Saturday 9 April 2016

2016 NARI Spring Business Meeting Recap

It was an honor to attend the 2016 NARI Spring Business Meeting in Austin, TX this past week.  As President of the NARI Central Indiana chapter I was looking forward to learning new ways to help grow our great group of members and also hear from industry experts on the latest trends and developments in the industry.

Opening Remarks
As one can imagine work force development was a hot topic all week.  The labor shortage we see nationwide is staggering.  Contractors regardless of their field of expertise are desperately looking for employees who know the trade or simply energetic people who are willing to learn on the job!  Whether it was a general contractor in the Midwest Indianapolis or a Design-Build operation in Texas all were discussing ways to handle the problem.

Some chapters currently have programs in place to work through this problem such as working with the Department of Labor while others were taking a more “grass roots” approach and striving to get the trades back in high schools.  As we all know college isn’t for every high school graduate and NARI and its members want these young individuals to know they have great options available to them in the remodeling industry.  More excited information on several of these initiatives will be available in the coming months!

CoTY Awards Gala
As a first time attendee, the only one representing the dumpster rental industry I was excited for the CoTY (Contractor of the Year) Awards ceremony on Friday night.  This event, which was streamed live on the web for those that couldn’t attend in person showed the fine craftsmanship of NARI members from coast to coast in addition to some members from Canada.  Whether it was in the bathroom remodel category or a full house remodel a large contingency of awards were handed out over the hour and fifteen minute gala.  To view the complete list of award winners, click here.  Congrats to all the regional and national winners, you should be proud of your craftsmanship!

What was a pleasant surprise was to meet so many knowledgeable people from around the country willing to share information with each other.  Any questions from a newbie like me were answered in great detail.  The information exchanged through out the meetings in round table discussions, panel forums and after hours dinners are truly what make conferences like this so wonderful and informative.

As we all know large events like this cant take place with out the help and support of great sponsors.  Companies like Home Depot with their wonderful Home Depot Pro Rebate Program and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles with their Business Link rebate program were showcased prominently through out the meetings.  In addition businesses like Qualified Remodeler Magazine, Guild Quality, Sen Design Group, CEDIA, MarketSharp, Panasonic, Rebuilding Together and PennTek all chipped in to add insight on how their particular business can help chapters and their membership.
The Spazmatics rocked!
One can’t visit Austin and not enjoy the night life and live music!  A special thanks to the NARIAustin chapter for hosting a first class networking reception on Thursday night in historic downtown Austin.  In addition to a wonderful spread of food and drinks all attendees were mesmerized by the entertaining and comical Spazmatics band.  This networking event was another excellent opportunity to speak and mingle with other chapter executives and their wonderful members!

Special thanks to all the NARI members who made this Spring Business Meeting a huge success.  If you’re a NARI member and have never attended one of these meetings I would highly recommend it!  If your thinking of joining NARI at the local level I invite you to reach out to your closest chapter and get involved.  I know I cant wait til next year!

Monday 7 March 2016

What do you value from a Business?

In a technological based world, where everything is at your fingertips, what do you truly value from a business in this day and age?  In this weeks blog we are going to ask you five questions to think about regarding this customer service topic.

Do you value a relationship with the company?

Think about going to your favorite restaurant in Indianapolis you frequent every month or so, say Capital Grill.  Do you enjoy being able to speak with the owner, do you know the owners name?  Do you appreciate the fact that the waiter or waitress, know your name?  Do you like the personalized “touch” by being called by name as opposed to being a number or just another customer?  Are you more tempted to go back to an Indianapolis business where they know you personally? 
What do you value from  a business?
What value prompts you to give a thumbs up?

Is same day service paramount?

In a world of need it now, how much value do you put on getting the item right away?  Does it depend on what the item is or if it’s a special request?  In a busy competitive marketplace like Indianapolis, would you purchase a new tv or hire a dumpster rental service from the company that can get you the item same day over having to wait for an item?

Is price the most important aspect?

Are you only interested in price or do you value the added benefits that come with the price?   Benefits such as easy return options, extended warranties or added perks. 

