Certifications and Why they are Important

Our company decided many years ago to affiliate with the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) and our local chapter, NARI Pacific Northwest. Not only are these great resources for clients looking for qualified remodeling companies, but they are also great resource for the companies that join for keeping up to date on products, networking, continuing education, and certifications. We joined NARI because they are geared towards the home remodeling industry and not to home builders, the members we met were professional, wanted to work on their businesses, and wanted to improve construction industry standards so people realized not all contractors are bad.

Starting the certification process with NARI seemed like a natural extension of our company’s morals and views, would allow our employees to take continuing education courses, and only better our company and give our clients more peace of mind in the long run. What does it take to become certified? First and foremost a commitment to learn and attend classes or self-study, demonstration of technical skills, business and project management expertise, tenure in the industry (based on the certification), and continuing education each year. After an application process to ensure the pre-requisites are met, each certification has a required multi-week preparatory courses that are provided by NARI. After the course is completed, a rigorous examination is taken by the applicant and overseen by a proctor that adheres to strict criteria must be taken and passed.

Once you pass, you are officially certified and get to rock some fancy letters after your name. Here’s what each letter stands for:

CR – Certified Remodeler, this was the first certification that Mitch received! To be eligible, you need to have 5 continuous years working in the industry, and 90% of the work volume must specifically be remodeling work. The Certified Remodeler course is 12-weeks long, followed with a test consisting of 200 questions. Certified Remodelers must meet 16-hours of continuing education per year to maintain this certification.

CRS – Certified Remodeling Specialist, is a service remodeler that specializes in masonry, electrical, plumbing systems, roofing, etc. The certification process is the same as the CR.

CRA – Certified Remodeling Associate, is designed for professionals that support the remodeling industry such as architects, designers, manufacturers, suppliers, and consultants. This certification is also the same process as the CR.

CKBR – Certified Kitchen and Bath Remodeler, are for professionals who specialize in kitchens and bath remodeling. To be eligible, you are required to have 5-years in the remodeling industry working specifically with kitchens and bathrooms, and the company you are working for must meet a minimum number of kitchen and/or bathroom remodels per year.
This was the second certification that Mitch sought, and the first certification that Debbie received. The course was similar as above, as was the test of 200 questions. Debbie was the first woman in Oregon to receive this certification. Each year Mitch and Debbie must submit 16 continuing education hours for recertification.

MCR – Master Certified Remodeler, are veteran certified remodelers who have held their Certified Remodelers certification for 10 consecutive years and hold at least one other certification through NARI. They must also have served with their local NARI chapter, and be involved as a leader in their local community. This process includes an extra step of including 3 letters of recommendation. Mitch has gained this certification!

UDCP – Universal Design Certified Professional, Mitch holds this certification as well. Universal design specifically addresses many components around designing for ADA compliance, but in a residential application.

CLC – Certified Lead Carpenter, this certification is for professionals in the remodeling industry that have worked for a continuous 5-years, and at least 2-years as a lead carpenter. Being a lead carpenter means they oversee every onsite aspect of the project, management, trade contractors, scheduling, safety, administration, and customer satisfaction. After the course study there is a 180-question proctored examination.

CRPM – Certified Remodeling Project Manager, is for competent remodeling professionals that are well-versed in operational and business aspects of remodeling projects that are completed on time. This certification also requires a minimum of 2 continuous years in the remodeling industry and also to be employed by a company that operates in compliance with the NARI Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.

You can find more information regarding each certification on the NARI website.

You can also read more about the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics that must be upheld by all members.