Focus On Remodeling by Ron Cusano
There is no other way to describe today's economy . . . it's "sizzling"! It's like the Energizer Bunny on "speed"! It seems to just keep going, and going, and going . . . .
Most remodeling contractors think they died and went to heaven! The phone never stops ringing, and the leads just keep coming in.
Remember not so many years ago when you could choose from 6, 8, 10 or more remodelers and they would fight for your job? Not anymore!
Today, any contractor worth his salt is picking and choosing his jobs, and are following up only those leads for the most lucrative projects. He's like the proverbial "kid in a candy shop"!
Not only are today's remodelers getting their price and then some, but homeowners are having to practically beg to find a reliable contractor at any price. For the first time in memory, there is a big shortage of remodeling contractors. This may be great for the contractors, but it's not good news for homeowners.
Remodelers are in the enviable position of being booked many months in advance, and having to actually turn down work. Expanding their business is not an option, because you can't find quality labor with today's unemployment rate being the lowest in a decade.
While is seems like this situation will never end . . . it surely will! In a recent Newsday article, local economic experts are already predicting a gradual softening of the market as soon as this Fall, spurred on by continued hikes in interest rates by the Federal Reserve. In recent months, we've witnessed the roller coaster like rise and fall of the stockmarkets, as investors reacted to rising oil prices, unrest abroad and various domestic factors. If past experiences tell us anything, it's that nothing ever stays the same . . . especially the economy.
Today's homeowners have more spendable income available for home improvement, with no one to do the work. So, what are consumers to do. First, don't panic and don't settle! We are a society that "want's what it want's when it want's it", so the tendency is to settle for "any" contractor if the one your want is not immediately available. Big Mistake!! NO contractor is far better than just ANY contractor! With the sudden demand for contractors, it seems like anyone with a hammer or saw is getting a licence and going into business. Unfortunately, a Home Improvement License does not mean that the "contractor" has any experience or ability. Hiring a contractor with no credentials can become your worst nightmare!
Insist on a NARI remodeler, and be willing to wait a while. Use the time to verify his credentials, check his references and decide exactly what you want done. NARI contractors abide by a strict code of ethics and are dedicated to the integrity and well being of our industry by striving for the finest workmanship. You can find a NARI Approved Remodeler by calling the NARI office at (631) 673-NARI, or on our website at http://www.nari-ny.org.
"THE NARI SPIRIT" - On Thursday, May 25th, Doug Dervin, Chairman of the Board, shared with the membership at our monthly dinner meeting that a member was going through some rough times. Their 14 year old son who has been battling cancer, had taken a turn for the worse, and the outlook is bleak. We learned of a fund that was established to raise enough money to send this youngster and his family to Disney World, while time permitted. The NARI Board of Directors voted unanimously to donate $200.00 to this fund, plus the proceeds of the usual 50/50 raffle from the dinner meeting.
Historically, our 50/50 raffles raised somewhere between $200 - $300, but on this night, our NARI members in attendance raised $650.00, half of which went to the cause. When the three raffle winners were presented with their prizes, all three eagerly donated their winnings back to the fund to help this NARI family and their son. That's the kind of caring and kindness that sets NARI members apart from other contractors.
I would like to recognize and thank Chris Distante from The Ronaldson Company, Bob Valentino from Scrub-A-Dub and Scott Chatel from Chatel Contracting, and all in attendance who gave so willingly, for their generosity, and demonstration of what the true NARI spirit is all about. NARI is more that an association . . . it's a family!
Ron Cusano is the Executive Director of NARI, NYC/LI Office
(National Association of the Remodeling Industry). 315 Walt Whitman Rd.,
Suite 306, Huntington Station, NY 11746, Tel. (631) 673-NARI