Do you prefer a locally or family owned and operated company?

Does having someone vested in the community like Avon, Brownsburg or Carmel Indiana make a difference when you value a business?  Does knowing they aren’t a big corporation and family owned and operated have value to you?  Do you value the purchase more knowing the money spent will be reinvested into your local community?

Does Made in America make a difference?

Often times we see companies outsourcing products overseas because of cheaper labor and material cost.  Locally we just saw that done with Carrier moving their Indianapolis plant to Mexico displacing over 3,000 jobs to Indianapolis area residents.  Would you stop buying from this company if they took jobs from your back yard?  Would you pay more knowing that the particular product is made in the good ole USA by hard working Americans?  All things considered equal would you pay more for a product knowing it’s made on US soil with American workers?

After asking your self these five questions are you more inclined to do business with a local Indianapolis company who’s products are made in the United States and are operated by a family style business?  Or is price the end all and the only thing you are worried about? 
We would love to hear your thoughts on this matter and a different item you may value in a business.  Feel free to send us an email at or share your thoughts on our Facebook page at

Friday 5 February 2016

Choosing an Indianapolis Remodeling Contractor

Do you have an upcoming remodeling project in mind in the Indianapolis area?  Have you thought about choosing a contractor to complete the job?  We know this can be a very daunting task so we thought we would help you out!

Below you will find eight helpful tips when searching for an Indianapolis area contractor.  This list will give you some things to keep in mind when choosing the right contractor for your remodeling project!

1.   What is your budget?

In a perfect world there would be no budget but we all know we have to stay within a certain price range for the remodeling project.  Be sure to mention this up front so you and your contractor are on the same page. 

2.  Does the contractor have references?

Always ask for references from a contractor of their past projects.  Not only should they provide pictures and descriptions of past jobs but also phone numbers to contact previous clients to discuss their level of satisfaction.  Going over the references is key and should be diligently done before making a final decision.

3.  What are their payment requirements?

This will vary from contractor to contractor and also vary on the overall scope of the project.  If you have lots of custom items being made one can expect to put money down up front for these unique pieces.  It is also fair to pay for some of the materials and labor to get the project started.  Never pay a contractor in full up front.  It is important however to clearly define payment dates and job expectations through out the process.
Contemporary Stair Design
Will you go for a contemporary look with
your Indianapolis area remodel? 

4.  Do you have a tight schedule?

Having a tight schedule or an absolute deadline to have your project done may be an issue.  Being flexible will certainly allow more possibilities when choosing a contractor.  Often times you will find the more popular a contractor is the harder it is to get on his or her calendar.  Again discuss all this up front to avoid any confusion in the end.

5.  Are they licensed and insured?

Not only is it the law but for your protection it is vital to work with a licensed and insured contractor.  One of the first questions to ask is for the contractor to provide you this information up front.  If you are looking for a professional contractor in Indianapolis take a look at the following trade associations for their members.


6.  Do they service your area?

In a bigger city like Indianapolis this may be more of an issue then a smaller suburb but it’s an important question to ask up front.  Does the contractor service your particular area?  As work becomes more plentiful some contractors may stay closer to “home” and not venture too far from their base.  Always give the address of the property you want remodeled up front to avoid any confusion.

7.  Will my house be habitable during the remodeling?

Depending on the scope of the project this can be a valid question.  Does your house have one bathroom and will that be renovated?  If your remodeling your kitchen that may not be usable for a certain period of time.  Homeowners often times overlook these issues and do not plan ahead for such inconveniences.

8.  What will the contractors work hours be?

This is more of an issue with stay at home parents or parents with young children.  If the contractor will be working during the day this may interrupt the nap schedule of your children.  If you work or go to school during the day this wont be an issue at all.  Will the contractor plan on working any weekends or after hours?  Again get all this information up front to avoid any surprises down the road.

Below we will list some of the top contractors in the greater Indianapolis area.  We invite you to check out their websites and completed projects they have done.  If you like what you see give them a call about your next remodeling project!

Indianapolis Area Remodeling Contractors