Recently, we spoke with February’s featured remodeling contractors, Michael & Maria Harris of BRY-JO Roofing & Remodeling. We had the opportunity to ask them a few questions about their business and this is what they had to say:
How long have you been in the remodeling industry?
How did you get into the remodeling business?
Michael has been roofing since 1986, as a young man just out of high school. As time passed, he added framing and structure repairs to his skill set. After years of working for a General Contractor, he became a licensed insurance adjuster- specializing in training other staff to recognize what is hail/ weather damage and what is not. Michael did not like being an adjuster, so we started BRY-JO. In the beginning we did roofing, siding, windows and water damage repairs. Our remodeling business grew through our previous insurance related clients and by word of mouth. Once Maria became involved in the design of kitchens, baths and room additions- the scope and style of our remodeling work grew and changed into who we are today.
Why did you decide to become a NARI member?
It was important to Michael and Maria to be a part of professional trade associations that set ‘the bar’ high in our industry. Since, in Texas, there is no licensing for general contractors, carpenter’s, remodelers or roofers, we wanted to be associated with organizations that promoted high quality work, code compliance, insurance coverage and an overall high standard. When they first started, NARI was one of the few trade associations that fit our requirement. Michael and Maria stay with NARI because they believe, as an organization, it works diligently to share educational material with the general public as well as encourages its members to continue their education.
What is your specialty?
Bry-Jo has 2 divisions. They have an Exterior division specializing in Roofing, siding, window, patio covers, etc. They also have a Remodeling division that specializes in bathrooms, kitchens, open floor plans and room additions.
What is your typical price range for a remodeling project?
The range of remodeling projects we work on is significant. An average Master bath can be $25,000- $50,000 on average. A kitchen can be $30,000- $75,000 on average. Open floor plan and interior remodels can range from $100,000- $250,000 just to give you an idea. The cost really depends on the work required.
What is your favorite part of the remodeling process?
Maria loves to shop with their clients and watch them get excited when they create a ‘story’ together. She says, ‘Ultimately, however, when we are close to the end of the project and things have taken shape the way they looked in my head……..and we exceed our clients’ expectations. That is always my favorite moment.’
As far as the ‘process’ is concerned, Michael and Maria have worked very diligently over the years to create a well-oiled machine. They say ‘Keeping our project schedule on task and having things run smoothly is always a plus. We are always grateful when a challenge or unexpected problem arises and we are able to share our ideas and experience with one another to form a solution to the problem. There is something very rewarding about overcoming obstacles together.’
Do you have a favorite remodeling project? What was it and why was it your favorite?
One of Michael and Maria’s favorite remodeling projects was an interior remodel they did in Plano. Maria says “Besides the obvious transformation of the space and beautiful finishes, (which is spectacular), it was the change in our clients that are dearest to me. Our clients are a wonderful married couple with grown children. When I met her, she described her home like a ‘cave’ making her feel depressed. She asked for more natural light and a space where she could feel comfortable entertaining a friend or 2. Watching my client’s excitement and enthusiasm, getting to know what gave her joy and trying to incorporate some of that into the space was an incredible journey for me. As the space physically transformed, my client transformed, like a butterfly from a cocoon. As beautiful as some of our subsequent projects have been, none have personally impacted me like this one did.”
Why do you think homeowners should hire a NARI member?
Michael and Maria say that, while not a guarantee, using a NARI member increases their odds of hiring a reputable contractor and getting quality work. The standard that NARI imparts, if enforced, are valuable to the community. A NARI contractor will be concerned about their reputation and is more likely to do the right thing. Again, there has been exceptions, but they are uncommon.
To learn more about Michael, Maria and BRY-JO Roofing and Remodeling click here.