In the summer of 2013 Adam Clinard, owner of Complete Property Maintenance, LLC, found himself in a position that many professionals are sharing these days: unemployed after many years in a successful career, and starting over in a completely unrelated field. Athens Now featured his “launch” article in August of last year, and the guy did what it took to build his business quickly: work hard and equitably. We have all heard the saying, “When God closes a door, He opens a window,” and I am thankful that Adam not only survived his first season, but has grown enough to add a whole second crew to his workforce. “We have been blessed,” he says without hesitation.
Adam’s “previous life” was that of a draftsman, having gotten his certificate at Limestone County Career Technical Center, and he also studied at Calhoun. He specialized in transportation project drafting, but did all kinds, residential and commercial. He drew highways, helped with planning interstate construction, as well as putting together bids. He also drafted plumbing projects, and all in all spent 15 years in a field that he loved, and in which he thought he’d always stay.
“It was Kim’s (his wife’s) idea for me to start my own business. She had a good job on the Arsenal, and this was the best time to make that move and get going.” So, what did they decide? “Well, Kim knows how much I love to take care of property and do landscaping, so I took my tax return and bought a mower and a weed eater. I didn’t go into debt,” he added, which was something very important to him.
During the summer, most of their client base was residential, and the work centered around lawn and garden care. Adam also did seasonal maintenance on swimming pools, and then buttoned them up for the winter. They trimmed low lying tree limbs, did edge work, and were involved in some landscaping projects.
During the winter, they concentrated on helping realtors with unoccupied properties that were going to be sold, as well as foreclosures, rental properties that needed help, and “waded in” to the all important job of increasing curb appeal. They did a lot of winterizations as well. Their painting jobs have picked up, and will no doubt increase as people prepare for the spring real estate sales season. “Property preservation is something I really enjoy,” Adam told me. And, as it turns out, has become a larger portion of Complete Property Maintenance’s revenue stream. As you can tell from the photographs, having someone who truly enjoys “gettin’ ‘er dun” could be a realtor’s or auctioneer’s godsend.
So, what is new for the spring and summer season of 2014? Adam has virtually doubled the size of his fleet. He now has two trucks, two trailers, and two crews. They are busy with preparing lawns to look beautiful once the weather warms up. “Now is the time to ‘scalp all the Bermuda,’ (grass) so that the green comes back, spray, and take care of what unwanted growth came up over the winter.” By spraying, Adam will use a standard herbicide, but he also can use vinegar, which is effective as well. He likes to go green and recycle as much as he can, and visits the Limestone County Recycling Center often. He routinely separates cardboard, metal, plastic and electric items, and with one property preservation project, took an entire truckload of cardboard to the recycling center.
Adam and his wife Kim have also taken to building beautiful re-purposed items and furniture made out of pallets and other items. Adam’s mom Garnet just opened a lovely store on Jefferson, called Garnet’s On The Square, and Adam’s herb gardens are on display out front as well as inside. “Pallet re-purposing” is fast becoming a hot trend in the “shabby chic” world, and Adam says the outdoor pieces weather beautifully. He even has some in his own yard.
Another of Adam’s plans this spring is to build a market for people who are interested in having “moss lawns.” Adam says, “Basically, you have three choices for your yard: to sod it, which is expensive but quick, to seed it, which takes patience to see the finished product as well as plenty of watering, or to plant moss, which fills the lawn, is green all year long, and requires very little maintenance.” Moss needs water in the beginning when it is getting established, but after that, very little. In addition, moss needs no herbicides or fertilizers. We both agree that there is nothing like the feeling of moss under your bare feet, and I hope his idea catches on.
Very soon I am going to be one of his “green” customers, and have him pressure wash my house without using chlorine bleach. I am greatly looking forward to the results, and I already know from experience that he will do what it takes to make the place glow! I guess you could say, instead of being on “Angie’s List,” Complete Property Maintenance, along with many other Athens Now customers, is on “Ali’s List!”
Complete Property Management, LLC
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Twitter: /@ CPM_LLC
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner