The values and norms an organization adheres to and expects from its employees is at the root of any code of ethics. By defining these expectations, it establishes the way in which an organization will make decisions and perform its duties and paves the way for growth.
The remodeling industry has a broad spectrum of services — from handyman tasks to large-scale home additions and renovation projects. Homeowners may be overwhelmed when searching for a remodeler, regardless of the size of the project. A proliferation of home improvement shows and social media content using the magic of editing to depict whole-home update in the confines of a 30-minute show or in simple before-and-after photos can make expectations difficult to manage. Adding to the confusion is the number of services that promise to connect homeowners with professional contractors. Between unrealistic expectations and a plethora of “find a contractor” services it may difficult for a remodeling contractor companies to stand apart.
Constructing an ethical framework
An organization such as The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) provides a Code of Ethics for remodeling companies that ensures integrity, ethical behavior, and supports homeowner trust. Founded in 1982 with roots dating back as early as 1935, NARI provides a unified code for business conduct that supports ethical, trustworthy, and professional behavior.
Each member of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry pledges to observe high standards of honesty, integrity, and responsibility in the conduct of business under the following guidelines:
- Promoting only those products and services which are functionally and economically sound and consistent with objective standards of health and safety
- Making all advertising and sales promotion factually accurate, avoiding deceptive or misleading practices
- Writing all contracts and warranties in compliance with federal, state, and local laws
- Promptly acknowledging and taking appropriate action on all customer complaints
- Refraining from any act intended to restrain trade or suppress competition
- Obtaining and retaining insurance, licensing, and/or registration as required by federal, state, and local authorities
- Taking appropriate action to preserve the health and safety of employees, trade contractors, and clients
Responsible practices that benefit everyone
Adhering to a code of ethics helps mitigate risk. For a remodeling contractor company, obtaining and retaining insurance and licensure from federal, state, and local authorities protects the business. Managing employee safety by following best practices and health and safety guidelines is another way to build trust, demonstrate integrity, and manage risk.
Remodeling projects can be complex. It is not uncommon for changes in the project due to product availability, unforeseen issues, or plain miscommunication. The key to success is to have a foundation in place to support communication and behavior to build trust while managing risk for any business. For more information on NARI visit: www.nari.org.
Robert Kirsic, CRPM, President, National Association of the Remodeling Industry [email protected]