Category Archives: Interesting Facts

g&c-awards

Plumbers Without Cracks

To follow-up on G&C Plumbing and Heating’s THIRD Angie’s Super Service Award, we figured we’d fill you in on how this A + customer service providing and major award-winning team does business!

Father and Son

It’s incredibly refreshing to know that when Greg and Brandon Sheck come into your home they are acting not only as excellent customer service providers, they are also acting as a father and son team – there is a level of respect and care in this working combination that elevates the service they provide to something pretty cool.

“My dad taught me from a young age to be respectful. That’s why we both think it’s important to wear booties on our shoes in our customer’s home, place mats down for our tools to protect our customer’s floors, and pick up after ourselves,” said Brandon who probably takes his shoes off at home too.

“One thing we hear often is how we’re the only plumbing company to answer the phone or to return a phone call. Not just within a day or so, but to return the phone call at all,” said Greg who is super happy is wife Christine is great with customers on the phone.

Over the years, the father and son team has added crew members to their A+ business. Even though the “new” guys may not be related, Greg and Brandon treat them like family and expect them to treat customers in the same fashion G&C has always run the family business.

  • They believe in treating people how they would like to be treated.
  • They get a lot of work from word of mouth and strive to keep those words positive.
  • They are polite and personable with customers and even their pets.
  • They feel it’s a lot easier to be nice to people than to be mean to them.

Greg’s Story

Greg worked for the same plumbing company for 14 years and was fairly happy until his boss changed his business model in an attempt to make a quick buck and “things went downhill real fast,” said Greg.

In 2005, G&C Plumbing and Heating was born.

As a Master Plumber of his own company, Greg worked for well-known builders and general contractors in the Franklin, MA area until the housing crash of 2009, when “five general contractors filed for bankruptcy all at the same time -that was tough,” said Greg.

Always an optimist, Greg used the crash as an opportunity to change the G&C business model and started working exclusively for homeowners doing residential service and repair work. “Turns out it was the right move, business has never better.”

Brandon’s Story

Brandon participated in wrestling year-round and it taught him a little something about having a strong work ethic. He took his energy to Westfield State where he was regularly on the Dean’s List and eventually graduated with a 3.3 GPA in Business and Marketing.

“During summers and school vacations, I would do plumbing with my dad to earn spending money for the next semester,” said Brandon. But, after a few years of working with his dad, he started to realize he was incredibly talented at the plumbing practice. He enjoyed figuring out the best way to solve plumbing problems and became serious about learning the trade and family business.

Although their personal and professional approach to business has blessed the guys at G&C with a dedicated client base, Brandon has applied his business and marketing education to help bring G&C Plumbing and Heating’s marketing strategies into the now. His efforts have made finding G&C Plumbing and Heating much easier by focusing on their website, business partnerships, and social media – He was the guy who came up with the idea of writing this absolutely amazing, potentially award winning, blog!

And that’s the story

A father and son team working hard to serve their community. They know your name, and you recognize the G&C Truck as it travels back and forth across southern Mass. It’s a great story when you think of it: A successful local business that helps friends and neighbors.

award

Let’s Hear It for The Boys…

You sang. We know it.

New England’s premiere father and son plumbing and heating team, Greg and Brandon Sheck, who pride themselves in being professionals that return your call, show up on time, and keep their glutes completely covered have won The Angie’s Super Service Award for the third year in a row!

“We would like to thank our customers for supporting us,” said Greg. “This is such an honor and makes all of our hard work worth it.”

In case you’ve just emerged from under a rock, Angie’s List is a consumer-driven organization that collects customer satisfaction ratings on local service companies in more than 720 categories. They provide an exclusive list of these companies to members based on feedback from local consumers.

G&C Plumbing and Heating, along with all the other 2017 Super Service Award winners, had to meet strict eligibility requirements, which included maintaining an “A” rating in overall grade. The SSA winners had to be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check, submit a current trade license verification, and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

Companies are graded on an A through F scale in multiple fields ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality. Service company ratings are updated continually on Angie’s List as new, verified consumer reviews are submitted.

“This award not only honors providers who have excelled in the past year, but also makes it easier for consumers to identify high quality service providers,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks in a statement. “The Super Service Award logo has come to be a symbol that consumers look for as a sign of quality, and a tradition for many top-rated service pros.”

