Clockwise from above left: Courtesy of All, Inc., Scott Amundson Photography, courtesy of Highmark Builders, Andrea Rugg photography
About NARI MN:
The National Association of the Remodeling Industry, or NARI, is the only professional association dedicated solely to the remodeling industry. NARI’s roots go back to 1935 when President Roosevelt’s National Recovery Act established the beginnings of NERSICA (The North East Roofing, Siding and Insulation Contractors Association). In 1956 President Eisenhower established Operation Home Improvement, a nationwide effort emphasizing the rehabilitation of existing housing rather than new construction. The National Home Improvement Council (N.H.I.C) emerged from this effort.
By the mid-1960s, NERSICA no longer reflected the membership of the growing industry and its name was changed to the National Remodelers Association (NRA).
In 1983, the National Remodelers Association and the National Home Improvement Council joined to establish the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). Today, NARI has 57 chapters nationwide and has enjoyed a sizeable growth period during the past decade.
The Minnesota chapter, the second largest of 57, includes more than 375 remodeling professionals and companies statewide who share the standards and community-oriented values of NARI. Members include remodeling contractors, designers and architects, design-build firms, specialty contractors, suppliers and manufacturers, lending institutions, utility companies, and subcontractors.
M|A|Peterson Designbuild, Inc; Photo by Susan Gilmore Photography
Hedberg Supply; Photo courtesy of Hedberg Supply
The Benefits of Working with NARI Professionals
When you work with a NARI profess- ional, you can depend on them as:
• Part of a national association of respected professionals, the largest network of remodeling professionals in the country. NARI MN uses its leadership status to effect positive industry changes and provide its members and consumers with top-of-the-line service.
• Certified as the best in the business. NARI MN members seeking certification must undergo a rigorous training and examination process before they earn the right to display the NARI certification seal. Consumers can count on quality work and professional service from a NARI affiliate.
• Knowledgeable, continually informed, re-educated. Whether NARI MN professionals participate in the certification process or not, all members have access to NARI’s continuing education seminars and are encouraged to utilize current industry resources via trade publications, educational programs, meetings, conventions, and expos that feature new products, materials, and techniques.
John Kraemer & Sons; Photo by Landmark Photography
Choosing a Remodeler
Remodeling can be a fun and rewarding experience. You get to create your dream room or home and learn a little about design and building along the way. Before you begin, interview different remodelers (don’t just solicit bids) and request a list of recently completed projects to make sure the remodeler has a diverse portfolio. You want to make sure your feel comfortable with your remodeler, since he or she will be privy to your personal life, even more than your doctor or attorney.
Here are some questions NARI members recommend you ask before signing a remodeling contract:
• How long have you been in business?
• Who will be assigned as project supervisor for the job?
• Who will be working on the project? Are they employees or subcontractors?
• Does your company carry workers compensation and liability insurance? (Always verify this information by calling the agency. A copy of an insurance certificate does not let you know if the policy is still current. Even if the certificate has an expiration date. Also ask if the contractor is licensed and call to verify compliance with the law.)
• What is your approach to a project such as this?
• How many projects like mine have you completed in the past year?
• May I have a list of reference from those projects?
• May I have a list of business referrals or suppliers?
• What percentage of your business is repeat or referral business?
• Are you a member of a national trade association?
• Have you or your employees been certified in remodeling or had any special training or education?
Nor-Son; Photo by Spacecrafting
Serious professionals with a desire to excel in the industry are eligible to participate in NARI’s rigorous certification program. NARI certification seals indicate that the affiliated individual or company has taken the extra time and energy to meet performance and business criteria that exceed industry standards, including five or more years of continuous full-time employment in the remodeling industry, current employment with a firm that operates according to NARI’s Code of Ethics, completed a comprehensive written examination, complied with all requests for documentation of experience and competence, displayed the knowledge and ability required to perform the remodeling functions, and demonstrated adherence in personal practice to NARI’s Code of Ethics to make certain everybody plays by the same rules through fair contracts, fair warranties, and quality work and professionalism. Adhering to the Code of Ethics is a safeguard for homeowners when multiple decisions need to be made.
Six Classes of Certification:
1. Certified Remodeler: CR
2. Certified Kitchen & Bath Remodeler: CKBR
3. Certified Remodeling Project Manager: CRPM
4. Certified Green Professional: CGP
5. Universal Design Certified Professional: UDCP
6. Certified Lead Carpenter: CLC
Vujovich Design Build; Photo by Troy Thies Photography
Once you receive a list of references, ask these questions:
• Was the remodeler responsive to your needs and special considerations?
• Did the remodeler enhance the project with appropriate design recommendations?
• Was the project executed in a timely manner? Was consideration given to your daily living habits? Did project managers schedule subcontractors promptly? Was there consistency between the project manager and lead carpenter?
• Did the remodeler provide comprehensive specifications and contract documentations? Did he or she make proper use of change order procedures, and inform you of any additional costs before making changes?
• Did the remodeler take time to explain his or her building procedures?
• Did the subcontractors and managers effectively communicate with you and among themselves? Were subcontractors courteous and respectful of your living space?
• What types of warranties did the remodeler offer? What is the duration and extent of the coverage? What types of financing were offered?
• Were living areas outside the remodeling project protected from potential damage? Were trash and demolition debris regularly removed? Did the crew leave the job site in an acceptable condition on a daily basis? Did the company provide the means and equipment necessary for the cleanup?
• What is your overall opinion of the project? Did the final product meet your expectations? Did the project stick to your budget? If not, what were the variables involved and who was responsible for the discrepancy?
• Would you recommend this remodeler to your friends and family?
CONTACT US: NARI of Minnesota Narimn.org
By Chrissy Sarinske, Special Sections Editor Presented by NARI Minnesota