While most home improvements these days are being performed by value conscious do-it-yourself homeowners, there’s still plenty of work for home improvement contractors. The role of contractors in helping homeowners upgrade their homes is that of trustworthy technical advisor and enabler, rather than home improvement project packager. For some homeowners, having to hire a home service contractor is akin to going to the dentist, for others it’s a valuable experience based upon trust and mutual respect. Earning respect and trust for contractors is a lot like finding a trusted friend of Facebook. Once you find them, you tend to keep them.
The risks and realities of DIY home renovation
According to a panel of experts at elocalplumbers.com, the current trend is for homeowners to remain in their current homes longer than in previous decades. The reasons are both practical and economic, stemming from today’s social undercurrent to strengthen family ties and social connections to both home and community. As a result of this trend, home improvements and renovations are focusing on creating traditional and culturally reflective living spaces and homes, both inside and out. The opportunity for contractors is to advise homeowners about their options and equip the homes with the latest technological, entertainment and energy efficient gadgets. If homeowners are going to remain in their homes longer, they want to have the latest and the very best products available.
The risk for the DIY homeowner is that remodeling a home to reflect the image and cultural identity of its owners may result in a home that is attractive to a smaller number of potential home buyers when it comes time to sell. But with long-term occupancy expectations, this may not be an issue, as this nation is founded upon diversity, and ethnic and cultural diversity within neighborhoods are more likely to result in new opportunities in a new market. In suburban America, the neighborhoods of the future are going to look quite different from those cookie-cutter suburbs of today. Contractors should strive to become aware of the corresponding changes in design and furnishings, a preference for “green technology”, and advanced home management and security technology.
The role of contractors
DIY homeowners have come to rely on contractors to advise them in the technical and economic aspects of all sorts of DIY home improvements. Leading the list are improvements that add value to a home by improving the comfort, energy efficiency, and utility expense. healthy, clean environment. So-called green technology has spilled over from quirky DIY hobbyists to a mandate for contractors to deliver on energy conservative remodeling practices as well as products. Recycling and reuse of discarded construction materials could become an important marketing tool for contractors seeking to attract like-minded home renovators.
Social networking for contractors
Contractors stand to benefit most from the power of social networking. Since consumers looking for a more interactive, personalized experience when planning renovations, managing their home’s environment and energy consumption (the carbon footprint), they are far more likely to embrace an established contracting company that their friends “like” on social networking sites like Facebook.
Delivering Quality of Life
According to Trane, a company that specializes in home environmental systems, homeowners “are willing to invest in green solutions that will keep their children and families healthy, comfortable and safe. They want peace of mind and a better quality of life. They want products and systems that fit their lifestyle and are easy to operate, easy to purchase and easy to live with. They want simplicity and dependability. It’s about delivering a better quality of life”.
In summary, the contractor-homeowner relationship has shifted from that of install, collect and forget, to that of advise, assist, and trust. Homeowners know what they want: a distinctive, quality living experience that reflects their identity. They also know who they can trust to deliver on their dream of having the perfect home to fulfill their dreams. Contractors that are in tune with them and the power of social networking and marketing are destined to thrive in the home repair and rennovation business for years to come.