There are some qualms and complaints out there from people within the residential home improvement industry (remodeling, building, specialty trades, handyman, restoration, anyone serving existing homes inclusive). You have heard them–
…RRP is chasing away my customers to un-certified firms
…the new home builder in town is now doing remodeling hurting my remodel business
…homeowners are beating me up on price
…my pipeline of projects is drying up
…latest figures published in the news illustrating negative industry trends
…blah blah blah!
There are more but I hope to look at the glass as half-full rather than half-empty in this writing. My goal is to paint a brighter picture and highlight why I think this a great industry to be a part of on so many levels. I started off the list with 12 reasons in no particular order. What do you think? Please add your positive reasons by Leaving a Reply Below
Twelve reasons why home improvement is a great industry to be in:
- Jobs in construction, building, remodeling, repair, service cannot be outsourced to other countries or performed by a robot or computer. Much of our economy is based on ‘knowledge’ based jobs and those jobs can go outside the US. However, there will always be a need for those that are ‘skilled’ at doing home improvement jobs which can’t be outsourced.
- Of the 130 million housing units in the United States, 80 million are 30 years or older. This is a large and growing market as the older the home the more likely it is need of repair and renovation.
- Partly because of the recession and high unemployment, many projects have been put on hold and there is a pent up demand for home improvements. As the economy improves and homeowners feel more secure, they will be re-starting these projects.
- Home maintenance has been deferred as homeowners have had to re-prioritise spending. Homes may require additional repair because of this. Also, poorly built or poorly designed new home construction offers opportunities for repairs and upgrades.
- Aging baby boomer generation, many whom are/were DIYers, will be unable to do these home improvements themselves. Huge opportunities for projects ranging from aging-in-place, ADA, and other general renovations.
- Homeowners want ‘Green’ improvements and upgrades that are both affordable and demonstrate results. Things like caulking, weatherstripping, insulation while not as sexy as a solar hot-water heater, yield results at an affordable price point.
- There are many busy homeowners with two working adults that don’t want to spend whatever limited free-time they have on home maintenance and repair projects. They want someone reliable to do this for them.
- This is a good time to invest in training. Take the opportunity especially when things are slow to educate yourself. Those with some trade skills already have higher aptitude for acquiring other trade skills. Learning new trade skills makes one more valuable to their employer or their customers.
- Set your goal to be the ‘shining star’! This industry is ridiculed for its ‘unprofessionalism’ both from within and outside…don’t be one of the ‘hacks’ or ‘Chuck’s in a truck’. Separate yourself and be a professional. This is a good time to ‘professionalize’ yourself.
- There are not many businesses out there where you can start as low-level laborer and work yourself up and own your own home improvement business. Reach farther. For those that take a more professional approach there is ample opportunity to make a decent living.
- There are not many jobs one can do where at the end of each day, you can see the results of your work. This industry affords its members with a high sense of tangible accomplishment each and every day.
- The ups and downs cycles of our economy seem to occur in a 10 year cycle. Looking back at recent history. We had a recession in 1981, 1989, then again in 2001 after 9/11 and Dotcom bust. What happens after these economic down-turns? The economy rebounds, and takes off again. I believe it will happen again after this current recession. We all live in a house, apartment, townhome or treehouse or some kind of structure that needs someone to maintain it and make improvements to it.
Despite some current problems, in my opinion I believe the future is bright for the home improvement industry. Researchers at Harvard also have a positive outlook for remodeling. Have any additions? Reply below to make additions to this list.