Will Your Contractor Survive a Slowdown?

Make sure you choose a financially sound company with a strong track record to be sure they will survive a slow down due to rising interest rates and incase the market cools.

The 2008 Great Recession due to the housing market crash was the result of a perfect storm that hit remodelers hard. U.S. Census bureau date released two years ago confirmed that a steep enough drop in home improvement spending along with a fall in demand for new homes put more than half the nation’s remodeling contractors out of business. Less-established firms were the most likely to fail.

Homeowners are left holding the bag with contractors fail because there’s no recourse for warranty support when needed.

Thankfully successful remodelers survived the mass extinction. Companies that survived went into the crisis with great business systems and solid financials. The recession caused even the best remodelers to exam and tweak their systems and processes to be better so that these remodelers were stronger than ever, ready to do business when the economy rebounded.

If you’re in the market for a remodeling project, make sure that no matter what direction the economy takes you’re working with a company that will be around to provide great service long after your project is finished. This is one case where longevity is critical, making an established professional remodeler a good choice.

Companies that emerged successfully from the Great Recession share some important traits. They were committed to the remodeling industry – despite less demand for their services, they were determined to keep their doors open to serve their existing and past customers, while maintaining experienced tradesmen.

Find a remodeler that has operated continuously under the same name because it’s far too easy to close one business and open under a different name, leaving customers without a warranty. Years of experience sound good but more important someone with 30 years’ experience owning the same company with the same name doing remodeling.

Established professional remodelers have a long list of past customers who will confirm that they honor their warranty and they will provide you with a written warranty. In order to respond in a timely manner when an issue does come up, they also have solid long-standing relationships with established suppliers and trade contractors.

Verify that the remodeler is a member of NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry).

NARI members are held to a Code of Ethics that they must recommit to each year.

Top level management in the remodeling business should hold at least one NARI certification.

An added feather for a remodeler is to be a CotY – Contractor of the Year award winner.

NARI estimates that it takes a minimum of five years to create a sustainable remodeling business. Businesses started in the last five years have never endured a tough market, so no one really knows how they will survive a slowdown. While many of new companies will prosper through a slowdown because they’re well managed, a remodeler that has successfully weathered past storms brings an added level of confidence.

No matter where the economy goes, there’s wisdom in choosing this type of remodeler. These companies have the management systems and processes in place along with the necessary working capital to be sure your project is properly completed on budget and on time.