Small Business

Home Room Construction: Remodeler's building plan: Double revenue Company targets homeowners considering do-it-yourself projects

January 23, 2006

Scott Heinemeyer's business is all about potential.

That's why Home Room Construction tackles many kinds of projects-everything from simple handyman services to complex room additions. After all, what's the point in limiting the possibilities?

"We are a big company that happens to be small right now," Heinemeyer said of his four-person firm.

All told, Home Room finishes anywhere from 200 to 300 projects a year, he said, and revenue is expected to nearly double to $500,000 in 2006.

Heinemeyer started the company in 2002 after working travel-heavy jobs in construction and sales. He launched Home Room from home, sinking $35,000 of his own money in the enterprise.

It took about three months to get the business off the ground, he said, growing from handyman services to room additions and custom jobs.

"As smaller jobs turned into larger ones, we identified basements as our niche," Heinemeyer said.

Now the firm's client list is composed mostly of middle-income homeowners who are in need of more living space: in a basement, an attic or brand-new room.

"We look at what you want and how you live in order to maximize the square footage ... and give you the best use of that space," he said.

But Home Room is far from alone in that marketplace. The company faces stiff competition-and not just from other small businesses.

"Our biggest competitive threat is a homeowner or a weekend warrior," Heinemeyer said. "A lot of folks can do their own home improvement projects, but that's a lot of nights and weekends."

Selling his firm's services depends on his ability to show homeowners how much time they will save by hiring his company to do the work. The average basement-finishing project takes 400-500 hours, he said, and costs $20,000.

Homeowners think they can save money by doing the job themselves, but Heinemeyer's crew often has been called in to complete a project that has gone on a year or longer.

"Our clients like being able to come home at the end of 20 days and enjoy their basement or room addition," he said. "We can handle every aspect of the

project to make sure their needs are met."

Melissa Ebbert of Carmel said she was pleased with the work Home Room did finishing her family's basement.

"They were really efficient and much quicker than we thought they would be," Ebbert said. "Their prices were competitive and they were neat and tidy. I was amazed at how contained the mess was."

Tom and Suzanne Janke of Fishers hired Heinemeyer's company to do a full basement finish that incorporated a recording studio as well as a home theater. "He worked with us and was accommodating to help us maintain our budget and suggesting ways to save money," Tom Janke said.

After years of comfortable growth, Heinemeyer looks at 2006 as an opportunity to work toward a revenue goal of $500,000. He credits having a usable business plan helping to guide the company into the future and encourages any entrepreneur to attempt similar foresight.

"We just executed our biggest contract to date and our backlog looks good. Things are going well," he said. "We are growing at a rate that we can handle and I like what we have achieved in three years."


Home Room Construction owner Scott Heinemeyer works to convince customers they can't afford to tackle remodeling projects-like this finished basement-themselves, even if hiring him costs more money.
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