How to Prepare for a Recovering Home Improvement Market

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Sal Ferro is the President and CEO of Alure Home Improvements

A business colleague recently sent me an interesting article from the New York Times that inspired me to share some of my thoughts. The article reported that the home improvement market is showing signs of recovering nationwide and it offers some great tips for home remodeling customers to consider.

State of the Long Island Remodeling Industry

It doesn’t surprise me that the industry as a whole is seeing an uptick while we in the Long Island/Tri-State area seem to be showing signs of a slower recovery.

In 2008/2009 when other parts of the country were experiencing a down turn, the economy on Long Island and surrounding areas was still somewhat solid and was not showing the same rate of decline.

It’s not surprising to me that since we were late to feel the effects of a spiraling economy that we may experience signs of a recovery later than other areas.

When employment numbers and real estate values improve we will begin to see a beneficial impact in the home improvement market.

As Remodeling Rebounds, Homeowners Should Prepare

The New York Times piece also focused on steps that homeowners can take to better prepare themselves for a home remodeling project. I found many of their tips useful and wanted to add a few of my own. Homeowners need to consider so many things as they enter into a home remodeling project that much of the process can be over looked if they focus too much thought on the end result.

Some things to lend thought to as you plan the process:

  • Consider unexpected things upfront and how you, as well as your contractor, will handle them. Things like unforeseen damage due to rot and erosion during the demo can derail the timeline of a project. Give unexpected events some consideration upfront.
  • Be familiar with your homeowner’s insurance policy. Some policies can have clauses in them that require any projects that cost in excess of $25,000 to be reported to the insurance company so they can be sure the policy carries enough coverage. This is regardless of the level of coverage your contractor has.
  • Set aside a staging area for delivery of materials. Consider safety, shelter and accessibility when determining the location to store materials.
  • Insist that your contractor shows evidence of being properly licensed and insured.
  • Monitor how the work crew leaves the job site at the end of the day. Is the area being worked on being kept safe and clean?
  • At the conclusion of the job, be sure left over materials are removed and that your transformation has been completed to your expectations.

In today’s world, the consumer has access to so much information and that provides an opportunity to educate oneself.  We have an obligation to be a part of that education process and to learn from our customers opinions of their experience. You owe it to yourself to be properly informed and remodelers should be able to answer any questions you have.

Often time’s consumers will have a great deal of focus on the end result of the project and miss some key factors along the way. The remodeling process is a journey and considering all of the steps of the experience can make that journey much more enjoyable.

I thought the Times article was a great piece.  I’m interested: What are your thoughts?

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