Home improvement, instead of purchasing a new residence, continues to keep vacancy levels at an all-time low in Kansas City and across the country. According to the site Fixr, the estimated cost of home improvement in 2018 reached close to $200 billion. Kansas and Missouri represented approximately $6 billion of that cost.
Some of the renovation investments came from individuals handling improvements on their own. The rest were comprised of home owners who reached out to contractors for their upgrades. They look for the right organization or individual that performs the task within the budget and in a short period of time.
Local or National Contractors
During the planning process, one of the main concerns for owners is if they want to hire a local or national contractor. Though it may not matter to some, it’s a critical factor to other home owners. In fact, if they discover a seemingly local outlet is part of a national company, they may decide to go elsewhere.
If you are in the initial planning stages for an upcoming project, here are the factors to consider when deciding to go local or national.
Locally Versus Nationally Owned
There’s a true distinction between a contracting firm that is locally or nationally owned. For example, while K-Guard is a national company, licensed dealers operating within a predetermined geography are owned locally and familiar with the area. For this reason, they can determine the right gutters depending on neighborhood and climate.
While a nationally owned firm hires local contractors, management may come from the regional office or another part of the country. In this case, they encounter a learning curve as they adapt to the area and its needs.
Cost is also a factor in choosing between a local or nationally based firm. It’s not the cost of labor, mind you. Instead, it’s the cost of renovation materials and equipment.
When you choose a local firm, they most likely purchase their material from nearby providers. This can be an independently-owned location or a home improvement chain. Either way, the money and taxes paid to the businesses go back into the community.
If large enough, national contract firms have a regional warehouse where materials are stored. Therefore, prices may be higher as storage costs are factored into the contract. In addition, if supplies are needed from the national warehouse, your project may be delayed due to shipping or availability restrictions.
National companies have a slight advantage here. Local organizations handle projects with smaller staffs. If they have a large backlog of projects, or there’s an emergency repair, delays may increase on your project.
On the other hand, national firms have the capacity to move contractors to another location in order to speed up a project. Though it may take a day or so to put a team together, it can still be quicker than what the local company can do.
Full Time Versus Contract
At K-Guard, we have a full-time staff of installers who understand the ins and outs of our leaf free gutter system. Because they’re direct employees of the company, they receive a complete package of benefits. Overall, this helps us retain these skilled workers for many years.
Many national companies, but not all of them, hire these workers on a contract basis. While they may have the necessary skills to complete a renovation, they need to be brought up to speed on the company’s guidelines and procedures. By the time they do this, they could be let go due to a project’s completion or move to another organization.
In turn, this means you’re not getting the same level of service and “care” if contracted employees perform the work. Consequently, if your home is damaged or the contractor is injured, they won’t know the necessary guidelines. In the end, your project could be indefinitely delayed and any issues pertaining to poor work or service could fall on deaf ears.
What is Your Decision?
These are some of the considerations when choosing a national or local contractor and we recommend doing your own research. The pros and cons can vary widely depending on where you live and the planned project category.
However, when it comes to leaf-free gutter options in Kansas and Missouri, we believe you greatly reduce your project’s when choosing a locally owned company such as K-Guard. When you’re ready to upgrade to a leaf free gutter system, contact our full-time specialists who will work with you and provide a free estimate to get your maintenance-free gutters installed stress-free.