Ah, the new industry group rag.
Hum a few notes and I’ll try to sing along.
Really! Here is the scoop right from the man who started this quest. Great things have started from less. Read what Spencer Smartt has to say and you decide if a group of regular folks can and will grow a group that appeals to many remodelÂ industry professionals.
A call to arms by Spencer Smartt
Dear Fellow Contractors and Remodelers,
I would like to speak with you concerning the formation of a new organization to represent the everyday contractor and remodeler that will do something for us rather than being just a “good ole boys club” such as the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI).
Here is the NARI history as shown on their website page titled â€œAbout Usâ€
NARI’s roots go back to 1935 when President Roosevelt’s National Recovery Act established the beginnings of NERSICA (The North East Roofing, Siding and Insulation Contractors Association).
In 1983, the National Remodelers Association and the National Home Improvement Council joined to establish the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). Today, NARI has 58 chapters nationwide and has enjoyed a sizable growth period during the past decade. In 2000, NARI moved its national headquarters from Alexandria, Virginia, to Des Plaines, Illinois, and as the Voice of the Remodeling IndustryTM, continues to prosper.
NARIâ€™s Core Purpose is to advance and promote the remodeling industryâ€™s professionalism, product and vital public purpose.
However this is not what and who NARI really is and as I see it, using their facts, there are some 652,000+ contractors and remodelers in this country and out of those NARIâ€™s total â€œselectiveâ€ membership is around 7,000 members. Now I donâ€™t know about you but I donâ€™t consider that to be the â€œVoice of the Remodeling Industryâ€!
NARI requires a whole host of requirements to become a member of their association and their national dues (Not their Chapter dues) are $260.00 a year.
NARI is also responsible to a certain degree for legislation and regulation which is extremely detrimental to the survival of many small contractors from the EPA and OSHA. They are not really working on your or my benefit! As a matter of fact in a recent news release here is what NARI has to say about the 80% of the total number of contractors that have NOT become certified by the EPA:
â€œOne of the unintended consequences so far on LRRP has been the underground economy created by those non-certified firms undercutting pricing on those following the rules. This, in turn, puts more homeowners in the target marketâ€”pregnant women and children under 6â€”at further risk.â€
In other words if you donâ€™t become LRRP certified by the EPA or you are not a member of NARI you are part of the problem because you are part of the â€œUnder Ground Economyâ€!
I have attached a â€œDraftâ€ copy of our proposed constitution for your review and a membership application. Initially the annual dues will $25.00 and probably always will be. We are just now forming this organization so we are asking those who wish to become a Charter Member for a $75.00 additional fee for that honor. Charter members are usually the core of most organizations.
One of our primary objectives is to establish a national â€œLead Programâ€ that is free for our membership. The initial cost for a customer to â€œregisterâ€ their â€œRemodel Projectâ€ with our organization will be $25.00 and we will allow three (3) contractors to submit bids for that customerâ€™s project. The winning bidder is required to refund the customerâ€™s â€œRegistrationâ€ fee. Our Organization gets to keep the customerâ€™s registration fee for the benefit of our membership. This in my opinion is a â€œWin-Win-Winâ€ situation for all parties involved. It will also eliminate the so-called â€œTire Kickersâ€.
There are no plans to award any acronyms such as â€œCertified Remodelerâ€ CR or â€œCertified Kitchen and Bath Remodelerâ€ CKBR or any other nonsense! We have no plans to form Chapters or host steak or chicken dinners and that type of stuff. This is going to be an organization made up of contractors and remodelers for contractors and remodelers! No â€œfat catsâ€ or big â€œIâ€™sâ€ and little â€œUâ€™sâ€ just a down to earth group dedicated to helping â€œeach and allâ€ with the development and benefit of our membership!
I have started the ball rolling on this because of my frustrations with trying to get something done about these big national lead companies such as Service Magic, Angieâ€™s List, Reliable Remodelers, etc. which have been ripping us off for years. A great deal of you are young men and women that this organization will benefit in future years. I myself am already retired but I am willing to perform the â€œKick Offâ€ so to speak and act as the temporary president until the organization is up and operating. There is a lot of work involved such as setting up a new website, newsletter, a blog and some committeeâ€™s such as a membership committee to help bring new members, etc. so please submit your membership applications and your dues as soon as possible so we can start helping you.
I have established a Trust Account at my local bank to deposit you membership fees and other funds for the organization. This account was set up some time ago and has been dormant so once the organization is fully established these funds will need to be transferred to a General Account for the use of our membership.
Please call me at 214-664-3900 or send me your number and I will call you to answer any questions that you may have. So far the response has been exciting and a lot of you are planning to join. Send us those apps!
Spencer K. Smartt
National Contractors & Remodelers Association (NCRA)
I feel there is room for a groupÂ that aspires to be just regular folks united by their work in the remodeling and construction industry.