Hi, I’m Stuart Weikel, owner of Accolade Exteriors. As a mechanical engineering undergraduate student at the University of Texas at Austin in the 90’s, I quickly grew to love living in Austin. I moved away after graduation without any expectation that I would ever live here again, but my career in orthopedic medical device product development and marketing brought my family and me back to town TWICE! Through it all, Austin’s allure has remained strong, and we are happy to call it home yet again.
When the last medical device company I worked for was acquired in 2016, I was faced with needing to move away again to remain in my industry. Instead, I decided to find a way to make Austin home for good as a business owner. As an avid home improvement do it yourselfer and an architecture and design nerd, I was drawn to opportunities within residential construction. In Spring of 2017, I became the owner of what is now Accolade Exteriors. It has been a fairly radical career change that I am grateful allows us to commit to living here. I have also found that as a local business owner I enjoy deeper connections to our community than I ever did working for companies with far-flung bases of operation.
At Accolade Exteriors, we routinely replace windows, siding, and patio doors. In addition, we handle the paint, masonry and stucco work that frequently come along with. Of course, there are lots of companies who work in the same space as we do. And unfortunately, it is an industry segment where high-pressure selling tactics are all too common. Too often companies prioritize booking a deal without regard for whether a project is priced fairly or whether the product sold will look like it belongs on your home. But we firmly believe that to be true to our name and to earn the recommendation of our customers to their friends and neighbors, we have to operate differently. We believe in offering customers fair-priced choices and design options that are thought through. We feature an expansive product portfolio from multiple companies and installation capabilities that allow us to provide full-service exterior transformations.
We would enjoy a simpler selling process if we only carried a single manufacturer’s products, as many of our competitors do. But we think customers’ needs are better served when we can find the best match from a wider product range. With greater choice comes the need to help customers navigate the decisions before them. To do that, we strive to understand the vision our customers are looking to achieve, educate them on product technicals and trade-offs, and make recommendations to balance style, budget, and functional needs.
We pay a lot of attention to the design considerations that come with changing the outside of your home. We find that customers often have a notion of what they like but can’t always put it into words. Some clients have a hard time even identifying what it is about a house they’ve seen that they like, but they know they like it. A key part of our role is to help our clients decode their preferences, understand how expensive their taste is, and translate that understanding to help them satisfy their preferences as best we can within the confines of a home’s architecture, product capabilities, and budget. From our selection of window and door products, we are able to find a compatible product for practically any customer. The projects we configure range from straightforward budget-friendly replacements with attractive and high-quality vinyl products from Milgard to the most highly customized specialty projects with wood window products from Jeld-Wen. We particularly excel at ensuring that clients’ selections are a fitting addition to their home.
What I love most about this business is how much opportunity there is to serve the Austin area. A serially booming metropolis, Austin is a fascinating place to track the evolution of residential construction through the decades. We have fantastic examples of mid-century modern homes, fun and funky homes from the seventies and eighties—homes that are really a part of Austin’s character. We very much enjoy helping homeowners restore the appeal of these homes so that client satisfaction is increased, to say nothing of enhancing the value of properties in this market that handily rewards investing in real estate.
Austin has an abundance of housing at an age where some major exterior work is needed if it hasn’t already been done. Many older areas have homes undergoing second and third rounds of exterior renovation. We love meeting with Austin-area neighbors and helping them make decisions about projects and renovations they’re thinking about. And by applying our appreciation for the architectural elements in Austin’s older housing, we play a part in upholding and accentuating the character that our area’s unique homes possess. As Accolade Exteriors completes more and more projects, I enjoy the satisfaction of passing by a growing body of work that makes me really proud of what we do. If your house is in need of an exterior revamp, we’d be delighted to help you develop and achieve your vision of home.