When it comes to their work, Castile Kitchen & Bath has a passion for creating quality construction, high-end craftsmanship, and attention to detail. But when it comes to their business, Castile owners Forrest and Jen would tell you they are driven to make repeatable and scalable systems. The combination is best shown through Castile’s evolution from general contracting to specializing in bathroom and kitchen remodels, a space where they continue to refine their practices including their remodeling contract process.
Transitioning to a new remodeling contract
Like many areas of life, you get out of contracts what you put into them. Looking back, Jen and Forrest Castile can safely say that their old contracts left something to be desired. Prior to using CoConstruct, Castile projects started with an Excel spreadsheet. “We had a spreadsheet that we called the budget calculator, and it had three primary columns that were materials, trade partners, and labor,” Forrest explained. The three columns contained anticipated and actual costs while the rows were filled out with values for various line items before a final number was spit out at the bottom.
Armed with numbers, Forrest would transfer this information from the spreadsheet to a document, hoping that a misplaced coma or copy and paste error wouldn’t cost him down the line. “It was my job to generate a construction document that included... Contract verbiage, the cost of the project, the pay schedule, and a bunch of other attachments.” The contracts came out between two and five pages long and included packets of pictures and drawings of the job all stapled together. This manual process was finished once the paper document was initialed by a client.
Today, Castile’s remodeling contract process is a streamlined and automated process. After a design agreement is signed, clients sit down with a Castile team member who brings in a CoConstruct specs and selections template, preloaded with pertinent details to a kitchen or bathroom remodel. As the team member and client work through the template, they essentially are building out the vision for the project. After the template is filled out, Castile team members add information such as measurements, materials, and pricing while reaching out to trade partners to submit bids for portions of the project. All this information is automatically compiled in the project’s estimate and proposal without having to double enter any data.
For Jen, the difference is in the details. “From our old contracts to our current specs and selections, there’s a lot more information, the detail is up 100%. We went from two pages of contract with pictures and initials to a document that goes on for pages.” Today Castile is putting a greater level of detail into developing their projects than they used to, a practice that has paid off for their team and their clients. “Part of the increased level of detail is so the client clearly understands what’s happening,” said Forrest. For the Castile team this increased level of detail means Forrest and Jen have a trainable and repeatable process that they can continue to optimize. “I don’t think that would be possible to train people to do what we’re doing without CoConstruct,” Forrest said.
Process wins for change orders and materials purchasing
Castile Kitchen & Bath has also seen gains in other aspects of their business by adding in standard business practices. One area in particular is change order management. “Change orders were really spotty before CoConstruct and now it’s really easy and clear for the team to decide when a change order needs to be initiated,” Forrest explained. “Just the change order piece is saving us thousands and thousands and thousands.”
In addition to building out processes, Castile can now change up processes faster than ever before. As lead times increased as a byproduct of material shortages, Forrest and Jen realized they needed to place their orders earlier in their building process to keep project schedules intact. “We shifted the burden of ordering materials and issuing purchase orders from the project management team to the design team... It was nice that CoConstruct was all set up to just advance that process to a different team member with very minimal training. It was kind of like a flip of switch,” said Forrest. That flip of the switch shaved four to six weeks off of delivery times for Castile.