Leo Rakoz was struggling. He’d just had his knee replaced and the stairs that led from his back door were difficult to navigate. His son wanted the problem solved, so he picked up the phone and called Benny Sandrini, owner of Benny Sandrini Construction.
“Within two hours, Benny had built a ramp and a railing,” says Rakoz. “He’s done things like this before, come over and put a door in for me that I needed. I always say, ‘Are you gonna bill me for that?’ and he says he’s not in charge of the billing.”
Such generosity is in character for Benny, a versatile problem-solver who can tackle almost any aspect of the construction trade. Quality work, communication, and going the extra mile are just part of doing business for him. Projects range from remodels to new construction, sheet rock, painting, electrical and more. “Anything you want, he can do,” says Larry Walker, president of Aristocratic Cabinets. “He’s willing and ready to do just about any type of work that anybody needs.”
Regionally, Sandrini has remodeled Kit Carson Restaurant, as well as the Van Cleve Ford dealership and Uhlmann’s Motors, in addition to National Frozen Foods, Imperial Fabricating Company, and countless other commercial and residential projects over the years.
Maintaining a high standard is important to him. “I make sure to complete what I start,” Benny says. Debbie Sandrini, his wife and partner in the business, adds, “We don’t ask our employees to do anything we’re not willing to do.”
Van McDaniel appreciates the insistence on quality. When he and his wife Janet needed a concession stand erected at their Rocky Top Arena riding facility, they called Benny. “He puts a lot of thought into what he’s doing and how he’s doing it,” says McDaniel. “For our little burger barn, he had a lot of good ideas. We let him go ahead and build it his way because he knew more about it than we did. It was done on time within a short time frame.”
Sometimes Benny encounters unusual challenges. Recently, a client he was helping with a separate project told him, “We’ve got a problem with our road. I need something that will fix it and we’ve only got $30,000 to work with.”
Benny set to work, eventually coming up with a design that worked within their budget and would not disturb an adjacent property owned by the woman’s neighbor. “It needs to be stamped by an engineer, but it will work,” Benny says. “I developed a way to solve the problem by drilling holes down into the road.”
It’s clear in listening to him that keeping customers happy is both a priority and a welcome challenge. “I’ve had customers where everyone says, ‘You’ll never get through this.’ To this day they still call me back and they’re still happy with their house,” he says.
Relationships are the reason, according to Debbie. “Our customers become our friends and family,” she says. “We get Christmas cards from 95% of them. We’ve developed wonderful relationships.”
Rather than just focusing on the task at hand, Benny listens to clients’ concerns, she says. “He generally gives them several ideas or leads them down the path to a solution. If he can’t do it, he’ll refer them to someone who can. He goes the extra mile to listen. It’s not just about doing the job and getting out. He understands that this is their home. It’s where they live and make memories.”
Client education is a large part of the job, she continues. “If it’s new construction, they have an idea of what they want and what they want to spend. He’ll give a bid and let them know if something isn’t going to work within their budget, but give them some options. If we run into a problem, he’ll tell them ‘Now’s the time to change something because it’s not going to cost anything.’”
Sometimes, she says, customers can get in a panic. “It’s hard for me and Benny to express how much we care about their feelings as much as we care about our business. We really want people to be happy. If that means Benny has to talk to someone at 10:00 at night because that’s what works for them, he’ll do it.”
It helps that, in Van McDaniel’s words, “Benny is a lot of fun. He’s really likeable and his work is the finest.” Leo Rakoz agrees. “I’ve had a very good experience with Benny,” he says. “I owned Rokoz Electric and he built everything there. He’s done two or three remodeling jobs for me that were really fine. He’s been a friend for quite a while.”
Benny Sandrini Construction
139 Coulson Rd. in Chehalis,