I think I speak for everyone that I’m gonna miss 2020….not! 2020 can take a long walk off an extremely short pier at this point. We at least have hope on the horizon that life should be looking a little better by the time spring rolls around next year. 2020 has been a year, unlike any other no matter who you are. This is true for us at Family Plumbing and Heating. In a normal year, businesses face all sorts of challenges, but as we entered into March a global pandemic changed all the rules. Despite (or in spite) of these obstacles, Family Plumbing and Heating worked diligently to continue to grow in both our personal skills and as a company. We ended 2019 just getting used to having employees and learning how they would fit into the company that had previously been Tyler and myself.
Opening 2020 we grew to 3 employees. One I would like to specifically spotlight is Porter. I don’t think he’d particularly love me writing about him but I also don’t know how much he checks this site. So if everyone reading this could do me a favour and not tell him, I’d greatly appreciate it. When Porter agreed to come on board I was very excited. I knew him through Tyler and I had yet to hear Tyler mention a nasty word about him, and from everything I had seen, I didn’t think I’d have much to say either. Over the past year Porter has grown to be our lead tech, no matter the task or challenge Porter has been able to take on all responsibilities and challenges, and either come out a winner or learn from defeat. He’s our go-to guy when we need to make sure a job goes well. I could go on but I don’t want this to go to his head and do something crazy and ask for lunch breaks or something.
Oh boy, where to start! March started off with a lot of excitement. Family Plumbing and Heating got a full-on shop, no more working out of a C-Can! You may have seen our sign driving towards downtown on Sask Drive. Between work vehicles, tools, and material we needed a larger space and found an absolutely perfect spot…..and then the ‘Rona happened.
I won’t go on and on as we all have Covid/quarantine/lockdown fatigue, but just as every other person with a heartbeat and job worried, “would we have a job tomorrow?”. I had spent about a week straight spending the majority of my days running around getting our booth ready for the upcoming Spring Homeshow, and I remember on Thursday when I got the email that it was to be cancelled. March and April are also generally the leanest months in the plumbing/HVAC world so it couldn’t have come at a worse time of year.
Thank you mother nature for a hot May. Air conditioner repairs and installations were definitely up from last year. I kept making the joke now that everyone is working from home, homeschooling their kids, and the temps are high, they’ve realized just how unbearably hot their home could get. The only question we got back from our quotes this year was how soon could we do the install. This continued on for the remainder of the summer. Work from home also increased the number of homeowners working through their honey-do lists. Family Plumbing was apart of lots of home renovations this year.
Near the end of August and into the fall is where we really started noticing how Covid was affecting our industry. Manufacturing facilities working at half capacity has made some material scarce or almost non-existent. Lead times for material orders grew and we had to ask homeowners to bear with us. We upgraded the decals on our newest fleet vehicle and heard nothing but good things. (Thank you Stripe Shop) It was during this period as well we added Madison to the team, our first official office administrator. She has been a huge help in organizing and growing the company.
December ended up being a really great month for Family Plumbing and Heating. We started off by winning Best HVAC company in Prairie Dog Magazine’s “Best of Regina” awards. Voting is done by members of the community which is a great feeling to know how much homeowners care and respect the hard work we put in every day. This year we were a little chapped A-word because, due to Covid, we couldn’t get out much in the community like we did the year prior with our BBQ fundraiser. But we could only use Covid as an excuse so much, so for the end of the year, we made sure to help out where we could this holiday season.
First, with kids having to learn from home more, and programs being cut back due to the virus we worked with the Regina school board to expand on their existing PAA kits and modify them so they could be utilized more out of the classroom on an individual basis. These kits help teach students the fundamentals of skills trades like we use every day (like understanding circuit boards.) Secondly, while this year we didn’t get to go into the store, I asked my kids to go on another shopping spree at Toy-R-Us online and they picked out a lot of great toys and games that we then donated to the YWCA Women’s shelter. I couldn’t begin to imagine what it’s like for the children who are spending Christmas away from their homes this year but we like to do what we can to ensure everyone has a happy holiday.
Thank you to everyone who helped Family Plumbing and Heating have another great year of growth and success. We could never have made it this far without such a supportive community. Remember that for any plumbing and heating needs Family Plumbing is your best choice. We’ve officially been deemed the best in the business.
Have a great 2021!