Is builder and remodeler licensing right for N.H.?

The Home Builders & Remodelers Association of New Hampshire, which represents over 1,000 firms employing over 60,000 professionals dedicated to providing shelter to all New Hampshire citizens, is committed to developing credible solutions to deal with those few individuals and businesses that are providing substandard products and services to the buying public.

As an industry facing a great deal of demand for our product, we realize that, of the over 8,000 new home starts in New Hampshire and tens of thousands of remodeling projects completed annually, it only takes a few projects handled poorly to adversely impact the image of the industry. The vast majority of building professionals in New Hampshire enjoy excellent reputations for providing quality homes and construction services.

However, to address these concerns our association is taking a series of proactive steps to work towards solutions that will result in increasing professionalism in the industry, increased quality assurances in construction projects, and better relationships between consumers and builders.

The association already promotes ongoing education for our professional members through certification programs developed by the University of Housing. Professional designations offer excellent opportunities to improve skills, advance careers, and indicates a commitment to professional growth.

For the consumer, professional designations such as the Certified Graduate Remodeler and Certified Graduate Builder convey superior training, practical experience and in-depth knowledge of a very complicated business.

The association has taken a proactive step in filing a bill with the New Hampshire Legislature to study the feasibility of licensing residential building and remodeling contractors. This bill includes the important and necessary elements of: a contract-for-construction statute; reviewing licensing programs from other states which contain educational, testing and continuing training elements; and adopting a statewide residential building code for site-built construction that is currently lacking in our state.

We are certain that any law enacted that does not include these elements will fail to provide solutions for those few consumers who may be in the unfortunate position of having a poor experience with a building or remodeling company.

Kendall L. Buck, CAE, is executive vice president of the Home Builders & Remodelers Association of New Hampshire. This article originally appeared with an incorrect headline in the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of New Hampshire section of the Feb. 18-March 3 issue of New Hampshire Business Review.

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