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

It’s time for Washington to step up and pass a law that will force states to better regulate the housing industry. Washington has so far abandoned regulation of the home improvement industry to state governments, and for some reason many states have failed.

There are still states that don’t even have a home repair contractor’s license. For some states that are licensed, the licensing requirements do not include the applicant’s demonstrated ability to perform any kind of home improvement work. (It’s like saying I’ll give you permission to cut a haircut, but you don’t have to show that you know how to cut your hair……… i!’ cut your hair……… Oh!) So why cut your hair at all? !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!! to issue permits when there are no requirements for proof of competence? Returned? Or may they need more consumer complaints to handle consumer issues and BBB? Unfortunately, the consequences of this problem are that homeowners pay the price for poor finishing and a cascade of problems with improving the home.

Let’s face it, the home improvement industry doesn’t seem to attract the most reliable, honest and knowledgeable people. The charm of fast dollars and the relative ease of “qualification” to do the work of improving the home bring a lot of “character” to your door. When I was an entrepreneur, I had to hire people for various positions in this field. Most of the people I interviewed and sometimes hired seem to have similar problems with previous employers. These problems included substance abuse problems, integrity problems and reliability problems. It seemed that the workforce never had an abundance of talent and employment opportunities.

I remember always reading article after article about a serious shortage of labor in the field of home repair. The essence of any article will always be the same: “If you can find an honest, reliable and competent person who will work for you, do your best to keep him !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! happy person, because you will never know if you will be able to find someone who will take their place. As an owner, it was a constant and stressful problem.

Over the past 10 to 15 years, labour shortages have been the biggest problem in the home repair industry. Many entrepreneurs train and hire minorities to deal with this serious problem.

If you talked to your national authorities about what is being done to improve regulation and verification of improving housing conditions, they would most likely tell you that something is going on or that there is no money for additional regulatory requirements (tests). I’ve heard it for 30 years. The county I live in (Suffolk County, New York) still does not require a demonstration of the possibility of renovating a home to obtain a license to renovate a home. The cost is steadily increasing, but the requirements remain unchanged. We are one of the highest-tax countries in the country, so I refuse to believe that there is no money to develop and implement better oversight and control processes in the area of improving housing conditions.

The National Association of Remodeling Industry is the only national organization that offers certification to people working in the field of home improvement. They have a number of different certificates that can be obtained. To obtain these certificates, the candidate must demonstrate a variety of knowledge, from good business practice to project knowledge. The most important CERTIFICATION of NARI is called – Certified Remodeler (CR). This certification requires a candidate to make a complete matrix or summary of his or her experience and knowledge and get a certain score on an 8-hour exam. Of the hundreds of thousands of housing repair contractors in this country, only about 1000 are RCs. I received this certificate in 1994 and I am still proud of this certificate. I recognize that getting this certificate is a time-consuming and easy process, but it was worth it. What I also like about this certification is that it needs to be updated every year, demonstrating a constant commitment and knowledge in improving housing conditions.

Why, then, could Washington not introduce a kind of nationwide background check that anyone interested in improving housing should be able to “pass” to get a license?

I think the ideal situation for licensing would be to separate housing licences into sub-licenses. For example, if you were a toilet cleaning contractor, you would only be allowed to improve the bathroom. This would clarify what licensees are allowed to do, rather than issuing a single license that might give the false impression that the licensee is capable of performing any type of project.

I believe that Washington should intervene in this matter, because the American public does not have time to wait for each of the 50 states to individually propose a similar solution.

However, if Washington had taken action and introduced a national testing and testing situation, you would still have to deal with the testing people who came to work at your home. (if they were not the persons who have been vetted and licensed) these people, we hope, would be employees of the person inspected. The owner is back to square one, not knowing the qualifications of the people who are working on his house? I tend not to think so, because the person who has been tested and obtained a license wants to keep the license. It is in the best interest of a qualified professional to ensure that the project is properly implemented. Problems arise when the entrepreneur has too much work and he tries to do everything with the help of inexperienced and unskilled help. The temptation to finish more work and earn more money sometimes “undermines” the business. This, in turn, leads to quality problems and completion of the project. Employees of licensed and selected contractors must “match” a level comparable to THAT of NARI as a senior carpenter.

Will any of these much-needed changes soon take place? Frankly, I wouldn’t hold my breath expecting Washington to join the board, and I don’t think your state or local government will also significantly improve housing regulations.

So what should a homeowner do to protect his home and property? Get the right “tools” and the right knowledge to protect your home from bad and landscaping situations.

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