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October 23, 2014

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Job estimating: One of many ways Basinger Plumbing & Heating takes customers seriously

Basinger Plumbing and Heating takes its customers seriously. When a Basinger employee works in your home he wears shoe covers so he won't track dirt all over your house.

A couple days after the work is completed someone calls to make certain everything is satisfactory.

There are many other ways the company works with customers. One is the way jobs are estimated. Aaron Basinger, who has worked in the family business since he was in eighth grade, handles estimating along with scheduling, ordering parts and bidding commercial jobs.

"I like helping people," says Basinger, about his work as a job estimator. "I like the fact that I can bring someone a set of options for a job. That puts the person at ease in making a decision."

Adding, "I feel like an advisor for people, not a salesman, when I deliver a job estimate. I'll give them options. I like to offer at least three options for every situation."

Basinger says that telling a customer what he needs is going about the job backward. "I like to find out what the customers wants. After I learn that I try to create some options in a practical way to deliver that."

He says that every customer is different. "The biggest challenge in a residential setting isn't how to do the job. It's learning about the customer," he said, "and helping the customer make the choice."

"You might say that I paint a picture for the customer, showing his options. That makes the decision easier," he said.

Basinger's job estimating skills in plumbing and heating came in steps. After graduating from Pandora-Gilboa High School in 2004 he became an installer. There he worked for four years. After that, he did plumbing and heating service work for two years.

For the past two years he has taken over estimating jobs for the business his father, Jim, started in 1994. Where did he learn this skill? "From my dad. There are no classes in this," he said.

As the company's estimator, Basinger puts in about four hours each day in the office located at 3090 Putnam-Allen County Line. Add to that about two hours of in-home estimating, plus service call work when needed, plus online bidding on projects and scheduling.

"I try to stay two weeks out on jobs," he said. "That's my main goal everyday. When I get to work in the morning I first ask myself, 'How am I going to get everybody doing something?' "

With a staff of seven in the field, it's important that Basinger tries to keep the schedule two weeks out. Basinger Plumbing and Heating has specialists in water treatment, plumbing and heating service and in heating and cooling installation and service.

Basinger said that there are several things to take into consideration when creating a residential estimate for a plumbing and heating project.

"There's the layout of the home, the square footage and size of the rooms," Basinger said. "But, perhaps the most important thing is the home owner's comfort level and what the customer expects when the job is finished."

Basinger Plumbing and Heating works with six different furnace brands. The primary are Bryant and Rheem. Basinger says that another brand, Mitsubishi, which offers heating and cooling systems, are very versatile and require no ductwork. Geothermal has been a big part of the business the last several years. There is still a 30 percent tax credit available for complete installation.

While many customers are in the Bluffton-Pandora area, they also have many in Findlay and Lima.

MORE INFORMATION:
Basinger Plumbing and Heating^aEUR"
3090 Putnam Road^aEUR"
Pandora, Ohio 45877^aEUR"
Phone: 419-358-1355^aEUR"
Fax: 419-358-9088^aEUR"
Mobile: 419-303-7100

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