Here at The Men With Tools Home Remodeling, we’re about building relationships with our customers, not “burning and churning” through them like other big box corporations.
Our owner, John Kolbaska, a third-generation finish carpenter and native Staten Islander, brings over 22 years of expertise in the industry and has personally seen the sneaky, tricky sales tactics and corner cutting on the installation side while working for other companies.
He understands windows, doors and hardwood floors and is an encyclopedia of knowledge. John’s sold and installed vinyl replacement windows from hundreds of manufacturers and settled on his two favorites — Soft-Lite in vinyl and Andersen in wood.
“When I started The Men With Tools, I decided that I was going to only sell high-quality windows — the best vinyl and wood windows on the market,” said John who’s been involved in the sale and installation of over 100,000 windows. “If you’re looking for a cheap window, you can go somewhere else for that. I decided not only am I going to sell a high-quality window, I’m going to offer professional window installation without cutting corners.”
Family Comes First
In 2014, John sold his former company after coming to the realization he was overworked. He partnered with a national retailer in 2011 installing their floors in New Jersey, New York City, Long Island and parts of upstate New York doing over 1,000 installs per year.
But working 7 days a week, on the road, for 12-16 hours a day not being able to spend time with his three young children and wife, wasn’t worth it anymore.
“It was my daughter’s seventh birthday,” John said. “It was on a Sunday and we had a party here for her with a bunch of her friends and our family, I got an emergency call and had to head over to a job site in Long Island.
“I spent most of that day out there. I’ll never forget, I got in around 11 p.m., the party had finished, my daughter’s birthday was over, and the family was asleep. I looked at my daughter full of guilt for missing her birthday, and said to myself, ‘That’s enough. I’m going to sell this.’ Now I get to see my kids every day. My kids know me, and I’m having a great time.”
The Men With Tools Is Born
But no sooner John sold his former company, he found himself starting a new one thanks to his wife.
“I was sitting on the couch,” John said. “Relaxing and enjoying my new found freedom — figured I was going to take a nice extended vacation and then my wife told me, ‘You can’t stay home, you’ve got to go back to work.’ So from that day forward I started The Men With Tools.”
For the first six months, our company operated under the name JKOLB Inc., but many customers found it confusing — misspelling and mispronouncing it.
With this problem at hand, John decided he wanted a name that would not only be relevant to the industry, but something memorable — not just a standard first and last name like most other companies use.
After doing days of research, consulting with professionals, family and friends trying to brainstorm a unique name, John remembered a customer calling us "Men With Tools" after seeing our massive collection of tools in the truck, and thus the name was born.
“It’s fun, it’s risque, but it’s memorable,” John said. “That’s the most important.”
John’s partner in crime, Jack Fruchtman, came aboard in 2016 as the company’s marketing director. They’re born a week apart and are both left-handed.
“That’s probably why we get along so well,” John quipped.
John hired Jack because he wanted to delegate someone to help grow the company and that included adding a canvassing team.
“Even though people look at canvassing negatively, I believe that in this day and age — besides digital marketing — that it’s just as important to have a direct marketing team going out and knocking doors telling people that we’re in the neighborhood,” John explained.
Like John, Jack’s story is similar. He started off knocking on doors himself and quickly moved up the ranks learning all the ins and outs of the business.
“I’ve worked for two of the most expensive companies out there, high-price, high-pressure, really salesy, bad business practice companies, and I ran the canvassing department for one of them,” said Jack who’s been in the business for over 10 years.
“The one thing I learned more than anything is that I did not have time for myself. I got three kids too and I realized that there would be times that I’d work 30 days straight, it was blurred. It was great money, but I remember one day I was home and my kids said, ‘No, no dad, you can’t be home, you have to go to work,’ and I thought, ‘Oh man, that’s not OK,’ my 3- 4- 5-year-old kids are telling me, ‘you’re not supposed to be here,’ and that’s not right.”
Jack knew that wouldn’t be the case at The Men With Tools and couldn’t be happier with his new work/life balance. With Jack and John's experience and dedication they're both looking for continued growth in 2017 and beyond while also enjoying spending time with their families.
If you’re looking for a local and trusted window replacement and hardwood flooring company who will treat you like a person, give us a call at 347-815-4151 for a free estimate.