The tipping point was the roof. The Van Cleve Ford dealership was housed in a building that hadn’t had any changes for quite a while, and it was “starting to look dated,” in the words of owner Jim Van Cleve. When the roof sprung a leak, he realized that not only was it going to cost a lot to fix, but just taking care of that problem wouldn’t solve some of the building’s larger issues.
“It was time to do what was inevitable,” he says.
He’d heard of Benny Sandrini Construction, but hadn’t met Benny or his wife Debbie at the time. The Sandrinis specialize in everything from sheetrock and drywall to remodeling, new construction to carpentry, and Benny is famous around town as a jack of many trades and master of most of them.
When he arrived and examined the roof, Benny discovered that it had been put together like a patchwork quilt. “It looks like a lot of things have been added on,” he told Van Cleve. “I’d like to extend the roof and redo the windows so that they’re all balanced with each other.” Van Cleve agreed and the project turned into a complete showroom remodel, with a new roof, new paint and new construction.
The biggest challenge was continuing to run the business during construction, says Van Cleve. “Between the demolition of the things we had to take out and the weather, sometimes it got kind of interesting,” he says. “We still had to keep our doors open.”
Communication is key during any such project, and over the years the Sandrinis have learned to expect the unexpected. “During a remodel, sometimes you’ll rip out the linoleum and find rot,” says Sandrini’s wife Debbie. “Maybe you’ll take off the subfloor and there are rotted beams. Benny will discuss things like that with customers. Generally, we try to talk them out of more expensive fixes.”
Fortunately, the dealership remodel contained minimal surprises. “Any time you get into something like this, you’re going to find some things you didn’t realize you had,” says Van Cleve. “Whenever Benny saw any potential change to the game plan, he communicated it and we worked right through it.”
The project turned out well. Since finished, VanCleve has continued to use Benny for other ventures, including re-roofing the Van Cleve family home and a complete makeover of the home’s exterior. In terms of the dealership, he says the remodel has helped business. “I don’t think it could have been any better.”
For more information about Benny Sandrini Construction or call 360-266-1302.