Responsible homeowners like the idea that the people they hire to work inside their homes are experts. They’re not going to be taking any short cuts when it comes to the safety and quality of workmanship in the family home. Another reason is that when potential buyers are looking for a new home to purchase in Orange County, they’ll want to be assured of the dependability and reliability of the home improvement projects previously made to the property purchased.
How can you be sure of that high level of professionalism? What assurances do you have that the workmanship is up to the highest standards? Don’t be fooled with the C.R. upgrades of a new bathroom or a new kitchen unless it can be certifiably well-built. You should be hiring full-time, licensed, certified professional remodelers with years of experience and training. Professional certification is a great way to reassure you that the professionals your working with are constantly continuing their education and staying-up on the latest building codes and technologies. Here are some certifications you can look for when hiring a remodeling contractor to renovate your home:
But what are all these letters here about? What do they mean?
There are three main organizations in the remodeling industry that offer certification programs. The largest of these organizations is The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), and for more than 30 years, it’s been in the lead for certification in the industry providing outstanding educational programs. NARI educates their members and subsequently offers annual certifications, among others, to remodelers who commit their time and resources to fully educating themselves. They offer many certifications including:
- Green Certified Professional (GCP)
- Certified Kitchen and Bath Remodeler (CKBR)
- Certified Remodeler (CR)
Their website explains:
“NARI’s certificate program offers this assurance through its extensive screening and testing process. Only full-time, professional remodeling contractors are eligible for certification by NARI. You can be assured that any time you hire a NARI certified remodeling contractor, you are hiring an individual who has made a strong commitment to the professionalism of the remodeling industry and to his or her business. And because remodelers are not eligible for certification until they have been actively involved in the remodeling industry for at least five years, you know that the NARI certified remodeling professional you hire has had a number of years to develop the experience and skills that can only be gained through extensive hands-on practice. Read more here.
“All NARI certified remodeling professionals must participate in a combination of continuing education, association activities, community service, and/or other industry related activities to be eligible for annual recertification. These requirements, while not difficult to achieve, strengthen the individual’s skills as well as the overall reputation and meaning of NARI certification. Read more here.
Another organization is The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). They are at the forefront for the strengthening of the health and safety criteria found in our housing laws. The NAHB Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) is the building industry’s designation that a professional has been educated about the laws regarding safety and remodeling in the home, specifically educating them of the needs of seniors. In addition, CAPS certification proves that the professional receives extensive up-to-date education about how to make home improvements for people with disabilities or those elders that want to stay in their home as long as possible. The association also offers additional certifications such as:
- Certified Graduate Builder (CGB)
- Certified Green Professional (CGP)
- Housing Credit Certified Professional (HCCO)
The third organization is The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA). Their certificate programs offer a way for professionals to enhance their careers and provide value added services to their clients. They offer different levels of certificates such as:
- Associate Kitchen and Bath Designer (AKBD)
- Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD) & Certified Bath Designer (CBD)
- Certified Master Kitchen and Bath Designer
Deciding to remodel your home is a huge step which brings much satisfaction when accomplished by an excellent residential home contractor. Deciding who gets the job is key. Outside of buying your home, it may be the single biggest investment you make. You must make the best decision you can and you need to know that the remodeling contractor you choose is a full-time, dedicated specialist. By annually certifying the remodelers who successfully complete rigorous, ongoing extensive education, the industry knows that property owners all over the country will receive reliable work. Certification gives you, the homeowner, the best protection and assurance you can get. This is good for business and good for you.