May is National Home Improvement Month, a celebration of the remodeling contractors who help homeowners around the country in developing the home they’ve always longed for. It is traditionally a month when the home improvement industry sees a rise in the number of projects undertaken as well.
As Milwaukee-area homeowners look forward to warmer weather and blue skies, members of the Milwaukee/NARI Home Improvement Council, Inc., the area's leading home improvement and remodeling industry resource for more than 49 years, offer these suggestions to those interested in beginning a home remodeling project in the coming months.
• Start planning the project early. It takes time to choose a professional contractor, finalize a design, select products, and secure financing, if necessary.
• Look over your property carefully, and then develop a list of needs and wants before talking to a contractor. Consider if there are repairs needed because of weather damage or if plans include expanding the home to increase its space and value.
• Review your homeowner’s insurance policy to see what adjustments are needed to alter for the value being added to the property. It is good to have an idea of the total cost of the project, beyond what you will pay the remodeling firm.
• Interview several remodeling contractors and ask for bids from at least three. Call references to get an honest opinion of the work performed. Consider hiring a professional remodeling contractor who is a member of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). NARI members must exhibit professionalism and sound business practices, be familiar with area building codes, and agree to uphold the association’s strict code of ethics.
• During the interview process, inquire about the contractor’s certifications, insurance, and request to see a copy, or get the name of the insurance agency, to verify coverage.
• Discuss how cost overruns and schedule changes are handled before signing a contract.
Even if a major remodel is not a part of the plan for 2011, it is important for every homeowner to ensure their home is operating properly at all times because the home is one’s most important investment. Milwaukee/NARI and its more than 800 members are ready to provide assistance and information on home repair, improvement, and remodeling. NARI members are considered among the best trained and most experienced in their fields, largely because of the organizations stringent ethical standards and educational requirements.
The Milwaukee/NARI Home Improvement Council was chartered in July 1961, as a Chapter of the National Home Improvement Council. In May of 1982, the National Home Improvement Council merged with the National Remodelers Association to form NARI - the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.
The Council's goals of encouraging ethical conduct, professionalism, and sound business practices in the remodeling industry have led to the remodeling industry's growth and made NARI a recognized authority in that industry. With over 800 members, the Milwaukee Chapter is the nation's largest.
For more information or to receive a free copy of an annual membership roster listing all members alphabetically and by category, and the booklet, “Milwaukee/NARI's Remodeling Guide,” call (414) 771-4071 or visit the Council’s Web site at www.milwaukeenari.org.
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