Window Replacement Begins with Installation
Window and Door Contractor – Differentiation Begins with Installation
A conversation with Steve Bobeck from Thebco Windows, Doors, and Siding
By Ben Lindberg
For more than 40 years, Madison’s east side has been home to Thebco Windows, Doors, and Siding. Thebco’s owner, Steve Bobeck, reflects on the past and gives his perspective on his company’s longevity and the evolution of the specialized contractor industry.
BL: Thanks for sitting down with us Steve. Tell us how Thebco began?
SB: My father started the company in 1976 as The Herbert E. Bobeck Company, or THEBCO for short. He was always very handy. Later in his career, he installed a door on his own home and hit it off with the supplier who happened to be looking for someone to represent the product in the market. Over the years we’ve worked with suppliers and homeowners in a variety of fashions, but we’ve stayed true to our passion: installing the best windows and doors the right way, every time.
BL: How has the window market changed over the years?
SB: Replacement windows really didn’t exist until the 1970s. Second growth wood was not as rot-resistant as old-growth forests, and windows from the 1950s and 1960s began to fail. Early on, replacing windows meant general remodeling companies installing pocket inserts that fit into the old frame. In the 1990s and 2000s the market was flooded with new, unproven products as the popularity of replacement expanded. We decided to do things differently, with a unique product, and change the way windows were installed.
BL: What do you mean when you say Thebco does things differently?
SB: Instead of focusing on sales tricks, we focused on tailored window installation. I decided to not be distracted by roofs or kitchens or repairs, and instead to help people through what should be a once-in-a-lifetime decision. We looked at installation methodology and adopted practices for specific wall construction or architectural style and presented our solution to potential clients. We also moved away from pocket-insert installations in favor of complete window replacement called full-frame.
BL: What is one key for your success going forward?
SB: We’ve simplified our business to focus on our core competencies which are window, door, and siding replacement. It’s allowed us to devote time to improve the small things that most companies don’t have time for. In the end, all our customers want is a successful outcome of their project and we aim to deliver that.