We knew the guys at G&C did their homework!

The 2017 SSA covers performance from November 1, 2016 to October 31, 2017. Service professionals who have earned and accepted the award will have distinctive badges displayed on their company profiles identifying them as 2017 SSA winners. Companies must earn this award each year based on the prior year’s performance and will have the 2017 SSA badges on display until January 1, 2019.

Give a honk to the guys and their new badge the next time you see them drive by in their famous G&C truck!

Congratulations guys!!

 

increase-your-house-value

Bathroom Remodels Increase the Resale Value of Your Home

If you own a home that is over ten years old and you are thinking of selling it, you might want to invest a designated amount of time, energy, and money to update your bathroom(s) to significantly increase the asking price of your home.

Bathroom updates are one of the most popular ways to give a new look to your home and increase your earning potential in the real estate market. The guys at G&C Plumbing and Heating have worked with several area real estate agents over the years to help prepare homes for sale and found you can typically get between a 55 to 70 percent return on your investment with a bathroom remodel in addition to raising your asking price.

“There are several levels of remodeling you can consider to help make your desired asking price a reality,” said Brandon Sheck, bathroom remodeler extraordinaire from G&C. “From full-scale rebuilds costing tens of thousands to updating fixtures and paint for a few grand, your end goals should always be to update the look of your bathroom and increase your resale value.”

If you know your bathroom needs updating and you want to sell for top dollar, Brandon suggests you do some research. Check out what similar homes in your area offer in the bathroom department. “Basically, figure out what your competition is,” said Brandon. Your real estate agent can help with this and then the guys can help you establish a renovation budget to beat out your competition!

As with many things – pizza, vacations, jobs – there are basically three levels of bathroom remodeling: good, better and best. Spoiler alert: Not all levels of remodeling are appropriate for increasing your resale value!

Fixtures, paint, and fresh tile

“This is the most common remodel our real estate agent friends suggest to clients who are preparing their house for the market,” said Sheck. The cost is typically between $3,000 to $10,000 and often includes updates like a 24-inch vanity, low-end granite countertop, and a new fiberglass bathtub-shower unit.

Other upgrades you might consider are new ceramic or subway tiles in a bathtub or shower area and a fresh paint job. “Your lighting, fixtures and finishes should be new, but you don’t need to break the bank. We can help you come up with some reasonable options that will create a big impression,” said Sheck.

Fancy fixtures and flooring

If your home is competing with high-end homes, priced $900,000 and up, fresh paint and low-end granite is not going to cut it. To get a decent return on your investment, you might be looking at a cost between 10,000 to $25,000 a bathroom. “It’s a big jump because you’re opting for high-end features and flooring, vanity, sinks, lighting, window treatments, hardware, comfort-height toilet, a 36-inch countertop, a framed mirror that matches the vanity, and a recessed medicine chest,” said Sheck.

At this level of remodeling, you’re also able to make adjustments to the layout – like a smaller bathtub to make way for a larger, walk-in shower. “I suggest contemplating this level of remodeling one or two years before meeting with an agent to put your house on the market, so you can enjoy your efforts,” said Sheck.

The bathroom you’ve always wanted.

This is a full-scale remodel that can cost over $30,000 when completed by a professional. However, the guys, and most real estate agents, DO NOT recommend doing this level of remodeling if you plan to sell your home within the next year or so  – you will not regain the expense in your sale (Sorry!)

This is a full-gut job and includes moving plumbing and possibly walls. For cabinetry, you are looking for solid wood construction with custom finishes and decorative accent pieces. Your tile can be natural marble, limestone or granite. The walls can be real wood beadboard with deep molding and windowsills are marble. The fixtures can be polished chrome with porcelain handles. The possibilities are really endless, but this bathroom would be so very hard to let go of if you are serious about moving!

“It’s fun to think about a bathroom of this caliber, and may be a consideration in your new home, but the agents we work with rarely suggest their clients should install a dream bathroom before listing a home,” said Sheck. “This type of renovation is personal and should be done for your enjoyment.”

