A Contractor that Cares: Bordner Home Improvement
By: Kelly Phillips
When Rob Poettgen joined Bordner Roofing in 2000, he didn’t anticipate being a roofing installer. With his marketing and sales background, he expected to help grow the business for his father-in-law and co-owner of Bordner, Cliff Fleenor. It was a bit of a surprise, then, when Fleenor told Poettgen that the best way for him to learn the roofing business was to do it himself.
After about three months of doing roof installs, Poettgen went to Fleenor. “I said, Hey, I’ve got good news and bad news,” said Poettgen. “The good news is you’ve got a lot of great installers. The bad news is I’m not one of them.” At that point, the two men agreed to a substantially shortened initiation period, and Poettgen was turned loose to work on sales, marketing, and growing the roof replacement side of the business.
Bordner Roofing was started in 1987 by Greg Bordner and Cliff Fleenor. Fleenor had a vision: to create a construction company that provided quality work and excellent service to customers while also allowing Bordner employees to learn skills they could use in all areas of their lives. When Bordner left the company in 1989, Fleenor brought in his brothers, Bud and Charley. Today, the company is co-owned and run by Poettgen and Bud Fleenor’s son Sam.
Recently the company changed its focus from roofing to home improvement services. Poettgen says he’s seen an increased interest and need for such services, and Bordner can fill that need. While the current DIY trend has many homeowners tackling remodeling projects on their own, others are looking for reliable help for short-term projects that deliver dramatic results. These homeowners are looking for someone they can trust to do the job right. Time is also a factor. Since homeowners have to live in the middle of the construction, they want to know the job will be finished as quickly as possible.
Poettgen and his team take these needs seriously. “The way home improvement projects are presented on TV is anything but reality, but unfortunately, that’s a lot of people’s basis now with HGTV and the DIY Network,” he says. “They may have an unrealistic vision for what’s involved.” Poettgen goes on to say that Bordner’s team members take pride in being good consumer educators. “Whether a customer selects Bordner or one of its competitors, at least we know they have the information to make an informed decision. We see this as part of our responsibility as a contractor,” he says.
Trust is one of the founding principles at Bordner Home Improvement and has been from the beginning. Says Poettgen, “So much of what we do at the end of the day is hidden, whether it’s within the walls or up on the roof. The level of trust somebody has to place in us to allow us to come into their home and tear it apart when they do not have the ability to put it back together is something that we take very, very seriously. We take a protective mindset toward everything we do for our customers.”
The team at Bordner has learned over the years that delivering as a specialty contractor means one truly has to specialize in every aspect of the business. To that end, the company invests heavily in training and certification for its employees. By combining training provided by manufacturing partners with in-house training, the company can ensure the level of quality and specialization it needs – and customers depend on – in all facets of the business.
An example of this specialized knowledge comes into play during installations. Whatever the project – roofing, windows, or siding – it’s crucial that every detail of the installation is done correctly so as not to negate the manufacturer’s warranty. Consumers trust their contractor to know this, but unfortunately, not all of them do. “Consumers don’t find out they’ve gotten a bad install until they call the manufacturer for repairs or a replacement,” Poettgen explains. “That’s when they find out that the installation wasn’t done right, and their warranty is null and void. It’s a horrible situation for them to be in. Our goal is to make sure that never happens to our customers.”
Bordner Home Improvement operates on old-fashioned philosophies not often found in today’s marketplace, offering quality craftsmanship and a lifetime workmanship warranty on every replacement job. The warranty is simple and offered in plain English, so homeowners understand what they’re getting. Says Poettgen, “We don’t have a philosophy of being perfect. We have a philosophy of being accountable. If we’re going to do a job, let’s do it right the first time. The warranty keeps our internal accountability high.”
Poettgen’s vision for Bordner is continued growth in the specialty replacement services market, which means developing a well-rounded service offering that benefits homeowners throughout the lifetime maintenance and improvement of their homes. “As long as people are seeking to take good care of their properties, there will always be demand for contractors who can do it well and will stand behind the work they do,” says Poettgen. “Bordner Home Improvement is here to help.”
You can reach Bordner Home Improvement at thinkbordner.com or call them at 816-737-8442.