Did you know, that year after year, the Home Improvement industry is rated by consumers as one of the most complained about industries in the United States, and has the highest levels of consumer dissatisfaction?
Are you aware that a study by USA Today found that the average life expectancy for home improvement projects is only 8 to 12 years for products that are marketed as “Lifetime”?
So why are so many home owners wasting thousands of dollars doing and redoing roofing, siding, and window replacement projects multiple times?
Here’s the Unfortunate Truth:
Consumers lack the correct knowledge. And home improvement companies take advantage of that lack of knowledge.
When it comes to the home improvement process, there are 2 types of homeowners:
Aware Homeowners & Unaware Homeowners.
Unaware Homeowners are the perfect target for typical contractors.
Unaware homeowners assume that:
- simply going through the process of getting 3 or more bids and picking from one of those is enough;
- using an online “prescreening” service to find companies to get bids from is enough;
or 3. simply trusting a singular online “reputation” company is enough to keep them from making costly mistakes.
If this were true, the home improvement industry would have a much better reputation today.
Don’t be an Unaware homeowner. Be aware!
Aware homeowners have the correct knowledge.
They understand the issues that need to be addressed with their home, but more importantly, they understand what to look for in contracts to protect themselves. They demand specificity. They are knowledgeable of their rights as consumers and how to legally protect themselves.
And finally, aware homeowners don’t make assumptions.
Don’t take our word for it. Here are recent examples of the high cost of being an unaware consumer.
Case Study 1: Rick and Marcy needed a new roof. She’s a teacher and he’s an engineer. They thought they did their due diligence in finding and selecting a roofing contractor.
Result? Their $16,500 roof project turned into $104,000 and forced them into bankruptcy because they were unaware of, and were tricked into foregoing certain rights that they had as consumers.
Case Study 2: Eric needed siding and replacement windows for his home. He conducted his own research for 2 years and he chose a contractor that he thought was the most qualified for his project.
Result? He needs to come up with an additional $68,000.00 to have the work completely redone. Eric was proposed the wrong solution and he failed to properly protect himself by accepting vague language in his project contract.
These homeowners are now AWARE. Unfortunately, they had to pay a huge price for that awareness.
We could go on and on with example after example of projects gone bad, lifetime-warrantied roofs failing only after 5 years, brand new siding failing after 16 months, expensive replacement windows failing after 2 years.
WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN & CONTINUE TO HAPPEN?
The fact of the matter is that the current process of buying home improvement projects is inherently flawed. There’s a definite conflict of interest that occurs when salespeople are the ones proposing solutions for your home improvement project.
Salespeople are incentivize to tell you what you want to hear in order to make their commissions. This is also true if you are dealing directly with the “owner” of a smaller company whose cash flow depends on you buying from him.
Vague contracts, lack of details, verbal promises, homeowner’s lack of knowledge, etc. all benefit the salesperson and contractor.
So, what is a homeowner supposed to do?
CONGRATULATIONS. That’s the perfect question to be asking at this stage and is the start of your journey to becoming an AWARE Homeowner.
Here are 2 important steps that you need to take next.
First, absolutely DO NOT call to get a free estimate or quote from salespeople!
Instead, become better educated about your specific project requirements. You may not need a new roof, new siding, or new windows. Sometimes, the best solution is a simple repair. However, you won’t get that diagnosis from a salesperson or contractor because they don’t make money from that diagnosis.
A proper diagnosis can be had from a Certified Home Advisor from Guardian, Inc.
A Press Release on Guardian was featured on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel website that had the following headline:
Guardian Shows Milwaukee Homeowners a Better Way to Buy Home Improvements.
A local home improvement company breaks sharply from the negative industry norms and is transforming the home improvement industry.
A critical component of the transformation referred to in the press release is the innovation of the unbiased inspection and diagnosis by a Certified Home Advisor. It is the critical first step of providing home owners with the proper information about their project.
Additionally, Guardian provides homeowners with critical information that helps you to completely understand what your rights are as homeowners, and ensures the contract that you eventually sign protects you and are NOT positioned to benefit the contractor.
Get the information that you need.
Click on the links below to learn more about the inspection process and about your rights as a consumer.
If you have questions, you can use the chat function on the Guardian website to get your questions answered. Of course, you also call or send an email.
Avoid the high price of being an Unaware consumer. Become Aware Today.