George Minello figures he doesn't need to go on TV with promises to "Save you a lot of money." His customers will see the savings for themselves when they view their gas and electric bills. They've been doing it for almost 30 years. George's company, Northcoast Energy Masters, specializes in energy saving products like replacement windows, doors and blown-in insulation. "Everything we install is value oriented," George explains. "We want to give you a dollar of value for every dollar you spend. The value is in lower energy bills. The value is in not getting drafts from your windows. The value is in a quieter and more comfortable home. That's why the majority of our business is repeat customers and referrals." During a recent conversation in his office in Bedford, George pointed out a long row of filing cabinets loaded with the files of tens of thousands of happy customers. "We didn't get those from high pressure sales," he insists. "We don't come into a home with misleading offers. We don't tell you we're going to save you a lot of money with a 'special deal' that is actually a reduction from a price that has been excessively inflated. That's what is called 'shock advertising.' Our approach is to treat people the way we want to be treated ourselves." He says that's what he's been doing since he started in the home improvement business in 1969. That's when his uncle Tony Gerome, owner of Gerome's Kitchen and Bath, asked him to join the family business. George started Northcoast Energy Masters in 1983. And it's still a family business. George's wife, Candice, oversees the office. His cousin Jack, who has been in the business since the 1950's, is in sales. His installers all have been employees for a long time, most of them more than 20 years, George says. "We specialize in green products that are safe for the environment and the homeowner while being very energy efficient," he says. And, they are all local products, he says. Northcoast's replacement windows, for example, are made by Soft-Lite windows, in Streetsboro. Soft-Lite uses leading edge technologies and equipment in manufacturing, resulting in beautiful, strong and thermally efficient windows. "Our windows are wood on the interior, so they can be painted or stained, and vinyl on the exterior that come in a rainbow of colors. We offer some unique glass packages, like double or triple paned glass filled with argon or krypton gas with low emissivity coatings for energy efficiency," he adds. Northcoast installs doors by ProVia Door of Sugarcreek. "We choose to partner with manufacturers who are local, with a long history of high-quality products and who offer transferable lifetime warranties so that we can confidently stand behind what we're installing in our customers' homes," George says. If your home is drafty or losing energy through its walls, you might want to talk to Northcoast about its blown-in cellulose insulation. "Our insulation is safe, with no allergens, so it doesn't affect the homeowner like some insulation products out there," George says. If you're not sure whether your home is losing energy, a Home Energy Assessment - a program of Dominion Gas and First Energy Electric - can help you find out, and earn you some rebates from these utility providers. Northcoast, a Dominion and First Energy Electric certified contractor, can make many of the improvements that qualify for rebates - like new windows, doors, insulation and siding. Northcoast's siding manufacturer, Alside Supply, offers a wide variety of styles and colors and is located in Cuyahoga Falls.
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