CNI Newspapers Wisconsin:
So you want to remodel your kitchen…but you don’t know a single, reputable
contractor. Or you want to repaint your house, but none of the painters are
returning your calls. Or you’ve just moved in…your roof is leaking…and you don’t
even have a phone book. Where do you start? Who do you call? If you’re a smart
consumer, you contact The Home Improvement Network, a free contractor referral
service that services all of Southeast Wisconsin, including Waukesha County.
Whether you call in your project, or submit it online, you will get connected to
several reliable contractors – all established, pre-screened, local area
Waukesha contractors eager for your business. And yes, all this is free for you,
“What’s the catch?” you ask. There is no catch. The Home Improvement Network was
established in 1998 to fill a void in the home improvement industry…to provide
reliable and available contractors to the homeowners that need their services.
The Home Improvement Network connects reputable contractors with qualified
customers, and the service is unique to the Southeast Wisconsin and Chicagoland
areas. While there are other contractor referral services, most of them are
national and internet-based. They can’t necessarily evaluate contractors
first-hand, or offer the level of personalized service that The Home Improvement
Jason Boe is the Southeast Wisconsin area manager for The Home Improvement
Network, and he carefully, and personally, evaluates all of the contractors that
service the Waukesha and Milwaukee counties. Each contractor is interviewed in
person by Boe, references are verified, and proof of current insurance is
obtained before any contractor can become a member of the service. In addition
to being reputable and reliable, each contractor must have a reasonable level of
availability and must pledge two assurances: to service ten homeowners a
month…and to return all phone calls. In return, the membership contractors pay a
monthly fee based on the amount of referrals they receive from the service.
Membership contractors do not raise their costs or fees because they use The
Home Improvement Network, and The Home Improvement Network never receives a
percentage of any projects their contractors complete.
Starting in November 2002, The Home Improvement Network was proud to become a
member of the Milwaukee/NARI, and exhibited at the NARI home improvement show at
State Fair Park in February. You may have personally run into Boe at The Home
Improvement Network booth at the NARI show, or at some of the other home
improvement shows this past Spring, including at the Waukesha Home Expo and at
the Midwest Express Center.
To date, there are over 200 contractors in The Home Improvement Network,
including about 40 that service Waukesha county for several different types of
home improvements, including siding & windows, kitchen cabinet re-facing,
roofing, and more! Maybe you are looking to install new hardwood floors, or to
refinish existing hardwood floors, if so, then Peggy Mayer of Heritage Hardwood
Flooring, based in Dousman, is ready to give you a free in-home estimate for
your project. Perhaps you tell The Home Improvement Network that you need some
interior or exterior painting or staining done? Then Chris Marins of Certa Pro
Painters, based in Waukesha, would likely be calling you to schedule an
appointment at your convenience. Whether it is smaller handyman projects via
House Doctors out of New Berlin, or larger remodeling projects and room
additions via T.G. Remodeling out of Muskego, there is a Home Improvement
Network contractor available and ready in Waukesha county to give you a free
estimate right away!
“There is a great deal of distrust between consumers and contractors,” says Boe.
“A lot of it is simply lack of communication.” The Home Improvement Network
staff talks with each of the homeowners so they can understand the full scope of
the project. Then they can match them up with the right contractors for that
type of job. “We only refer contractors who have the capacity to take on new
work. Construction is still largely a mom-and-pop industry, which means a
contractor can only handle so many projects at once. When they’re already busy,
they tend not to return phone calls. Finding a good contractor doesn’t have to
be a negative experience,” explains Boe. “Our job is to take the headache out
To inquire about receiving free estimates for your next home improvement
project, or just to get more information about The Home Improvement Network,
please call toll-free at 1-(800) 553-1810, or submit your project online at
www.thehomeimprovement.com and a customer service representative will contact
you right away!