Monthly Archives

February 2012

Fichtner Services Featured Employee – Meghan Sullivan, Production Assistant

By Employee Spotlight, Roofing Contractor, Siding Contractors

Meghan Sullivan is a vital part of the Fichtner Services production team. Meghan is the friendly voice you will hear on the other end of the phone to schedule your project, let you know when it will be completed, and answers any questions that you may have. Like the rest of the Fichtner staff, Meghan cares about our customers and makes sure that they get the best service possible. 

She took a few minutes from her busy day to talk to us about herself and her position with Fichtner Services: 

Where did you grow up?
I am originally from the Maryland area, my family was in the Navy so we moved around a lot in the early years.

How long have you worked at Fichtner Services?
It will be 3 years at the end of April.

Tell us about your role at Fichtner Services?
As the Production Assistant, I am responsible for contacting our customers to schedule production and services jobs. In addition, I call on vendors for material orders and assist in tracking crews in the field. I also take customer support calls and try to resolve any customer issue that might arise.

What do you like most about working a Fichtner Services?
I enjoy my co-workers, everyone is great to work with. I am lucky to really enjoy my job and what I do every day. Communicating with the homeowners and customers is a major part of my role and I like being able to help them with any of their problems or concerns.

What do like most about the Fichtner Services’ customers?
Our customers are incredibly friendly. It truly is a pleasure to talk with them and help them out.

The Insider’s Guide to Hiring a Contractor

By Hiring a Contractor, Insulation Contractors, Roofing Contractor

I was recently talking to a neighbor who was in the process of hiring a contractor to remodel her kitchen.  She didn’t really know where to start or what to look for in a good, honest, reliable contractor.

This made me realize that many people who are not working daily in the construction industry are probably in the same boat as my neighbor. Hiring a contractor who is going to complete your project on time, on budget and to your expectations takes some diligent  homework on the part of the property owner.

First, you need to narrow down the field by asking friends, relatives and neighbors for some references for contractors with whom they have had good experiences with similar projects. Most people already know someone in the construction industry, whether it be an architect, a builder, or a different kind of tradesman, who could most certainly give you the name of someone who has a good reputation.

You can also ask area material suppliers and your local Better Business Bureau and the MHIC (Maryland Home Improvement Commission) to see if the referred contractors are reputable and financially solvent (lessening the likelihood of leaving you with a half- finished job or skipping town after you give them your deposit!).

Other referral websites, such as Angie’s List, have paying members that post reviews based on their experiences with local contractors.

Second, find out as much information on the project that you are doing. Most of this information is at your disposal right on the internet. What are the differences in materials that could be used and why is one more expensive? What are the common methods for installing the materials? What are the best choices for my lifestyle?

Next, once you have chosen at least 3 contractors from whom to solicit bids, you must ask these questions:

  • Do you have General Liability and Worker’s Compensation Insurance and can you provide me a certificate?  If something happens on the job, either to your property or to one of the workers, YOU could be left with a large claim on your homeowners insurance!
  • Do you have an MHIC license?  Homeowners can make sure at the MHIC website. If a contractor has an MHIC license they are required by law to have General Liability and Worker’s Compensation Insurance and be in good standing with regard to paying their taxes.
  • Can I have several references for the type of work that you will be doing for me?  Do you have any photos of completed projects?
  • Are you a member of your trade’s professional organization?  This shows that they are genuinely interested in the field and usually will be doing some kind of continuing education.
  • Will you be pulling permits for my job? Permits cannot be pulled by an unlicensed contractor.
  • When will you start and how long will it take?  Are there any variables that could change this schedule?
  • What happens if I have a problem with the job after it is completed?  Do you have a service department that will follow up on any issues we may have?
  • What kind of warranty do you offer on the project?

Once you have asked these important questions, you will need to follow up on that information:

  • Get everything in writing to include pay schedule, color, material choices, and warranty information on a legal contract that states the company’s name which matches their MHIC number .
  • Call and/or go visit the supplied references.  Also, go to the material supplier’s showroom and checkout the materials being used.
  • Check into the contractors’ reputations at the BBB ( and the MHIC.
  • Are the bids from each of the companies comparing apples to apples?   Are the same materials being used?  Is one way lower than the others?   If so, you need to find out why (refer to the questions above).  Be careful when it comes to pricing- the most expensive is not always better.
  • Maryland law states that a home improvement company cannot ask for more than 1/3 deposit upon signing of the contract.
  • Has the contractor been responsive to your phone calls and emails?  If not, it could be a sign of the way your job would be handled.

Once you have done your research and have asked all of the questions it’s time to choose the contractor who best suits your needs.

Hopefully by doing your homework you will have a finished project that will exceed your expectations!  Good Luck!

Featured Project: Edgewater, MD

By Certainteed Shingle Roof, Copper Roofing, Featured Project, Gutters, Roofing Contractor, Roofing Services

Fichtner Services expertly installed the beautiful roof and copper gutters to complete the French Country feel of Mr. and Mrs. Flury’s dream home. For this project, Fichtner Services used:

  • Certainteed Grand Manor – Gatehouse Shingles in Slate color
  • Copper Standing Seam Roof
  • Steel Barrel Roof
  • Copper Half Round Gutters and Downspouts

Client Testimonial

“When my husband and I were looking for a roofing contractor for our new home, there were two priorities we wanted: 1. Good Reputation 2. Local Contractor

We found both with Fichtner Services. Tom Fichtner and his team did a tremendous job on our home. Our home has a combination of three different roofing applications (shingle, metal, and copper) to accomplish the design we were looking for.

Tom has been very responsive to any questions and concerns we had during construction. We would recommend and use his company again for any future projects.”

– Dianne Flury, Edgewater