The Need for National Guidelines and Testing in the Home Improvement Industry

It is time for Washington to step up and put legislation in place that will force states to better regulate the home improvement industry. Up to now Washington has left the regulation of the home improvement industry up to state regulators, and for whatever reason(s) many states have fallen considerably short.

There are still some states that do not even have contractor licensing in place for home improvements. For some of the states that do have licensing, the license requirements do not include that the applicant demonstrate the ability to do any type of home improvement work. (That is like saying I will issue you a license to cut hair but you don’t have to demonstrate that you know how to cut hair……… ouch!) Then why do states bother issuing licenses if there are no requirements to demonstrate competence? Revenue? Or could it be that they need more consumer complaints for Consumer Affairs and BBB to handle? The unfortunate consequences of this problem are that homeowners are the ones who are paying the price by receiving poor workmanship and a cascade of home improvement problems.

Let’s be honest, the home improvement industry does not seem to attract the most reliable, honest and competent individuals. The lure of a quick buck and the relative ease to “qualify” to do home improvement work, brings many a “character” to your door. When I was a contractor I needed to hire people for a variety of field positions. Most of the people, who I interviewed and sometimes hired, seemed to have the same type of problems with past employers. These problems consisted of substance abuse issues, honesty issues, and reliability issues. The labor pool never seemed to have an over abundance of talent and employability to pick from.

I remember always reading article after article that dealt with the significant manpower shortage in the home improvement industry. The bottom line of each article would always be the same, “If you can find an honest, reliable and competent person to work for you, pull out all the stops to keep them!!!! Do whatever you need to do to keep that person happy because you’ll never know if you will be lucky enough to find someone to take their place.” As an owner, it was a very constant and stressful problem to deal with. You were almost afraid to try and increase project production because you knew you would have to try and find someone to do the additional work. Finding employees was always an adventure, an adventure that I never looked forward to.

For the last 10-15 years the number one problem in the home improvement industry is the lack of manpower. Many contractors are training and hiring minorities to try and solve this major problem.

If you were to talk to your state authorities about what is being done to improve regulations and screening in the home improvement industry, they will probably tell you something is in the works or there is no money for more regulations (testing). I have been hearing this for 30 years. The county in which I live (Suffolk County, New York) still does not require any demonstration of home improvement ability to obtain a home improvement license. The fee has consistently gone up but the requirements have pretty much stayed the same. We are one of the highest taxed counties in the country, so I refuse to believe there is no money to develop and implement a better policing and screening process in the home improvement industry.

The National Association of The Remodeling Industry (NARI) http://www.nari.org is the only national organization that offers certification of home improvement individuals. They have a number of different certifications that one could obtain. To obtain these certifications the applicant needs to demonstrate a variety of knowledge, ranging from good business practices to project knowledge. NARI’s main certification is called – Certified Remodeler (CR). This certification requires the applicant to prepare an extensive matrix or resume of their experience and knowledge as well as obtaining a certain score on an 8-hour exam. There are only approximately 1000 CR’s, out of the hundreds of thousands of home improvement contractors in this country. I earned this certification in 1994 and still proudly hold this certification today. I will admit that obtaining this certification is a time consuming process and does take considerable effort, but it was well worth it. What I also like about this certification is that it has to be renewed every year by demonstrating continued involvement and knowledge in the home improvement industry.

Why then couldn’t Washington mandate some type of screening, nationwide, that all people interested in doing home improvements must be able to “pass” to obtain a license? This license could be used nationwide. Use a screening process that emulates what NARI does for its certifications. You could make the screening as simple as a comprehensive test with multiple choice questions. A test that could be machine scored.

I think an ideal situation for licensing would be to divide up home improvement licensing into sub-licenses. For example, if you were a bathroom contractor you would obtain a license for bathroom home improvements only. This would refine what licensees are qualified to do, rather then issuing one license that could wrongly give the impression that the licensee is capable of doing any type of project.

