Maintaining Your Home… Now or Later

Alan Heavens posted a terrific article in Friday’s Philadelphia Inquirer about the cost of putting off maintenance.  He cited many examples of things we DON’T do to our homes because of lack of time, expertise or money.  And of course, in the end, when it’s time to sell that house, we pay even more than we might have paid if we had kept up with the work all along.

The article made me think about how much of a mystery our homes really are to most of us.  A home is made up of thousands of pieces and parts, many of which require a particular expertise to maintain.  This is not a pitch to hire a professional whenever you need to change a filter, but it is a reminder to think of your home like you might think of your car, or your health… it has to be maintained.  If you don’t change the oil in your car, you can do irreparable harm to the engine.  And the value of that car when you go to sell it, will be significantly reduced.  And we know what happens to our health if we don’t exercise and eat the right food.

The article also made me think about remodeling, which is of course, our business.  Many homeowners need to fix up their homes when they are thinking about selling it.  But what about all the years you are living in your home and “living with” that old vinyl kitchen floor or the particle board cabinets in the bathroom that are swelling from the moisture?

Chances are you’ll spend the money to improve your home at some point.  Who deserves to enjoy the benefit of those home improvements – you or the person who lives in your home after you?

This always makes me so mad…

Jay Cipriani, President of Cipriani Remodeling Solutions

The headline in a recent Courier Post article read: “Home Improvement Contractors Top Consumer Complaint List.”  The article gives the stats:  of the 12,240 complaints filed in 2011 with the State Division of Consumer Affairs, 937 (7.6%) were about companies in my industry.  The next highest category was motor vehicle complaints.  Read Article Here.

So why was I mad?  Because home remodeling is an honorable industry and there’s no excuse for bad contractors continuing to be in this business.  This article goes on to say that contractors should be registered but that alone does not guarantee good service.

Good contractors are professionals who take their business seriously.  They don’t jump in and out of the industry because of the economy.  They are committed to developing best practices and delivering a quality product and quality customer service.

Good contractors stayed informed about new products and installation techniques.  They use trusted subcontractors for specialty trades like electricians and plumbers.  They also provide experienced job site supervision so a customer’s home is protected and cared for.

Good contractors talk to their customers, they don’t hide.  They listen to their concerns and follow up like a professional.  They provide information, advice and make sure their customer understands what to expect during a renovation.

Good contractors should be mad about the fact that there are too many bad contractors out there giving us all a bad name.  I know it makes me very mad…

 

~ Jay Cipriani