Unemployment rates are soaring and our economy is in crisis. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Individuals frantic to put food on their tables are opting for a default career putting out their “contractor” shingle whether they are qualified or not. Shocking but true, Real Estate agents are regulated more stringently about selling a home than builders are about the product that they are creating.
The myth is that there are regulations in the building industry. There are no regulations, codes of conduct or ethics, licensing or certifications that can guarantee that who you are hiring or the work that you are contracting to have done has any framework that is universally agreed upon let alone defining what “professional” means in this industry. There is no assurance that a homeowner is getting what they need, let alone what they are paying for. And they are paying plenty. 200 billion dollars was spent on home improvements and repairs in the United States last year. 66% of the jobs in the US are building related, all the more baffling that there is so little accountability or attention given to this industry when it is unquestionably, big business, any way you look at it.
Contractors are less trustworthy than used car salesmen. Nationally syndicated home improvement radio show host, Don Zemen, reports statistics released from the Consumer Federation of America, which place contractors at the top of the list, with the highest number of consumer complaints. What an honor.
The reality is, there are and will continue to be “contractor” horror stories, so although there is some attention given to this industry, it is generally negative and creates more challenges or most assuredly angst and cause for concern for homeowners needing home improvement services. There are plenty of reputable, professionals out there, take a look around your neighborhood, there are clearly more positive home improvement projects and stories than there are negative ones.
The question is how do you sort through it all to find a contractor or particular home improvement services when you need them? Educate yourself. Understand what you need to know before you hire anyone to do anything in your home. Know that licensing can mean next to nothing depending on what state or county your home resides in. Honor the professionals who are in this business for the right reasons.
Ensure that your contractor is committed to maximizing the investment, efficiency and value of your property while minimizing utilities and ongoing maintenance costs, with awesome building practices, quality control and integrity that meets your expectations by talking directly to actual clients, seeing real projects and knowing who you are letting into your home before you sign anything!