The reason I think Washington needs to get involved with this problem is because the American public doesn’t have the time to wait for each of the 50 states to come up with a similar solution, individually.

However, if Washington were to step up and mandate a national screening and testing situation, you would still have to address the screening of the people who show up to work on your house. (if they were not the person(s) who was screened and licensed) These people would hopefully be employees of the person who was screened. Is the homeowner then back to square one with not knowing the qualifications of the people working on their house? I tend to think not, because the person who went through the screening and obtained the license would want to keep the license. It is in the best interest of the licensed individual to make sure the project is done correctly. Problems develop when a contractor has too much work and attempts to get it all done by using inexperienced and unqualified help. The lure of completing more work and making more money sometimes leads to his or her business getting “out of control”. This subsequently leads to quality and project completion problems. Employees of licensed and screened contractors need to “qualify” on some level similar to NARI’s lead carpenter certification.

Will any of these desperately needed changes occur any time soon? To be honest, I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for Washington to step up to the plate and I don’t think your state or local governments will dramatically improve home improvement regulations either.

So what should a homeowner do to protect their home and property? Get the right “tools” and knowledge to be able to protect your home from poor home improvement decisions and situations.

The Home Improvement Success Club of America(TM) (http://www.homeimprovementsuccess.com) can give you all the right knowledge and “tools” you need, without spending hours and hours doing research and trying to figure out what to do. This club has a variety of forums (chat room, message board, phone consultations and project estimate-contract evaluations) to answer your questions about how to get great home improvement results. Membership to this club also includes the use of The Home Improvement Success System, which is a step by step home improvement system that shows you exactly what to do and what not to do. This system can be used with any project. The club also includes a 30-day money back guarantee if you are not delighted with being a club member.

If you’re serious about doing a home improvement project and protecting your home, then join The Home Improvement Success Club of America(TM). You will be happy you did!

The Home Improvement Success Club of America(TM)
http://www.homeimprovementsuccess.com//>

[email protected]
P.O. Box 653
Smithtown, NY 11787
Phone: 631-360-7722
Fax: 631-361-3582

By Hank Jaworowski, CR
Founder and President of The Home Improvement Success Club of America(TM)
Author-The Home Improvement Success System

Factors to Consider Before Beginning a Legitimate Home Business Opportunity

There are many people who are successfully earning a regular flow of income thanks to the internet. The internet has given all of us a host of earning opportunities that are a safe and effective means of getting a regular income. If you are planning to set up your own business from the comforts of your home you should take into consideration certain factors before you begin a legitimate home business opportunity in order to avoid any scam or fraud.

When you are going in for any legitimate business opportunity the first thing that you should check into is the credentials of the business and whether it gives you a successful business system. The next thing that you should look into is the amount of time that the business has been around for. Over the years it has been observed that most scams and schemes that have duped people have not made it to the five year mark. You need to verify the track records of the company before investing your time and money in it. Go for any legitimate home business opportunity that has successfully done business for at least five years. Be sure and then invest time and money into it.

You should also watch out for hyped business claims for any legitimate home business opportunity offers. There are profit guarantees however if it is overdone and claims that you can make millions of dollars the moment you join them it is better that you back out. You can check the credibility of the business with the Better Business Bureau and other organizations that list credible companies. You can conduct a background search of the company by visiting forums and reading company past and current feedbacks on the internet. You can also search on the internet and find out what other people think about the company before you invest in it.

The product is also a very important deciding factor for any successful legitimate home business opportunity. You should be a product that is regularly used by the people so that you get an ongoing demand for your product with both new and old customers. There is another truth that not every legitimate home business opportunity is free. There are some companies that allow you to check out their business for free. In fact, it is impossible for you to build a successful legitimate home business opportunity without investing a monetary amount at some point of time. So you should go for the free trial ones so that you get an idea of what the business holds in store for you.

The last thing that you take into consideration when you are about to invest in a legitimate home business opportunity is the compensation plan that will give a steady profit and a regular source of income. You should also explore the possibility of earning commissions also from the venture.