The best advice

Even if you’ve already met with a real estate agent, call the guys for their expert advice on any bathroom remodel. Consider it a second opinion and a potential boost to your bottom line at your home closing!

 

holidays

G&C Plumbing & Heating – A Holiday Tale

Clients ask Greg and Brandon Sheck all the time, “Why isn’t it G&B Plumbing and Heating?” Brandon will sort of shrug and tilt his head towards his father, and Greg will blush slightly and say, “The C is for my wife’s name, Christine.” But, there is more to this story, and during this Holiday Season, we thought it would be nice to tell the sweet version!

Young Greg Sheck

Greg found his first plumbing job in 1985. He took the job because it was a $.50 raise over his current job of pumping gas for $5 hour.  “I didn’t know anything about plumbing, but I was pretty into a .50 raise, so I started plumbing on weekends until I graduated high school.” After high school, Greg started plumbing full-time and discovered he really liked it. “My boss pretty much handed responsibility over to me, so I had to learn how to do plumbing the hard way, which usually entailed doing it wrong, getting yelled at, and then doing it again.”

Despite the learning curve, Greg managed to stick it out and in 1990, he passed his Journeyman’s plumbers license. He was offered a great job, and here is where the romance kicks in, he got married to a lovely lady named Christine!

Greg continued working for the same plumbing company for 14-years, but Christine knew he could do more. After raising their beautiful baby boy Brandon, and sweet baby girl Tayla, she encouraged Greg to start his own company – one that was reflective of his business principles. “Over the years, I’d put together a code of how I wanted to treat the people I worked with,” said Sheck.

  • Treat people how they would like to be treated.
  • Make word of mouth the best advertising by striving to keep those words positive.
  • Be exceedingly polite, personable, and honest with customers and even their pets.
  • Return everyone’s phone call.

For all the Right Reasons

In 2005, G&C Plumbing and Heating was born to carry out Greg’s principles. (He’s totally on the nice list.) “I was nervous at first, but Christine never had a doubt,” said Sheck. A family business through and through, Brandon came on board later that year as an apprentice to Greg. The father and son team started working exclusively for homeowners doing residential service and repair work, and Christine answers their phones when the guys are busy on a job. “Turns out it was the right move, business has never been better,” said Sheck.

The moral of this little holiday tale: Listen to the people who know you best, they are usually right. And if you have plumbing, heating, or bathroom remodeling questions, listen to Greg and Brandon Sheck -They know your name, and you recognize the G&C Truck as it travels back and forth across southern Mass. They are your neighbors, and they’ve got your back. Happy Holidays!

shower head

Showerheads and Water Conservation

To round out our showerhead blog earlier this month, Brandon Sheck, Plumbing Wonder and Brilliant Bathroom Remodeler from G&C Plumbing and Heating, is following up on his dad’s impressive knowledge of showerhead history with some input on water conservation and water conserving showerheads on the market today.

WaterSense and the Showerheads

According to the EPA, showering accounts for nearly 17 percent of residential indoor water use for the average family. To help with water conservation, the EPA developed the Watersense label in 2006 as a voluntary program for manufacturers. “The EPA provided specifications for water efficient products and if a manufacturer meets those specifications, the product is eligible for third-party testing, and then rewarded with the right to put the WaterSense label on that product,” said the Brandon.

Standard showerheads use 2.5 gallons of water per minute (gpm). Watersaving showerheads that earn the WaterSense label must use no more than 2.0 gpm. “The WaterSense label is also supposed to ensure that the products provide a “satisfactory shower” that is equal to or better than conventional showerheads,” said Brandon.

A “satisfactory shower” is determined by a showerhead’s water coverage and spray intensity. To compensate for using less water, which naturally results in less intensity, “showerhead designers found it beneficial to aerate their sprays to compensate for the smaller holes in the showerhead,” said Brandon. This resulted in some showers feeling more like a mist then a spray which can feel “less wet.” “Although, some people actually enjoy the misty feeling, so it’s become a bit of a personal choice when selecting a water conserving showerhead,” said Brandon. The following are a few he suggests to clients when they are remodeling their bathroom and want to incorporate a Watersense Certified showerhead:

Nebia
“The device uses a water dispersion system adapted from the agricultural industry to release a thick mist,” said Brandon who stresses that this showerhead may not be for everyone because even the website describes the Nebia as “akin to stepping into a cloud.” But, if you are looking for maximum water conservation, the Nebia uses just .75gpm on its normal setting and only slightly more on its high-pressure setting.

High Sierra
This is a more traditional water conservation showerhead found in many of the newer bathrooms today. The Sierra has a pivoting head which allows people to focus the water where they’d like. “With only a 1.5gpm, this low flow showerhead feels a lot like a traditional showerhead, but with some serious water conservation,” said Brandon.

Speakman Retraction
Another traditional design, this retraction showerhead pulsates to simulate the feeling of high pressure. “It does a good job recreating the traditional showerhead feeling,” said Brandon. The design has a single function spray setting that concentrates water pressure with a turbine-powered engine. It is also WaterSense Certified at 1.5gpm.

Delta Showerheads with H2O Kinetic Technology
“These showerheads make a wave pattern which simulates the feeling of being splashed to create more pressure,” said Brandon. Inside the showerhead, water is channeled through a series of chambers that generates velocity and sculpts the water into a wave pattern. “The good news is, there are no internal moving parts inside the head that will break or degrade over time,” said Brandon.

Personal Choice

The showerheads above each provide a unique shower experience that some people might enjoy, and others may not. As for Brandon, he’s a fan of that traditional shower feeling that delivers maximum spray intensity and a satisfying wet feeling. If you want to learn more about the various showerhead options out there, give the guys at G&C a call and they’ll gladly give you their two cents on any questions you have. And, if you are thinking about remodeling your bathroom, G&C can take care of the whole thing for you!

showerhead

Showerheads – A History

During a recent bathroom remodel, the guys at G&C Plumbing and Heating got some pretty interesting questions about showerheads. It started off simple enough about if “water saving” showerhead models were any good, but then took a turn for the fascinating when Greg Sheck, Grand Master Plumber and Bathroom Remodeler Extraordinaire, found himself sharing his in-depth knowledge about showerhead history. It’s totally worth repeating here!

In the Beginning

Bathrooms, a room for bathing and doing your business, didn’t really become a “thing” until the late 1800’s. It was around this time that public health officials discovered that drinking water with human waste in it, even just a little bit, made people sick (bout time, folks – gross). “So, it was the city planners that started creating the plumbing infrastructure that would provide clean water in one pipe and remove sewage through another,” said Sheck.

As running water became a feature in all houses and apartments, the convenience of hot water from the tap soon followed. “By the early 1900s, bathrooms were finally becoming a standard part of every new house, complete with a sink, toilet, and bathtub,” said Sheck.

The Middle

Everyone saw the benefits of standing to wash, and by 1907, plumbing fixture magazines showcased model bathrooms that look completely familiar to us with bathtubs that have shower heads consisting of a nozzle attached to the water pipe and covered with a round face with holes in it.

For the next 85 years this showerhead design was in pretty much every bathroom all over the US. It wasn’t until the US Government decided water conservation was something to be taken seriously, that national water flow standards were enacted in the U.S. Energy Policy Act of 1992.

“This set minimum efficiency standards for toilets, faucets, urinals, and showers, and the new law mandated that shower heads were not to exceed a flow rate of more than 2.5 gallons per minute at a water pressure of 80 pounds per square inch,” said Sheck who knows you might not know what he’s saying there, but enjoys his showers at this rate.

Modern Day

Because showers account for more than a third of household indoor water usage, the Environmental Protection Agency started giving WaterSense certification to showerheads that use 2.0 gpm or less. Some of the new low flow heads are rated at even lower flow rates, such as 1.8 or 1.5 gpm, saving significantly more water. “To compensate for the lower rate of water, manufactures started making the holes in the shower head smaller to create a constricted spray, but this means there are bigger gaps between the water jets and that doesn’t always provide the greatest shower experience,” said Sheck bringing us up to present day in his stroll down showerhead memory lane and back to the question of “are water saving showerheads any good?”

Stay Tuned…

I know, I know, you’re asking, “That’s it – we’re all just stuck taking an unsatisfying shower if we want to conserve water?” No! Next time, Greg and Brandon will share their secret knowledge of excellent showerheads, water saving, and beyond!