Top remodeler will preach to help revive his industry Award winner urges contractor unity

March 17, 1996|By Laura Barnhardt | Laura Barnhardt,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Mark Van Reuth, a remodeler for nearly 20 years, has been doing a little preaching in his spare time about the salvation of homes and the revival of the remodeling industry.

His message, which has been well-received by homeowners at conferences and home shows, has also been recognized by The Remodelor's Council of the Homebuilders Association of Maryland, which has named him the 1995 Remodeler of the Year for his efforts.

"I don't think that I like getting up and giving speeches per se," Mr. Van Reuth said , "but the benefit is being able to provide education about the industry."

Trying to dispel the stereotype of the "tin man" contractor, Mr. Van Reuth, a certified graduate remodeler and a member of the Remodelor's Council board of directors, has become an unofficial spokesman for remodelers in the area.

For consumers, Mr. Van Reuth outlines the advantages of remodeling their homes, offers guidelines on how to select a reputable contractor and distributes association guides.

Within the industry, he has been leading efforts to fill the gaps in legislation that regulates remodelers and contractors.

"Right now there's such a diversity between contractors from the large, commercial operations to the small, independent contractors. We need the industry to become more unified," he said. "We'd like to eliminate the unprofessional and unlicensed contractors and remodelers."

Mr. Van Reuth has also been stressing the importance of communication to both remodelers and clients.

"It's important for everyone in a remodeling project to be consistent and have a clear understanding of what the customer wants. There are many day-to-day issues that come up," he said.

Consumers should not hesitate to bring up any concerns that they might have to the remodeler, Mr. Van Reuth said.

An ability to communicate is one of the most important skills Mr. Van Reuth, 38, says he's learned as a remodeler.

It may account for much of his success.

In addition to being recognized for several of his remodeling projects and earning the certified graduate distinction, Mr. Van Reuth was also named Remodeler of the Month by the National Association of Home Builders in August.

And Mr. Van Reuth, president of Brightview Builders Inc., has been included in Remodeling Magazine's "Big 50."

project and turning it into a person's dream home," he said. "And I really enjoy the people I come in contact with from equipment operators to the homeowners."

Pub Date: 3/17/96

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