The above factors are very simple and easy to follow and should be taken into consideration when you are going to begin a legitimate home business opportunity.

Home Improvement Loans Turn Your Home Into A Paradise

Home is the place where most of our time is spent. It’s the place where we feel most secure. It’s like the fortress which saves us from all the possible troubles that we can have.

These are a few reasons why our home should be at its absolute best. Things which can make it that can be minor or major.

If that is the case with you but you do not have sufficient funds with you to afford home improvement then home improvement loans are tailor made for you.

Home improvement loans are loans which are specifically designed for people who want to make changes to their home but they can not because of their financial standing.

A person may require a home improvement loan to make major or minor changes to their home which may be one of the following.

o Construction of the house

o Adding of a bedroom, kitchen

o Restructuring

o Landscaping the garden

o Adding to the safety of the house

o Electrical and plumbing work

o Renovation

o New furniture

Any work or changes that we make to our home is good for ourselves only as the owners will eventually benefit from the changes that take place in the home.

Benefits of going for home improvement

By going for home improvement we will raise the value of the house which will help us in negotiating a better deal if we want to sell the house.
Home improvement is better than moving to a new home both in financial and emotional terms.
Home improvement provides a lot more satisfaction to the owner of the home.

There are two ways of going for the home improvement loans

Secured home improvement loans is a way where by a borrower will have to provide collateral as a security to the lender which may be any of his assets. Such as borrowers car or his machinery. However if the borrower provides his home as a security this method of home improvement will be known as home equity method of borrowing home improvement loan. By this method we can get loans up to 125% of the property value.

Another method of borrowing home improvement loans is through unsecured means where the borrower does not have to provide any collateral to the lender as an obligation. However the borrower may have to pay a higher rate of interest to cover for the risk factor of the lender.

Home improvement can be required by any body therefore these loans are available to everyone even to people with bad credit. People who have faltered with their payments in the past such as CCJ’s, People in arrears or people who have filled for bankruptcy. Bad credit is determined on the basis of a credit score which is a three digit rating which tells the lenders about the financial credit worthiness of the borrower. A credit score of below 600 usually leads to bad credit.

For applying for home improvement loans all people need is to go online and fill in their personal and loan details form after that the loan decision will be made by the lenders in a day or two.

Benefits of taking home improvement loan through online lenders

o Fast approval of loans

o There are a vast majority of creditors so you can choose your alternatives

o You can apply even if you have bad credit history

o You can borrow up to £75000.

o You can avail a few tax benefits as well.

o With so many creditors you always get the best deal which includes low interest rates and easy repayment schedule.

o While online you can use other services available online like debt calculator, loan calculator etc.

o If you are not sure about anything you can also interact with our experts and discuss your problems.

Home is the place many people worship because for them it is a place where their god is. Therefore we should always keep it as it should be as a temple. “Home sweet home” is how the phrase is and if we keep making the efforts for that then it will keep our life sweet as well.

How to Find Free Home Business Opportunities

How would you like to find free home business opportunities? These free home business opportunities will allow you to work from the comfort of your own home, with absolutely no boss. How does that sound? For many, it is a dream. But for others to take action, is reality. In this article, I’m going to expose how to find free home business opportunities.

First of all, we should recognize that 97% of all home business opportunities out there are scams. That is quite an impressive number, and it should also let us know that we should be on the lookout.

We should also know, that searching on Google work at home opportunities is a horrible idea. You will find that most of the results, including the sponsored advertisements on the top and side, are nothing but one gigantic scam.

So where can you find a home business opportunity? The answer lies and work from home review sites.

These work from review sites are compiled by work-at-home experts who know what they are talking about, and no where and what the legitimate work from home opportunities are.

All these people do, dishes look for legitimate work from home opportunities, and post them on their site so they can help others.

Usually, these work from various sites will be categorized into many different categories, depending on what the job is. For example, data entry and paid surveys are two very common categories in these work from home review sites.

I highly recommend you use these work from home review sites when searching for free business opportunities at home.