1. As a PMP, why should I consider offering closed crawlspace services if I’m not involved in the market already?
Closing crawlspaces is a great way to add new customers to your business with triple the renewals. When you do a great job closing a crawlspace, it is very simple to provide termite protection at the same time. And most customers then trust you to handle their general pest work. So, you end up with a new customer, an annual crawlspace check-up renewal, an annual termite renewal and a general pest customer. If you’re providing other services like lawn, it’s even better. In addition, providing this service doesn’t require a significant financial investment as most of the tools are basic and most PMPs buy the materials for each job. For materials, create your account on the crawlspacedepot.com website, then give us a call and we will convert your account to an “Installer.” When you log in as an installer you will see the discounted installer pricing, but you also will see “Installers Only Tools and Training” where you can watch step-by-step installation instructions. You’ll learn how to inspect, determine the scope of the project, estimate materials, price the job and gain a thorough understanding of each step of the installation process.
2. What are some of the keys to success in providing closed crawlspace services to customers?
Estimating the jobs correctly and always understanding that if there is a water or moisture problem that must be solved as part of the job. Sometimes this just means installing a dehumidifier, but it also can mean installing French drains and a sump pump in the crawl. Often there are grading issues outside the house that allow water to flow towards the house and end up in the crawl. These must be fixed to provide a clean, dry crawlspace.
3. How big is the market, and what are the most common mistakes PMPs make when entering the closed crawlspace market?
There are 74,000,000 crawlspace homes in the United States and approximately 10% (or 93,600) of new homes are built on a crawl. This also means that progressive builders are looking for companies to which they can subcontract to close the crawls on their new homes. An important note here — if the home will be unoccupied with no HVAC circulation for several months, it is important to leave temporary vents in place until the HVAC is up and running. There are crawlspace homes all over the country, but they are most common in areas where there are a lot of hills. Crawlspaces are a great way to create a flat foundation on a sloped lot. So, if there are hills in your area, there are probably crawlspaces. The most common mistake we see PMPs making when they first enter the marketplace is trying to win a job based on price. It inevitably leads to shortcuts and jobs not being done correctly. Customers want you to fix the problem and do it right. Remember, you’re building a long-term relationship, not selling a single job.
4. How can Crawlspace Depot assist my company if I’m interested in getting involved in this market?
In the “Installers Only Tools and Training” section of our website is a recording of our Closed Crawl Space Boot Camp Webinar — watching this is a great way to get a feel for the market. Then just give us a call! Everyone at Crawlspace Depot is well trained and can answer questions about the business and about specific installation issues. We also have reps around the country that can help you get started. One of the great resources we have is our Facebook group of installers. It is a great way to ask questions and learn best practices. Additionally, Crawlspace Depot is involved in consumer education, helping homeowners understand the issues associated with a damp crawlspace and the benefits of closing the crawlspace. In this way we are constantly working to grow the market.
5. What closed crawlspace products and services are available from Crawlspace Depot?
The products that are used on almost every job are vapor barriers 8 – 20 mil, Bora-Foam wall insulation, sealing tape, butyl tape and sealers for cracks and openings. Many homes use air inducers that direct a limited amount of conditioned air into the crawl from the HVAC system. Some homes will require dehumidifiers and drainage with sump pumps. The Thermo-Hygrometer is very popular because it is a great sales tool that can let homeowners see the temperature and humidity in the crawlspace.