Hi everyone! Today we’re sitting down with Chris Knutson of Dave Knutson siding, a siding, roofing and window contractor out of Minneapolis. Chris has been a customer of Clear Estimates for a long while. In this Q&A we’ll talk with Chris about his company, mission statement, the importance of an online reputation and what the crew likes to do in their free time.
Clear Estimates [CE]: Give us some background on your company. Where are you located? What is your mission statement?
Chris Knutson [CK]: Our Mission Statement – Dave Knutson Siding is a family-owned business that values the importance of our relationships and continues to deliver high-quality, cost-effective projects in addition to quick and friendly customer service. Background – In 1974 Dave Knutson picked up his first hammer as the operator of his own business. Before that, Dave studied siding under the apprenticeship of expert Minnesotan tradesmen who emphasized quality work and service above all else. We continue that tradition to this day with the help of Chris Knutson who took over in 2015
CE: Before using Clear Estimates, how did you estimate and what did you use? How does Clear Estimates compare to your old method of estimating?
CK: Before Clear Estimates, we simply used a word document to write estimates. Clear Estimates has saved us 100’s of hours [of estimating].
CE: What was your biggest estimating pain point before using Clear Estimates? (think of the biggest problem you had with estimating before).
CK: Our biggest pain was the time it took to write each line item. In Clear Estimates, we have all line items pre-written with values attached.
CE: After using Clear Estimates, have you been able to measure any improvements in estimates produced or time saved? (how has Clear Estimates helped solve that problem you had)
CK: It has been a tremendous help and has saved us nearly 100 hours per year.
CE: When using Clear Estimates, what function do you find most useful? (could be a feature, or certain aspect of the program)
CK: We really love being able to duplicate estimates so we can make revisions to estimates while keeping the original.
CE: If you were CEO for a day, what feature(s) would you add to the program?
CK: Have values attached to custom items after they have been created once.
CE: Let’s transition from estimating to the importance of an online presence. You maintain a 5 star rating on Google across 45 reviews. That’s incredible. What, about the work you do, stands out to your customers?
CK: In an industry with a somewhat poor reputation for great and consistent work, we are one of the few companies that have a primary focus of doing a great job first and foremost. Beyond that, we strive to communicate constantly with our customers. It’s important to us that our customers feel they can call any day or night with questions and concerns.
CE: You’ve got a solid website. It seems more and more leads are being funneled online. Is your website helping capture those leads?
CK: We certainly believe so. There is always room to improve a website and it is something that should probably be updated on a regular basis. We like to keep ours strong and simple.
CE: As a contractor, what are your overall thoughts on the importance of your online presence? Should every contractor have one?
CK: If not, they will be left behind. More people are making their decision online now. When my father started this business our jobs came directly from word of mouth. Now that same trust in a contractor came be decided with online research.
CE: Ok, now some more relaxing questions. What does your team enjoy doing when not remodeling? What are some hobbies?
CK: We all love to fish. Last year 4 of us went to Alaska for the King Salmon season which happens to be in the middle of our busiest season so some guys were left behind and they still might be a little upset about that..
CE: What is the most satisfying aspect of the remodeling process?
CK: For me, the most satisfying aspect is teaching a homeowner something new. After a few estimates and some online research, many homeowners have a lot of knowledge. I like when I bring up an option they hadn’t considered. It lets me know that they are getting to decide all possible options and not just the ones contractors find easy and profitable.
CE: Would you recommend Clear Estimates to a competitor or another contractor in the industry? If so, why?
CK: I certainly wouldn’t lie if someone asked how good it is. However, I won’t go around advertising that I use it because I’d rather my completion not have the same edge I do.
Thanks again to Chris Knutson for sitting down with us to learn a little more about his company, passions, and desire to maintain a reputation as one of the best siding contractors in his area. If you’re a Clear Estimates customer interested in a Q&A to be featured on our website, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading!