Archive for Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Window firm takes over downtown Bonner space

December 30, 2015

A new downtown Bonner Springs business is looking to expand, having recently become affiliated with a national window remodeling company.

Universal Windows of Kansas City has taken over the building at 220 Cedar, formerly occupied by GoLizards. The business began as Above All Construction, an insurance restoration firm owned by local residents Nick Self and his father, Phil Self, but will now also be the direct dealership for the Kansas City area for Universal Windows.

“So the Kansas City location is family owned, but part of the Universal family,” Phil Self said.

The business began two years ago after Nick Self graduated with a degree in business administration from Kansas University. With the help of his brother in law, he founded Above All Construction in 2013, offering roofing, siding, windows and other insurance restoration following weather damage in the Kansas City area.

Phil Self, having sold his own business about five years ago, decided to join his son to get the home-based business established.

Above All was licensed, bonded and insured, a member of the National Roofing Contractors Association, and has an excellent rating with the Better Business Bureau, the Selfs said it was hard to convince clients to choose a small business over a larger or national firm when they had insurance restoration project.

“Part of joining Universal was just to help get people to believe it’s a reputable company,” Nick Self said.

Phil Self said they also saw their clients were dealing with high utility bills, and they wanted to specifically offer products that were energy efficient.

They contacted Universal Windows, an Ohio-based firm known for Unishield Window, which uses a foam-based spacer between its double panes.

“An aluminum or metal (spacer) is normally between the glass, so kind of like a pop can, when you touch the glass in the winter or the summer, you can feel the heat transfer come through,” Nick Self said. “Foam is a great insulator, so we know that when the sun hits it or the cold hits it, on a summer or winter day, it’s not going to transfer so easily.”

Universal Windows is ranked as number 20 in the top 500 Home remodelers in the United States by Home Remodeler magazine. It has 40-plus locations in the United States and Canada, but previously the company has had only one dealer in the Kansas City area.

The Selfs said they did a lot of research before joining the firm.

“We flew up to Ohio to the home office, toured it, toured manufacturing, met all of them, and decided to go with them,” Phil Self said.

The change in business, the Selfs needed a commercial space for their displays as well as office and training space for salespeople. The Selfs have lived in Tanglewood since the 1980s and Nick Self graduated from Basehor-Linwood High School, so they said it was natural to look for their new space close to home, and the former GoLizards building fit their space needs perfectly.

“We’re just keeping it local for right now, keeping it in the community and trying to serve everybody around here as best we can,” Nick Self.

Even with the shift taking on the Universal brand, the Selfs say they will continue their insurance restoration business.


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