About Us – The Men With Tools Windows & Doors
When The Men With Tools was founded, it’s goal wasn’t to cash in on trends in the market or turn around fast profits. It wasn’t to fill a niche or make some easy money. The company’s goal was to continue a tradition from it’s founder that stretched back three generations and fulfilled a lifelong dream.
The Men With Tools is a full-service window and door installation company that is family-owned and operated. The company offers high-quality windows and doors installed by experienced technicians, and boasts an unrivaled lifetime labor warranty that no other contractor can match.
Since being founded, The Men With Tools have installed over 10,000 doors and windows throughout its coverage area, a number that grows each day. It’s a legacy of success that began decades prior.
A Family Legacy
It’s founder, John Kolbaska got his professional start in the industry in 1995, though in truth he started even earlier. Kolbaska comes from three generations of local craftsmen. His grandfather was a local carpenter. So was his father. By the age of 13, he worked summers alongside his father, helping out with whatever he could. He made $30 a day, but for Kolbaska the pocket money wasn’t the draw. It was the work.
“I really do enjoy the business. I love the work. From an early age I enjoyed building things and learning how to do it well. That’s why I first got involved and that’s why I still do it today. I’m blessed to be able to do something I am passionate about.”
That’s a tradition he hopes to continue. Kolbaska aims to leave behind a strong legacy for his children. His son and two daughters are for the moment too young to be involved in the business, but when the time comes, he hopes he’ll have built something for them that will last.
“It should be every parent’s goal to give your kids more than you had. As a parent, I feel like my most important goal in life is to leave something of value behind for my children: a successful business that they can benefit from for the rest of their lives. I’m not building this company in the hopes of selling it to a larger corporation. My goal is to leave it to my children.”
It’s fitting, then, that a company founded on principles of family should have such a strong focus on people.
Quality Work Begins With Quality People
A core philosophy of The Men With Tools is that a business is defined by its people. Having great products is vital. So are competitive prices. But it all begins with hiring the right people. That’s why the company’s hiring standards are so high and why we offer our employees generous benefits packages, continued education, and salaries that are higher than average for the industry.
With a team of lead mechanics who each have over 10 years of experience, each of them supported by a skilled backup mechanic and/or on-site helper, every installation job is spearheaded by people with deep experience in the industry. That’s important. It’s the “people” part of “people and process.” Training is focused on a manufacturer’s specifications, too, ensuring that installations are done the way a window manufacturer intends for them to be done. No shortcuts.
All of this work is done by the best craftsmen in the region. The Men With Tools pays higher wages than its competitors and has stringent hiring standards, including drug tests and background checks. These are people who will be in your home, after all. Installers have a pathway to advancement, too, earning higher salaries as they learn new skills and deepen their experience. Our goal is to develop every team member into someone who could be a team lead. All of this creates a company culture that embraces honest workers with unmatched skills.
You can’t build good relationships with customers without a good team, after all, and for The Men With Tools, those relationships are paramount.
Building Lifelong Relationships
For The Men With Tools, a customer isn’t a paycheck. A customer is someone you develop a relationship with and an honorary member of The Men With Tools family. Every installation is the start of a long-term relationship.
“Our customers are our biggest assets. We have a 40 to 50 percent repeat and referral rate, and that speaks volumes about the relationships we’ve formed over the years. Once people work with us, they want to work with us again, and they want to tell others about us.”
A major part of that long-term relationship is offering protection unheard of in the field. The Men With Tools’ lifetime warranty on labor is unprecedented in the industry. You won’t find any other door and window installer who offer lifetime protection because most don’t want long-term relationships with their customers. They operate on volume. The more windows they can churn through each day, the more they profit – it’s the “turn and burn” approach – with even bigger profits when installing subpar windows.
For The Men With Tools, however, an installation is the start of a lifetime relationship. From someone’s first house to their retirement home, from their first small office to the sprawling new business headquarters, the aim is to ensure that people have the peace of mind that comes with knowing their contractor is willing to stand behind their work. Even years after an installation, our founder will make service calls, sometimes with a representative from the window manufacturer alongside him, to ensure the customers windows are functioning as they should.
“I’m truly grateful for our customers. When people do home renovations, they are making a big investment into their home. I think a lot of contractors lose sight of that. At The Men With Tools, that is always at the forefront of our minds on every job we do. We wouldn’t be here without our customers, so it’s our job to earn their trust on every job we do.”
Unmatched Material & Craftsmanship
Boasting over 2,000 window and door installations each year, The Men With Tools offers its own line of windows and doors. The ThermaLast line. It is the most thermally efficient double pane window on the market, with a lifetime warranty, and it’s available exclusively through The Men With Tools.
The typical job involves installing about 10 windows, but The Men With Tools have tackled jobs installing just a single window and jobs involving hundreds of windows throughout an entire new community. The scale doesn’t matter. Big or small, a focus on quality is always integral.
“Our customers understand the difference between low quality and high quality. They’re looking for the best window and installation for their dollar, and that means they understand that investing a little more in your windows and doors is more cost-effective in the long-term. We stand behind our work in a way other contractors do not. If anything ever happens to your windows, we’re going to take care of it. That’s what we mean when we talk about long-term relationships.”
Becoming Part of Your Community
The Men With Tools has its sights set on continued expansion, but not at the expense of losing its local business aesthetic. Expanding into new markets is contingent upon still being able to hire local people, engage directly with the community, and form the kinds of relationships only a local business can form. That may seem like a tall order, but we believe a business can grow and be run with the efficiency of a large corporation without losing touch with what made it special in the first place.
Part of that comes with being involved in the wider professional community. For our founder, education and training never stops. He attends a dozen industry events each year, getting up-to-date training he can bring back to his employees, touring the factories where his windows are made, and more.
As Vice President of the Home Improvement Contractors of Staten Island, he stays in touch with trends that are affecting contractors in the region, ensuring The Men With Tools are always prepared to adjust to changes in the community at large. He has also given his time to the Young Entrepreneurs Academy of Staten Island, helping groom the next generation of professionals.
The Men With Tools will continue to expand, with an eye on moving into other markets – but that will only take place as long as The Men With Tools can retain its close connection with its customers, continue serving people as only a local business can, and continue supplying high-paying jobs to skilled local workers. As Kolbaska says, he wants to deliver reliable, repeatable results no matter how big the company grows.
“This journey began two generations ago with my grandfather, and I hope when my children are old enough to get involved with the business, they’ll be inheriting a business closely associated with honesty, reliability, and unmatched quality. That’s my promise to my customers and to my family, and it’s one everyone in the greater Men With Tools family takes seriously.”