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Others ‘Create Holes Every Day,’ and PatchMaster Will Fix Them


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A training session for PatchMaster, a new franchise launched by HouseMaster, shows technicians how to repair drywall.

Raise your hand if you have a hole in your home’s drywall from a plumbing or electrical service that didn’t include wall repair (all of them) or a do-it-yourself project long since abandoned. Yep, Kathleen Kuhn thought so, which is why the president and CEO of HouseMaster launched a new franchise called PatchMaster.

What do they do? Drywall repair, which she calls a small but needed market. “It’s a great niche market and it’s a service that other service providers don’t want to fill. Plumbers and technicians and other trades, they create holes every day,” she said.

Kuhn searched for a few years for a franchise to start that was a good fit. “The key really was finding something that was within our wheelhouse. One, it’s home services, which we’re obviously familiar with,” said Kuhn, explaining HouseMaster has been offering home inspections for 40 years. 

“And also it’s B-to-B and B-to-C, which is in our wheelhouse. And three, it’s a brand new category, and that’s something, being the first company to franchise in home inspections, we know all about it,” she said. “It’s breaking new ground in a new category.”

Kuhn & Co. tested the drywall repair business for two years before launching the franchise, which will cost $50,000 to get going as a “generous” estimate, less expensive than the $60,000 to $100,000 investment it takes to get into HouseMaster.

Eddy Zite, a founding franchisee and partner in PatchMaster, initially balked. “He was our biggest skeptic, and he got out there and started talking to friends and family that were in the trades,” Kuhn said, who confirmed they would welcome such a service. “He quickly went from being a skeptic to a believer. He has five vans on the road” and is about to enter the Las Vegas market.

PatchMaster has more than 19 franchises signed in 46 territories with 10 franchises opened and operating. Two weeks ago, Kuhn said, she held a training session in New Jersey for franchisees. “One of the things I had the group do was fix the holes in my house. Everybody has that one little project,” she said.

Kuhn worked for HouseMaster, the franchise her father founded, when younger and later ascended to the CEO’s role. Launching a new business is exciting. “I feel very privileged to take all those years of experience and apply them to something else that’s new and exciting,” she said. “That’s something my dad taught me, the privilege and reward of helping people create their own future, and that never gets old.”

Plus she gets the holes in her house fixed, I point out.

“Exactly. It is so win-win,” Kuhn says with a laugh.

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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Tom KaiserTom Kaiser is senior editor of Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3209, or send story ideas to tkaiser@franchisetimes.com.
 
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is editor-in-chief of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
 
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
 
Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is managing editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
 
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at
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