James Yang

Having the government involved in your remodeling business can slow your growth, waste financial and personnel resources, and damage your company’s reputation. Unfortunately, many remodeling companies unwittingly invite government scrutiny by failing to assure they have a sound compliance structure in place. It’s simple: If you want government out of your business, build compliance into your operations and create partnerships with regulators. Too many remodelers fall into a trap on this one.

The regulations that govern the remodeling industry have two specific purposes: protecting consumers and collecting revenue. Most consumer protection remodeling regulations were established to protect folks from the old aluminum siding scams prevalent in the 1950s and ’60s. The result was a series of regulations that were hard to comply with and no better than what reputable remodelers were using anyway. Be that as it may, the remodeling company that ignores compliance does so at its peril.

Get Strategic

Those of you reading this have worked hard to build a brand; to build a solid reputation in your community for good workmanship and professional habits. Many of you have grown to cover multiple locations and even multiple states. Yet it is remarkable that many (if not most) growth remodeling companies do not include a strategic approach to regulatory compliance in their business plans. Unfortunately, the bigger your company gets, the more visible you are to regulators; and the more visible you are, the more dangerous and expensive non-compliance can be.

Healthy Relationship

In simplest terms, if you want government to stay out of your business:

1. Make sure that compliance is an integral part of your business planning.

2. Dedicate resources (money and people) to ensure that your operations are compliant.

3. Take the effort to meet and know your regulators before you get in trouble.

The remodeler who treats compliance and the people charged with enforcement respectfully and cooperatively will be rewarded with a healthy relationship with the regulators. It’s one more way you build the kind of brand reputation you need to be successful in the communities you serve.

—Attorney Richard Feeley is a Panel Mediator for the American Arbitration Association and President of Feeley Mediation & Business Law, providing strategic legal solutions to residential remodelers. feeleymediationbusinesslaw.com.