If there is any single conclusion that can reached about the results of our survey of homeowners who have recently remodeled their homes, it’s this: Perceptions of professionalism and overall quality in the services delivered by remodelers vary greatly. It is almost like there are two different worlds of good remodelers and bad remodelers. Most people in this industry know that it is not as cut-and-dried. But that is the way homeowners see it. A remodeler either succeeds in winning over the customer or does not.
As we pored over the 756 responses to our survey, we found that a good percentage of respondents operated at extremes — motivated to tell the good about their remodeler and to give them very high scores, or conversely, to use our survey as an opportunity to vent. In presenting the results to our survey (pages 46 to 52), we confirm the immutable fact that emotions tend to run high when people undertake home improvement projects. This can be seen in several ways.
First, the higher the price tag for a given project, the more critical the remodeling customer became. Also, there were also some types of projects — sunrooms and porches and decks — that tended to get a free pass. This makes sense. Typically there is a high enjoyment factor associated with these spaces with minimum disturbance.Second, the results show that remodeling customers will reward good behaviors that seemingly do not impact the end result of the project. Common courtesy, setting proper expectations, being clear and honest, sticking to a schedule, cleaning the jobsite each day are really difference makers.
Keeping the jobsite broom clean at the end of each day appears to be a winning attribute. This is something that remodelers can definitely control. Keeping the jobsite clean speaks volumes about the way a remodeler will approach other tasks. If the jobsite is clean, they are likely to assume that you are as fastidious about pricing, scheduling, ordering products and supervising trade contractors. In short, we think there are a lot of clear takeaways from this research, and we hope to get your feedback to it and some of the other features in this our 30th Anniversary issue.
As you may have noticed, we have remodeled our magazine a bit. We have gone to a larger format to better show leading remodeling designs. We have also changed the front of our magazine. In this and each subsequent issue we will present news, market data and trends in Market Overview. We also introduce a section on Specialty News & Trends. Lastly, I want to welcome Mike Weiss to our stable of columnists. Mike is a longtime pro from Indianapolis who is a leading educator in our business. His insights will be a great addition to the magazine. Remodeling is an emotional business, and we want to spend the next 30 years helping you successfully manage through those customer emotions. We’ll do that by sharing the best practices, design ideas and new product information that you’ll need to continue to succeed.