Basnett Design-Build-Remodel

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2007 Spirit of Boston Cruise


In appreciation of the team, Owner Jim Basnett hosted a lunch cruise on Boston Harbor on The Spirit of Boston on a glorious Saturday in August 2007.


Remodeler's Magazine - "Big 50 Market Wise"

Source: REMODELING Magazine
Publication date: May 1, 2006

By REMODELING Magazine Staff
Jim Basnett Jr.
J.F. Basnett Co.
Littleton, Mass.

Design/build remodeling

15 years in business

2005 volume: $1.6 million

Staff: 3 office, 5 field

The remodeling boom didn't linger in Jim Basnett's part of Massachusetts, but his company has stayed flush thanks to a combination of conviction, discipline, and market smarts.

“I adopted a policy when I started that I wouldn't work with anyone who I didn't respect, or who didn't respect others,” Basnett says. Field staff happily tote his “field guide of construction standards,” and subcontractors pledge to behave professionally in clients' homes. Classical music isn't uncommon on his job-sites, he says.

Despite being set up to handle much bigger jobs, Basnett stays focused on his “sweet spot” of $100,000 to $500,000. Winter field policies, such as insulating the ground before a freeze, keep jobs on track despite uncooperative weather. The company has recently incorporated an interior designer into all projects to streamline selections and improve outcomes; implemented a sliding markup scale; and created an in-depth database for estimating and job-costing. Such innovations helped the company squeak out a profit even in 2005, when three clients pulled projects due to sudden health, work, or financial setbacks.


Remodeler's Magazine - "Discipline"

Don't ignore the importance of this powerful trait.

Source: REMODELING Magazine
Publication date: July 1, 2005
By Victoria Downing

As a business leader, it is up to you to set an example for the rest of your team in behavior, in dedication,and in demonstrating core values. However, you can do all of these things and still have a team that underperforms if you neglect to demonstrate one significant trait — discipline.

Discipline is defined as: Controlled behavior resulting from disciplinary training; self-control.

Although most business owners have wonderful intentions of building a strong company, they may find that they lack the discipline to stay focused on the programs, the systems, and the procedures that they know are so important for long-term success. Is it intentional? Of course not. But they often find themselves being pulled in all directions due to the day-to-day demands of the business, while priority programs fall through the cracks.

Jim Basnett, president of J.F. Basnett Co., in Littleton, Mass., has been working for the past year to bring a new level of discipline to his company, and he is seeing it pay off handsomely.

“The most important area that needs a disciplined approach is the behavior of the team members,” Basnett says. “One of the keys to strong leadership is to set the rules for the company — and to then hold people accountable if those rules are broken. It's not always easy, but if I don't have the discipline to take people to task when their behavior is unacceptable, how can I ask the rest of my team to have discipline in their areas of responsibility?”

Basnett's second priority is discipline with financial numbers. “This is a fairly recent development, but now that we're used to it, it's amazing to watch our progress,” he comments. “We now keep the budget up to date and constantly review our progress against it. Doing this actually has a calming effect,” he says. For example, the members of Basnett's team were feeling down because the first quarter had been slow. But after closely reviewing the numbers, they realized that they were ahead of where they had been at the same time the previous year — a year that turned out to be one of their best ever. Once this was known, the team's mood improved considerably.

The third company priority is communication within the team. “We hold weekly meetings no matter what,” Basnett says. “Even if nothing is pressing at that moment, we need to be in the habit of communicating with one another and focusing on priority issues.” Basnett and his management team use the time to develop and fine-tune systems that will add efficiency to the organization.

Basnett is working hard to develop himself as a leader and to instill a disciplined attitude throughout the company, but he says, “I find it very difficult to be disciplined without a structure upon which to build, so we're putting a lot of effort into creating that structure. Once we all agree on something and it's put in writing, it's much, much easier.”

—Victoria Downing is president of Remodelers Advantage, Laurel, Md. 301.490.5620,

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Call us at  978-952-2552

14 Gilson Rd.
Littleton, MA 01460

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J.F. Basnett Company, Inc. is doing business as Basnett Design - Build - Remodel.  Proudly serving the following MA communities: Acton, Ayer, Bedford, Berlin, Bolton, Boxborough, Chelmsford, Concord, Dunstable, Groton, Harvard, Lancaster, Lexington, Lincoln, Littleton, Lowell, Lunenburg, Marlborough, Maynard, Pepperell, Shirley, Sterling, Stow, Sudbury, Townsend, Tyngsborough, Wayland, Westford, and Westminster.