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Celebrating 15 Years of Custom Homes and Additions


Certified Remodeler and Certified Lead Carpenter Programs Train the Remodeling Elite

At a festive annual event at this month’s chapter dinner meetings, September 7 and 8, EM-NARI announced the 24 recipients of this year’s advanced remodeling certificates including Patrick Perkins, Certified Remodeler, and Francis Perkins, Certified Lead Carpenter, both of J.E.P. Contracting, Inc of Millbury. The demanding Certified Remodeler (CR), Certified Lead Carpenter (CLC), and Certified Kitchen & Bath Remodeler (CKBR) programs require serious commitment and effort to complete. These 24 motivated graduates now have the advanced skills needed to join a select group of top remodeling professionals.

Bill Farnsworth, the head of EM-NARI’s Education Committee and principal of Custom Contracting in Arlington, MA, said, “Our newest certified members deserve our respect for the personal and professional achievement they have shown in completing these challenging programs.”

While the Eastern Massachusetts Chapter boasts graduates in its certified programs each fall, the programs are so significant that this year marked two firsts: the introduction of a new program for Kitchen and Bathroom remodeling (CKBR), which produced three members with that certification. And, for the first year, the chapter held training, study groups, and certification testing on Cape Cod, which produced five newly certified members.

Beyond individual effort, the certifications also show the commitment of both the sponsoring companies and of EM-NARI to the pursuit of excellence in the remodeling profession. Sponsoring companies are typically among the industry’s premier firms. One way to show their commitment to delivering the finest remodeling results for their customers is by ensuring that they attract, develop, and retain the best trained, highest skilled people in the business. Sponsoring companies both pay for the programs and give their employees the time to participate, typically a three to four month commitment to prepare for and complete the exam.

For NARI, the CR, CKBR, and CLC programs are chief among its initiatives to raise the level of performance and professionalism across the entire industry. At the same time, these programs help NARI ensure that homeowners have access to the kind of qualified professionals that they need and deserve.

The Certified Remodeler program is an intensive program designed to recognize and identify full-service remodelers. The exam preparation process covers several key areas, including business management, building codes and laws, plans and specifications, safety, technical skills, among others. The program involves nine weeks of serious study in focused discussion groups followed by an extremely difficult six-hour exam. The program is designed for owners or managers of firms that derive at least 90% of their sales volume through remodeling work, and have at least five years of industry experience. Those who become certified have demonstrated a comprehensive knowledge of whole house remodeling along with the business skill to run a successful remodeling company. This year, just six individuals successfully completed the challenging program.

The Certified Lead Carpenter program is an intensive program designed exclusively for lead carpenters who are skilled and knowledgeable in the technical, hands-on aspects of carpentry, as well as project management, supervision, and customer service. Like the CR program, the CLC program involves nine weeks of serious study followed by an extremely difficult six-hour exam. The program focuses on practical knowledge from carpentry to plumbing to plan reading, and also management and communications. Successful candidates must be “lead carpenters” with a minimum of five years of remodeling experience, at least two of them as a lead carpenter, with responsibilities beyond the technical production aspects of a project, covering supervision and customer service, scheduling, and safety. This year, 15 determined people graduated from the program.

The Certified Kitchen and Bath Remodeler program is designed to educate and verify the knowledge of those who specialize in kitchen and bath remodels. Candidates are required to have at least five continuous years of work on kitchen/bath remodeling, having remodeled at least four kitchens or baths per year. Becoming certified involves nine weeks of collaborative study group preparation, followed by a difficult 400+ question exam. The test covers business management, practices, and ethics, along with kitchen and bathroom planning, construction, and installation principles and practices. This year, NARI welcomed the first three Eastern Massachusetts members into that certification.