Three Easy Steps to Go Green Remodeling
Incorporating green remodeling into a remodeling business is much easier than remodelers might think, in part because many remodelers already are green, according to Michael Strong, CGR, GMB, of Brothers Strong in Houston.
A green remodeling project by the Brothers Strong.
Recently, he offered remodelers three easy steps to make their businesses greener:
- Recognize That Remodeling Is Green
“Being a remodeler, you are by definition already green because you already spend your days working with your clients to solve problems related to energy efficiency and indoor air quality,” Strong said.
In addition to energy efficiency and air quality, Strong pointed out that remodelers usually help clients reduce noise and dust and create comfortable homes. All of these elements involve green considerations, he said, so recognizing that green is already a part of a remodeler’s purpose is critical to understanding and expanding green business practices.
- Establish a Green Foundation With Easily-Identified Options
“Radiant barrier decking, tankless water heaters and environmentally friendly paints are all low-hanging specifications that remodelers can spec in every one of their green building projects,” said Strong. Knowing the green baseline and incorporating these specifications on remodeling projects establishes the foundation for green remodeling business.
- Look for Green Opportunities
The third step to green remodeling excellence involves looking for green remodeling opportunities, selling green options to clients and continually expanding green remodeling techniques, Strong said.
“Find areas where you can expand those baseline specifications and offer your clients green upgrades,” he advised.
Some of these options could include tile with recycled content, high-efficiency air conditioning systems and wood flooring and other wood products that are either recycled or harvested from certified well-managed forests.
NAHB’s Certified Green Professional Designation: A Place to Start
Strong suggested remodelers who should consider earning NAHB’s new Certified Green Professional designation to learn the fundamentals of green building and help them develop their businesses.
Remodelers should not wait too long, though, Strong observed. Savvy remodelers are already learning all they can about green remodeling and they already are incorporating green business practices into their companies.
Green remodeling is an excellent way to diversify a remodeling business, build new revenue streams, acquire new profitable partnerships and increase profit margins, Strong said. What’s more, the demand for more green is consumer-driven.
“Home owners are coming to me asking about these things,” Strong said. Oftentimes, they want to learn more and want to know what’s involved.
“They’ve come to me saying, ‘What is it?’ ‘I want it.’ ‘It sounds cool.’ ‘It sounds important,’” said Strong, noting that part of selling green to clients is explaining the options available to them and how they vary in complexity and cost.
The two greatest challenges Strong has encountered in developing his green remodeling business are finding retailers who know about green products, and finding trade contractors willing to learn about green.
He’s now developed relationships with product manufacturers and found new contractors to replace those unwilling or resistant to green remodeling jobs.
“Green is not going away,” Strong said. “The sooner you get on the bandwagon the sooner you can profit and the sooner you can earn green by building green.”
Increase Your Professional Credibility
The Certified Graduate Remodeler (CGR) designation emphasizes business management skills as the key to a professional remodeling operation.
Remodelers who earn the CGR become members of an exclusive national program and gain recognition as industry leaders.
To learn more about the CGR designation, visit www.nahb.org/CGRinfo, or call The Professional Designation Help Line at 800-368-5242 x8154.
Earn NAHB’s New Green Designation at the National Green Building Conference
The Certified Green Professional (CGP) designation teaches builders, remodelers and other industry professionals techniques for incorporating green building principles into homes using cost-effective and affordable options.
Both required courses for the CGP will be held at the National Green Building Conference, May 11-13 in New Orleans.
For more information, visit www.nahb.org/GreenBuildingConference.
'How to Find a Professional Remodeler' Available at BuilderBooks.com
The brochure guides consumers from the dream to the reality of having their homes remodeled by skilled and trained professionals. Sections include what to look for in a professional remodeler and what questions to ask.
To view or puchase this publication online, click here, or call 800-223-2665 to order.