Building a strong foundation

All remodeling projects start with a vision. Once that vision is in place, a plan is laid out to guide the project from start to finish. For the National Remodeling Foundation, our vision is clear – to unite the remodeling industry for the greater good and to ensure the industry's growth and security. 

As the foundation of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), it makes sense that our projects emphasize renovation and rebuilding. However, those unfamiliar with our work may not realize that the real focus is often on the people, not the home. Some of the most rewarding projects championed by NRF members have involved rebuilding the bonds of communities through humanitarian efforts.

In 2001, the NRF raised $84,000 for its relief project in New York City after the 9/11 attacks. The funds were used to provide materials and tools for members of the NYPD, FDNY and FBI in the area. Volunteers from numerous chapters helped build vital structures for rescue workers. In just one day, the Massachusetts chapter created an off-site containment room for safety equipment storage in an old 44th Precinct basement. NRF members gathered donations for rubber suits, masks, goggles and other safety equipment required for the dangerous on-site work.

NRF members constructed sheds around Staten Island for the NYPD and other workers sifting through debris to rest between shifts. Because of the dangers presented by scattered debris, walking ramps were also created so that people could walk safely without falling or tripping. Other projects included building roofs over trailers used by police, firefighters and other groups to protect them against the elements. 

Our members are eager to assist those in need whenever disaster strikes. In 2005, the NRF and NARI collected funds for the Red Cross to aid Hurricane Katrina victims. Most recently, our board established a starter fund to rebuild homes in New York after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. The NRF also served as a reputable public service resource for homeowners seeking advice on hiring qualified remodelers and contractors to rebuild what was lost. Homeowners were encouraged to visit the NRF website for tips on dealing with mold after a flood.

Through our work in the community, we have seen that our members truly can make a difference. Because of this, the NRF is fully committed to creating sustainable endowments that advance the remodeling industry. To that end, we award annual scholarships to students seeking degrees and certifications in remodeling through university or technical college training. We want to help the best and brightest young minds realize their full potential and support their passion for remodeling. The NRF also provide scholarships to professionals who wish to attain industry certifications.

As with any remodeling project, building upon a strong foundation is important. Because of our work both in the field and in the classrooms, donors gain confidence in the organization’s vision. They know that together we can accomplish great things not just for ourselves, but for the greater community. Regardless of the challenges laid out before us, our members will rebuild what was lost and leave the world a better place than they found it.