Altagether connects contractors with homeowners

Friday, March 12, 2021

Some Alta residents are at a standstill with home repairs due to unavailability of contractors. Rob Hach, founder of Altagether, came up with an idea to organize the first annual Altagether Home & Garden Show to facilitate communication and connections between homeowners and contractors. The event took place on March 6th at the Alta Community Center and was free to the public.

Altagether originated last year when volunteers got together to help residents with several home and yard projects. The organization is in the process of obtaining non-profit status. Residents said that commitments from contractors were not always fulfilled and phone calls were often unanswered, leaving them with unfinished projects. That is when Hach’s thoughts for the Home & Garden Show came to life.

About 20 contractors and other businesses from Alta, Storm Lake, Cherokee, Ida Grove and surrounding areas set up tables for the event to answer questions and make appointments.

“It’s been a good turnout for year one,” Hach said, indicating he received positive feedback during the event. The timing was right because he speculates that homeowners were saving money for home improvements during the pandemic. “There’s a demand for construction projects. Now people want to get a lot of projects done,” he said.

Another reason the March timing was ideal is because it is early enough in the season for contractors to schedule jobs, and they’ve still got plenty of inventory on hand, Hach said.

Co-organizer of the event, April Barrera, handled administrative duties early on and indicated all was going smoothly. “People have come in with questions and are getting answers. They say they’re finding the help they’ve been looking for,” she said.

Contractors she had contacted were favorable to becoming involved. “Everybody was really open to this,” she said. She and Hach are already looking toward year two. “We have a huge list of contractors we hope to ask next year,” Barrera said, adding that social distancing guidelines should be more relaxed by then, allowing for more contractors.

One business representative available to answer questions was Callie Wobbema with Century 21 in Storm Lake. She fielded home-buying questions and said the timing was right for the event. Now that the pandemic is winding down, “People are starting to look for homes. We see that things are starting to turn around. This is such a welcome change,” Wobbema said.

Kris Roepke is the Inside Sales and Marketing representative at Brentwood Roofing and Construction in Cherokee, Storm Lake and Ida Grove. She was impressed with the number of contractors and businesses that turned out for the event. Roepke had quite a few inquiries at her table. “I’m giving information and estimates. My hope is to let people know we’re there to help with home needs,” she said.

Organizers said they had about 80 attendees.