Yankee Home Improvement improving much more than Berkshire roofs
Western Mass. contracting firm built on ethics, making homes, lives better
PITTSFIELD — Just hazarding a guess, but you're probably spending a little more time at home lately.
That's when you start to notice things around the house that need fixing or an upgrade: It might be a sticky slider; maybe you've had enough of looking at black stuff in your bathroom caulk; perhaps all this time in the house has inspired you to replace that wavy, mossy roof that hangs above your head.
Yankee Home Improvement, an ethics-based contracting firm in business in Western Massachusetts for the past 13 years, is making appointments today for estimates on your next investment in windows, baths, doors, roofing or siding.
'The Never Cattywampus' guy
Chances are, if you're a watcher of WWLP 22 news, you've seen Yankee's TV commercials, featuring founder and owner Ger Ronan, "the Never Cattywampus" guy. What you need to know about Ronan is this: His pain and suffering years ago in getting ripped off by an unscrupulous roofer is to his clients' gain. Today and every day, Yankee Home Improvement's work is guaranteed for workmanship, quality and satisfaction.
Ronan credits his team members for giving it their all to build Yankee's reputation.
"Yankee has grown to be one of the largest home beautification companies and certainly the most referred in New England for one reason: It's our people," says Ronan, whose team is filled with longtime employees; when clients call, they hear familiar and friendly voices — not too common these days in the business world, notes Ronan.
"Clients request certain crews and individuals all the time. My office is full of cards and notes from clients mentioning a team member."
After projects are completed, as a homey way of saying thank you, Yankee sends out cookies — from Cakes by Reba in North Adams — to its clients.
"Reba was a siding client of ours many years ago, and we decided to hire her. Feedback was tremendous. Clients call us back and the first thing they ask is, 'Do we still get the cookies?' She recently called us back to do her windows. That's our business model," says Ronan.
A double-lifetime warranty and no payments until 2020
Ronan is so confident in his work that his company offers a double-lifetime warranty, which can be handed off to subsequent homeowners or handed down to family.
"Everyone offers warranties but few stand behind them. I've been on the board of the Better Business Bureau for eight years and see this quite often," says Ronan. "It's simply good business to offer strong guarantees. We offer a unique 100 percent money back guarantee. We call it 'fleece protection.'"
Ronan says that in 2019, almost 40 percent of Yankee business was add-on, referral or previous clients. "We call homeowners that choose us, 'clients,' and not 'customers,' as we intend to maintain a long-term relationship," says Ronan.
In a deal that's hard to top, Yankee Home Improvement is offering an enticement where you can get the home upgrades now but make no payments with no interest until 2022.
"People are hurting financially and tired of looking at whatever home improvement issue they might have since they are home so much." Ronan says. "So I called on some banks we work with and asked about extended or deferred payment options. I had seen it used by furniture stores but not so much in the construction business. They stepped up and offered some great plans."
No window dressing, just great windows
All of Yankee's products — including its own triple-pane window line — are completely customizable for homeowners; the windows match customer preferences, whether slider, casement, double-hung or bay.
Yankee likes to call them your "final windows and baths," not just for you but for the inheritors of your home, exceptional whether you're doing it for family or for an enticement on the real estate market. The company's Veridis 1800 Series windows are the bedrock of its product line, featuring that double-lifetime warranty.
"Regarding quality, we only carry products that I would put in my home. Ben Franklin is credited with saying 'the bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of a low is forgotten.' Never is that more true than in the world of home improvement," says Ronan.
A fresh start with bathrooms
And its bathrooms aren't mere overlays, either. Unlike other contractors, Yankee clears out old bathrooms and replaces them with new, from floor to ceiling, completely fresh to customer specifications, with traditional bathtubs or walk-in models available.
Yankee's general manager, Ethan Malachuk, lives in Clarksburg, and because of his ties and the company's award-winning reputation, the company and its 20 employees have done considerable work in the Berkshires.
With the COVID-19 pandemic ongoing, the company is working in accordance with the laws of the commonwealth and the orders of the governor, keeping safe both customers and employees.
"We're trying to help people the best we can," says Ronan, who, staff attest, is just as nice in person as he is on TV.
Living the dream
Ronan came here from Ireland with $80 in his pocket, as the story goes, looking to live a piece of the American dream. Witnessing bad customer service in the home improvement business and being fleeced by a roofer firmed up his mission to become Western Massachusetts homeowners' contractor for life.
A Better Business Bureau Torch award winner, Yankee has been lauded by Angie's List with a Super Service Award for its exemplary customer service.
Even more recognizable than the man, perhaps, is his dog, Betsy Ross, a Great Pyrenees.
A rescue from Philadelphia, Betsy is Yankee's mascot and also the team's "secret weapon."
"She loves everyone that comes to the office and makes a point of visiting with every team member working in the building," says Ronan. He says Betsy is soon going to 'have her quiet sedate world rocked by a new Australian shepherd pup. Benjamin Franklin is on his way. We'll keep you posted."
Also committed to giving back to the community, Yankee is affiliated a number of charitable causes, including ending food insecurity and violence against women.
"America has been very good to me, giving back is personal," says Ronan. After being inspired by Tony Robbins, Ronan adopted the idea to not only give financial support to a charity but to immerse yourself in it. "He was right. It's been a joy over the years to immerse myself in many mostly small charities and projects."
Ronan's desire to be a positive force in the lives of others is overshadowed by how much he says they help him.
"I never imagined a homeless man in Philadelphia would become my therapist," says Ronan, referring to how a chance encounter changed his life. You can read about it at TheJakeStory.com.
Making good, every time
Yankee's charity has landed Ronan a cameo in a segment on the Rachael Ray show, and local media has approached Yankee to help solve contractor nightmare stories.
"Everyone at Yankee gets involved. It's a core value here," says Ronan. "We're nuts about giving back, even called ourselves 'the Thank You America Company.' And then trademarked it. Like I said, 'nuts.'"
That's the kind of company Yankee is, not one to duck your calls and not make good on a job.
"When the time comes for homeowners to make improvements to their home, they can have peace of mind knowing everything will be done right side up and on the level," says Ronan.
To learn more about what Yankee Home Improvement can do for you, call 866-875-2546 or visit yankeehomeimprovement.com.
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