Remodelers council helps you vet contractors

2013-05-26T00:00:00Z Remodelers council helps you vet contractorsMichelle Krueger nwitimes.com
May 26, 2013 12:00 am  • 

With a growing trend toward simpler living and low-maintenance homes, remodeling professionals, material suppliers and vendors help homeowners re-invent their existing homes. According to the US Census Bureau, during 2009-2011, 43.7 million homeowners spent a whopping $359 billion – or a median of $3,200 a piece – on improvements to their home.

While some homeowners completed their projects themselves, 63% hired a professional for projects including (in descending order of total expenditures) roofing, kitchen remodels, HVAC replacement, flooring/paneling/ceiling, windows/doors, bathroom remodels, patio/terrace/detached deck and recreation room. The top projects included improvements to appliances/major equipment, flooring/paneling/ceiling and windows and doors with one in four being listed as an energy efficiency improvement.

Incorporating the latest products, designs and amenities that also put the focus on a safer, healthier and more sustainable home, remodelers can transform anything from a single room to an entire home, tackling projects that range from the simple to the most lavish.

“When faced with a choice, many homeowners decide to improve their homes, rather than move,” Home Builders Association of Northwest Indiana (HBA) Remodelers Council Chairman Donnie Stash II of Stash Construction, Inc. said. “When it comes to modernizing the kitchen, replacing the roof, finishing the basement, adding a bathroom or making their home more energy efficient, most people will probably need to hire a contractor at some point in the process. The Remodelers Council is a group of professionals dedicated to educating the public on choosing reputable remodeling contractors as well as assisting the consumer in understanding the process and advantages of remodeling.”

Members of the local HBA, Indiana Home Builders Association (IBA) and the National Association of Homebuilders, the Remodelers Council focuses on the remodeling sector of the construction industry. Members meet stringent guidelines for financial stability and the insurance they carry, as well as pledge to abide by the NAHB Remodelers Council Code of Ethics.

“Today, more homeowners are discovering the benefits of home improvement projects when it comes to enhancing the potential of their living space,” Stash said. “Whether your needs are small or large, 'green' or 'aging in place' construction, will be unique. That’s why the Remodelers Council is such a great place to begin your search for a contractor. There are a number of proven local professionals ready to meet all your needs.”

Along with promoting their unique skills and reliable work ethic to prospective clients, members of the Remodelers Council are also dedicated to giving back to the community.

For example, late last year the group was instrumental in coordinating an appliance drive for the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

“The ReStore is an important source of funding for Habitat’s mission of building and remodeling homes for partner families,” Stash explained. “So from November to January, we worked in partnership with Maruszczak, Hometown and Nason’s appliance stores to have people donate their old appliances once they received delivery of their new ones. The ReStore would come out to pick them up, giving the donors a tax credit form with the retail value of their items included. It’s our understanding that this was an extremely beneficial partnership for the ReStore, and we hope to see it continue into the future.”

The Remodelers Council also joined forces with the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of REALTORS® and the Northwest Indiana chapter of the Indiana Mortgage Bankers Association to realize the vision of a group of volunteers from the United Way’s annual Day of Caring.

“This group worked together for several years, raising funds and making plans for a new outdoor play yard for the children of Haven House clients,” Stash said. “The existing facilities had not been significantly updated since the emergency shelter for domestic violence victims opened in 1983. This was the first time these three organizations partnered together, and from the time we tore down the old structure to bringing in a donated swing set and completing construction of the new playhouse with building supplies and toys donated by our supporters, it was a heartwarming experience. We’re currently looking to expand upon this experience and work with another nonprofit organization.”

In addition, the Remodelers Council had the opportunity to provide a local single mother battling breast cancer a newly renovated place all her own when she and her son were faced with the prospect of being homeless.

“This young mother was fighting for her life when she learned she would be losing her home,” Stash said. “A very generous donor came forward and offered to transfer ownership of a vacant home to her in St. John. It wasn’t long before a growing group of volunteers started pitching in to completely renovate the property. It was truly inspirational to see the way the community came together to help this family in need.”

The many generous volunteers for this project included: Gary Hobart Roofing, Suncrest Church Volunteers, Park Avenue Floors, Judd & Son, Saco Industries, Joe Florek (painter), VLS Painting and Decorating Inc., Stash Construction, Forest Ridge Academy, Von Tobel Hardware, Valenti Builders, Pros Painting, Jay Lieser (1st Metropolitan Builders) and Mike Stob (Electroglaze).

Along with giving their time and talent, members of the Remodelers Council work tirelessly to garner support for their community projects in any way they can, including spreading the word about any funding and/or donated items needed. The network of builder members and associates at the HBA are always supportive.

“The Remodelers Council works to promote professionalism in the industry through education and also serves the community with its talented pool of volunteers,” Stash added. “If you are thinking about remodeling your home, or know someone who is, please call one of the professionals from the Remodelers Council.”

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