As many of you know, long hours are part of the job. When it comes to windows, 15-hour days are nothing new. Nevertheless, when John Lacognata got into the windows, doors and siding business 10 years ago, he knew what he was getting into.
Now serving a majority of Northern Illinois, John and his company, Universal Windows Direct of Chicago, have expanded their services and met the growing demand. See how he did it in this month’s contractor’s spotlight.
Jacob Hurwith: What are some of the services you offer?
John Lacognata: When it comes to windows, doors and siding, we do it all. Unlike many other window companies, we handle new wall installations, wall removals and structural changes. We also handle home winterization, green home improvement and energy efficiency projects.
Hurwith: What is your favorite part of the business?
Lacognata: Personally, I like watching the transformation. I love taking an old window or old siding and making it look new. With that, I love seeing people’s reaction once the project is completed.
Hurwith: What do you not like about the business?
Lacognata: To be honest, it’s the long hours. We work 10-15 hour days. It’s a lot more work than many people think. It’s just the nature of the business. There’s a lot more to it than just giving a quote.
However, I love dealing with people. You always remember the good people, but you get a few homeowners who are more difficult to deal with.
Hurwith: Do you have one remodeling story that really stands out?
Lacognata: To honest, I love anything that sticks out, but one of my favorite jobs was a wood window project in Evanston (pictured above). The house was more than 120 years old and we had to mass all the original woodwork. I knew the final product would look good, but we were beyond thrilled with it. It was a big transformation, but we kept the original feel to it. The homeowners got exactly what they envisioned.
It was a $15,000 project. Wood windows are not cheap.
Hurwith: Why did you sign up for CraftJack or lead generation?
Lacognata: I had been using HomeAdvisor, but did some research and saw that CraftJack leads were verified. I liked that.
In less than a year, I’ve made close to $20,000 and only spent $400 just through CraftJack leads.
You have to work the leads right away. You have to be dedicated and call these leads. I probably average 30 calls per lead.
Hurwith: How can we make CraftJack better?
Lacognata: I wish the area selection process was better. I could always use more leads, but overall, I get exactly what I want.
Hurwith: Is there anything else you would like to share?
Lacognata: Our company has never received a complaint and I wish more homeowners appreciated that. We work very hard to please our customers.
Hard work always pays off and John Lacognata demonstrates that fact each and every day. He may put in long hours, but as he told me multiple times, “it’s well worth it.”
For another contractor spotlight, see how Paul Peterson turned his very first CraftJack lead into a $50,000 job!