called in and it activated on my iPad instead of on my phone oh sorry about that he's a busy guy all right yeah thank you so much I I hope that our friends really takes free time this morning yeah thanks for thinking was awesome all right friends for listening we always appreciate you taking the time to listen to networking done different if you would like to be interviewed please email me at networking done different gmail.

(31:41) com thanks have a great day see you later have a great day


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