Employees and customers alike are going to appreciate a big addition to a local company once it's complete next month.
Maintenance Plus is doubling the size of its 2,400-square-foot facility to accommodate increased business and offer a higher quality service. The extra 2,400 square feet will come in the form of additional office space as well as more equipment bays. Construction began in May.
Where the company's at now is a far cry from its humble beginnings in 1984, when Allan Pearson started out with not much more than some equipment and his own two hands.
"Basically I just started doing janitorial work, cleaning offices back then by myself," said Pearson, now president of Maintenance Plus. "And then we just started growing from there, picking up more accounts and more employees as we go along."
What started out as simple janitorial and carpet cleaning work has evolved to include upholstery cleaning for residential and commercial customers, and well as water and fire restoration for residential and commercial property as well.
It's been the past eight to 10 years that Maintenance Plus has seen its fastest growth. Pearson attributes this to the company's increased work involving fire and water restoration. In addition to working daytime hours, Pearson said they also offer emergency services for customers who are faced with fire or water damage after regular business hours.
"If somebody calls in the middle of the night we do go out and help them out with - if they have for example, water in the basement, we'll go out and help get the water out and then to mitigate any further loss," Pearson said.
Maintenance Plus can either do a complete cleanup of the building or they can take out the property that's damaged - wet drywall for instance - dry it out, clean it up, and then reinstall it.
"So basically bring it back to original condition," Pearson said.
Regular office hours for Maintenance Plus, which is located at 311-21st St. NW, right along Fourth Avenue, are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The business is closed from noon to 1 p.m. every day for the lunch hour. The phone number is 838-4504. An answering service takes calls after hours for those who need emergency services.
Not limited just to Minot, Maintenance Plus serves about a 100-mile radius around the Magic city, Pearson noted.
Pearson said the expansion has been on the drawing board for the past two or three years, and he finally decided to go ahead and do it this year because of how the scheduling worked out with the contractors, who have been extremely busy themselves of late.
"The reason we did expand is because we have gotten busier. We added two more positions in our office here, so we expanded our office inside the building, and then plus the expansion of the building," he said. "And the reason we're expanding is because we're running out of room as far as for equipment and people."
Pearson said they will also be adding two more tech positions to go out on field calls. Currently there are 20 employees.
Before the expansion there were two offices, which has been doubled to four now that the interior expansion is complete. Three more bays for equipment and vehicles are also being added, and those should be complete by the end of September when a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony will hopefully take place.
One of the bays will also be used as a storage area for the property of customers, Pearson said.
"So for example for fire damage, if we need to go in and take all the contents out of their house while the house is being fixed and repaired, then we would take the contents, move them to our storage facility where we can keep it under lock and key and it's secure," Pearson said. "And then as we clean those items we can clean them, rebox them, and get them ready to go back into the home when the home is finished."
Pearson said the key to the storage area is that it's secure and completely controlled by Maintenance Plus, unlike conventional storage sheds that might have a lock, but aren't under constant supervision.
There will also be more room to train employees, he added. This is important because of the continuous updating the company does both in terms of training as well as equipment. All the techs are sent to train for Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, a national agency Maintenance Plus has been associated with for about the past decade. Pearson said even the receptionist will be receiving training so she can better answer the questions of customers.
While the company has a Web site at (www.maintenanceplusclean.com) that tells about the services offered, Pearson said people who would like to know more about the expansion itself should check out their Facebook page (just Google "Maintenance Plus Facebook") to see photos and updates that were posted throughout the expansion.
Pearson mentioned with gratitude that St. Mark's Lutheran Church, which is just next door, has allowed Maintenance Plus to use its parking lot for employee vehicles as well as equipment until the company's new parking lot on the other side of the building is finished.
"It's great to have good neighbors," Pearson said.
This expansion has been a long time coming and Pearson is excited to finally see it near completion. He noted that after the spring flooding hit Minot earlier this year, they had between 100 and 150 calls in the span of two days. Servicing that many people was difficult, to say the least. With this expansion, that hopefully won't be the case in the future.
"What it will do is be able to make us more efficient in serving our clients. And that's the name of the game, is taking care of our clients and being able to provide the service and the level of service that they want," Pearson said. "And that's our goal, is to take care of our clients. That's the whole reason for the expansion and the (additional) people, is to be able to take care of the customers when they call."