St. Paul company releases home remodeling app – Twin Cities

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Nate Custard and Bryan Borek are looking to prove it doesn’t take advanced business degrees or Silicon Valley office space to develop industry-changing tech.

Custard had been operating his St. Paul-based general contracting company, Aequo Builders, for more than a decade when he and his project manager came up with the idea for an app to change the home remodeling experience.

As with countless other companies, the pandemic required Custard to get creative about minimizing physical contact with clients. The solution, project manager Borek helped discover, was new technology that eliminated the need to schedule home visits from multiple contractors to find the best quote and plan for any home remodeling project.

3-D SCANNING DEVELOPS IMAGE OF PROPERTY

Aequo Builders began using a 3-D scanning device to develop imaging of a customer’s property to be sent directly to contractors, eliminating the need for them to come and take their own measurements.

“We did a lot of work in offices, and we would scan the property so we wouldn’t have to have a walkthrough to explain the project and interrupt the people working in the offices,” Custard said. “It was already working for the other company, and we kind of realized that this might help out a lot of other people.”

Custard and Borek’s app, Aequo, provides a database of contractors that homeowners looking to remodel can communicate with directly. Homeowners are able to book a 3-D scan of their homes, which contractors can review and offer quotes for immediately.

Using the app is free, but Aequo charges for an optional home scan through the company that provides a detailed image of the property for contractors. It currently costs $199 for a “standard scan” and $349 for a “premium scan.”

However, the founders claim that despite the up-front cost, the average homeowner will still save between 20 percent and 50 percent when hiring a contractor through the app compared with the traditional method.

“It costs less to quote through a system that doesn’t drive across town,” Borek said.

AEQUO MAY EXPAND BEYOND TWIN CITIES

Borek said homeowners should feel secure using the app, as contractors are not given any identifying information about clients until the client agrees to work with them.

“For homeowners looking to save time on setting up a project and getting bids for a project and you want to make sure that you’re getting all the same information to compare contractors, this is the perfect service,” said Borek.

While the app is available to download, Custard and Borek said they are still working on recruiting contractors to use the service and expect it to be fully functioning within approximately the next two weeks.

Currently, Aequo targets only Twin Cities homeowners, but if successful, they hope to expand nationwide and into different industries that could benefit from the 3-D scanning services, such as real estate and insurance.

“We’re excited to see how homeowners use it,” Borek said. “I think we’re gonna learn a lot just from building through this next year.”



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