Russ Christensen has been in the home remodeling business for more than 26 years – with the last six as the owner of 4 Seasons Home Crafters – and he knows that success does not happen by chance.
Christensen, 46, attributes much of his business’s success to his hardworking team, dedicated customers, and love of the job.
“I do love the business,” he said. “I think it can be a challenge, but I enjoy coming to work everyday. That’s important.”
It all started at the age of 20, when Christensen began working for a Muskegon based home improvement company. New to home remodeling, he liked the business, but always had innovative ideas to do things better. In 2001, his dream became reality and he opened up his own business in Twin Lake, working out of a two-story garage, adjacent to his home.
After only five, short years, Christensen’s customer-base grew to four times what it was the first year. The increase propelled him to expand to a new business location. In Nov. 2006, 4 Season Home Crafters moved to a new showroom and office building at 4788 Grand Haven Rd. in Norton Shores, near the Muskegon County Airport.
Although the majority of 4 Seasons business is installing windows and siding, they do just about everything in home remodeling, except the actual construction of a house. The company specializes in Thermal-Craft windows, roofing, siding, additions, doors, shutters, sun rooms, garages, decks, and remodeling basements and recreation rooms. The Thermal-Craft windows are made out of Taylor, Mich., and are a product that Christensen has been installing for years and firmly stands by. 4 Seasons also sells Royal Woodland siding. Christensen said it comes in 25-ft sections, which the size helps cut down the presence of seams, when installing.
He said the dedication of his customers is mostly why 4 Seasons is still strong. About 40 percent of 4 Season’s customers are senior citizens and he offers a 10 percent discount to them. The company also offers specials and discounts to repeat customers. Christensen’s main focus is pleasing the customer and strives for 100% satisfaction.
“The customers have fun with my crew, which makes our job a lot easier,” he said. “We do what we say we are going to do and we finish on time. That’s why people come back.”
The home remodeling industry is down as a whole, but Christensen says the company’s business has increased even through the economic slump. People are turning to home remodeling as a less-expensive alternative to building a house.
“Many people are not looking to build a home right now,” he said. “They want to remodel, and that’s good for us.”
He said his family has strongly supported him through his career endeavors. Christensen has two daughters; Kameron, 24, and Katrina, 21. He has one grandchild and enjoys being a grandpa in his free time.
Many of Christensen’s 20-plus employees have been with him since before the start of the business and have over 300 years combined experience between them. He credits much of his business success to his employee’s dedication and strong work ethic. His foreman is Steve Lisinski; secretary, Deb Pomeroy; sales agent, Scott Whiteford; and siding technicians, Gary Telfor, Dustin Robeck, and Dana Martin.
His company hopes to expand beyond Muskegon to Grand Rapids or Battle Creek.