Custom Design & Construction: Asking the right questions for an effective consumer-oriented blog

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CD&C blog image
Jobsite image from Custom Design & Construction's blog

Custom Design & Construction, a southern California remodeling contractor, demonstrates how a blog can be an incredibly effective business-building and marketing tool.

There’s loads of content here — informative, practical, and obviously designed to appeal to consumers in the company’s service area. The blog also makes effective use of images — a great way to demonstrate the business’s design capacity and quality.

Consider, for example, this post: 13 Green Building Questions to Ask Your So Cal Contractor.

  • What is the contractor’s understanding of green building and what makes the project green? What are the contractor’s key sources of information?
  • Is the contractor a recognized Energy Star contractor? If not, what green-building standard does the contractor subscribe to?
  • Has the contractor built other green projects, and what qualified these projects as green?
  • Does the contractor’s designers or allied architects have training in green-building practices, which can range from knowledge about house orientation and window basics to the ability to specify green products in every part of the home?
  • Does the contractor have reliable sources for green products, such as Energy Star-qualified HVAC systems; low-VOC caulks, adhesives, and finishes; and sustainably-harvested lumber?
  • For finished wood applications like trim or shelving, does the contractor have a plan for using composite woods, such as medium-density fiberboard (MDF), and plantation-grown green alternatives to tropical hardwoods, such as bamboo or Pau Lope, that will reduce pressure on forests?
  • Does the contractor subscribe to any framing optimization system that can reduce job-site waste? This can simply mean that the contractor uses a software system to optimize framing so that his crew uses fewer structural wood components.
  • Is the contractor aware of advanced insulated foundation, roof, or wall systems that can achieve high R-values, such as insulated concrete forms (ICFs) and structural insulated panels (SIPs)?
  • Does the contractor have any knowledge of – or subcontractors who are aware of green-building techniques, such as floor finishers who use no-VAC water-borne polyurethane?
  • What systems does the contractor have in place to check on and audit the green practices of the subcontractors who will be working on your job, such as preapproval of materials?
  • Does the contractor have a waste and recycling plan so that building materials such as metal or useable wood are recycled rather than discarded?
  • Does the contractor have a toxic-waste disposal plan? Ask the contractor what the plan is for old thermostats that contain mercury or light ballasts that contain polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). If he doesn’t have a deliberate plan for disposing of these highly toxic materials, the contractor’s credentials are suspect.
  • Does the contractor have a plan for ensuring the indoor air quality (IAQ) of the home before and after construction, even if there is active ventilation when finishes are applied on-site? IAQ is a key component of any green remodeling job.

Now, obviously the questions are designed to demonstrate Custom Design & Construction’s competency — but they also indeed are valid questions that consumers should ask.

If you are a remodeling contractor in a non-competing community, you might see this blog as an inspiration source for your own blog’s content. (Obviously, don’t “lift” the material — a serious copyright and ethical violation, especially if you don’t truly match the services here — but if you offer similar services, it won’t be hard to adapt your own words and images to match the themes.)

This is a worthy new entry in the 2017 Best Construction Blog Competition. You can vote here until March 31.

Real-time voting results are below:

 

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