Harth Production Manager, Dave Keebler, Leads NARI Remodeling Certification Class

Dave KeeblerThe Bucks Mont Chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) is nearing the completion of the latest Certified Kitchen and Bath Remodeler (CKBR) training program. The rigorous 10-week course culminates with a 4 hour closed book examination. Each participant who passes the 200 question exam will earn the right to add CKBR after their name signifying that they are among an elite class of remodeling professionals.

There are 7 participants currently enrolled in this program, including our own Katie Petruzzo and Samantha Pratt. Their class will soon take the exam at Harth Builders in Spring House, Pa. Results will be tabulated at NARI headquarters and participants will be notified by mail with their results shortly thereafter.

According to Cindy Foley, Education Coordinator with NARI’s national office in Illinois, there are only 19 remodelers in the Bucks-Mont area who currently hold this certification. In the entire state of Pennsylvania, there are 38 remodelers with current CKBR certification and only 270 across the United States. The CKBR certification requires annual renewal. In order to maintain this designation, remodelers must earn 10 hours of continuing education credits, and submit a renewal application and fee each year.

The certification program is available to both NARI members and non-members, but in order to qualify to participate in the training, interested parties must meet a host of requirements, among them having five years of continuous remodeling industry experience, and at least 16 hours of continuing education

While the course curriculum and exam were developed by NARI at the national level, the course is being facilitated by our own, David Keebler. Keebler, who holds multiple remodeling certifications of his own, is our Production Manager. In his free time, he volunteers on the Education Committee for the Bucks-Mont NARI Chapter. According to Keebler, the CKBR designation is a differentiator among remodeling professionals– and is a credential that is particularly important for homeowners. “Earning the CKBR certification is an investment of time and resources that yields real dividends” shared Keebler. “It sets remodelers apart from their competition in the market place as professionals who are committed to quality, and adhering to industry best practices.”

Participating in the program offers additional benefits for remodelers. Per Keebler, “Participants in [CKBR] classes tend to bond and form lasting relationships. After spending 25 hours discussing the topics and sharing experiences, you connect on a personal level with your classmates.” Joe Trave, Bucks-Mont NARI President agreed with Keebler, adding that “relationships that were established in the certification programs have resulted in business partnerships, project referrals, and even employment opportunities
for our members.”

Harth Builders Honored with Multiple Best Awards

Harth Builders Named Best Home Remodeling Firm in Multiple Categories

Houzz-BOD-2016Best-of-HH-2015BestOfH&HLogo_IndependentLiWe are excited to share that Harth Builders was recognized with three remodeling industry awards. We were honored to be named one of House & Home Magazine’s 2015 Best Home Improvement Companies in two categories: Best New Home Builder, and Best Independent Living Contractor. And, for the fourth consecutive year, Harth Builders received Best of Houzz honors for Design. Read our press release for the complete details on both awards competitions.

Our team is fired up about these awards and here’s why. Participating in these competitions pushes us to stay on top of our game and ahead of the industry curve. Would we work so hard if we weren’t competing? Absolutely. We are committed to making our clients’ homes their favorite place to be. But, winning remodeling industry award competitions is like the cherry on top of the proverbial cake. The awards are crowning achievements which validate the quality of our work in a visible way that everyone, including our clients, can appreciate and enjoy.

Congratulations to our staff members, sub-contractors, vendors, and clients on this most recent recognition. Great job, everyone! Now let’s go win another one.

Topping Off Ceremony Celebrates Construction Milestone

IMG_4644-001At Harth Builders, we are frequently recognized for our efficient work process. While it is safe to say that we appreciate a good Gantt chart, it is also true that we like to make the remodeling process fun for our clients and crew. One way we do this is with a ritual called Topping Off.

For home remodeling projects requiring significant structural work, we often perform this merry rite. Also known as Topping Out, the ceremony is intended to celebrate the end of the structural construction phase, along with all of the people who contributed to the project.

IMAG0596 (2)The Topping Off is typically conducted at the end of the work day. The entire project team, along with the homeowners, gather together as a bough of evergreen is placed at the highest point of the structure by the youngest member of the team. Frosty beverages and snacks are distributed and then everyone toasts to the success of the project.

The photos in this post depict a Topping Off held recently to celebrate the framing completion for a two-story addition. Built in the 1960’s, this Lower Gwynedd Township home is in the process of being expanded on both the first and second floors. We are currently ahead of schedule and expect the project to be completed by early February.

 

 

How to Make a Beautiful Home Even Better

Harth Builders Remodeling Newsletter Fall 2015In the latest edition of the Harth Builders remodeling newsletter, we review how we transformed the first floor of a Montgomery Township home. Located in a wonderful neighborhood, this home had great bones, but a dysfunctional layout. With some careful planning and ingenuity, we were able to reconfigure the kitchen and adjacent areas into a living space that is as beautiful as it is functional. Follow this link to learn more.

Harth Builders Selected for Historic Farmhouse Renovation

Harth Builders is pleased to announce that we have been selected by the Whitemarsh Foundation to renovate its historic farmhouse located at 548 Flourtown Road. Construction planning has already commenced. The anticipated project completion date is late January 2016.
whitemarsh foundation farmhouse
According to Kim Sheppard, President of the Whitemarsh Foundation, Harth Builders was selected as the contractor for the renovation because they were impressed with our attention to detail and interest in preserving the historical integrity of the building. “We selected Harth Builders because they clearly understood the historical significance of the home and were committed to ensuring that the character of the renovations will be in keeping with the building’s original architectural design.”

Located on the Angus Tract of Erdenheim Farm in Whitemarsh Township, the farmhouse was constructed between 1855 and 1860. At 4000 square feet, it is a generously appointed residence that originally served as the estate home for one of the owners of the farm. Although it has recently fallen into a state of disrepair, the building remains structurally sound and features exquisite architectural detail from that period. Faced with the decision to either raze the property or renovate, the Whitemarsh Foundation reached out to the community for support with the “Open the Door” capital campaign. The total campaign goal is $1.1 million with approximately $800,000 earmarked for the renovations. The balance of the funds will be placed in an endowment to support farmhouse operations and educational outreach. Fundraising efforts have been successful, with more than half of the funds committed to date, enabling Sheppard to proceed with renovations.

Modernizing historic homes can be a difficult task. The historical character of the building needs to be preserved, yet significant changes need to be made to modernize and bring the building up to code. We are looking forward to rehabilitating the property to return it to its former grandeur, while making it a functional and accessible workspace for use by the foundation as well as other community organizations.

Look for photos of the completed project in February 2016!

Our Recipe For Success? Excellent Customer Service!

customer service training at Harth BuildersOur design-build remodeling team is committed to making our customers’ homes their favorite places to be. This is much more than just a motto for our company. Ultimately, we want our clients to become such enthusiastic fans of Harth Builders that they will return to us for additional services, and recommend us to all of their friends. Providing them with an outstanding remodeling experience is the key to achieving this mission.

Toward this end, we brought the customer service experts from ZingTrain to our office in Spring House, PA for a day-long training session. Our company has grown tremendously over the past few years. This training session was a wonderful opportunity for both new team members, as well as our seasoned veterans, to review the ingredients necessary for creating customer loyalty through awesome customer experience.

If you haven’t heard of Zingerman’s Community of Businesses, follow this link to watch a brief video for details on their amazing story. Suffice to say, they have taken the art of customer service to a higher level. We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to learn the secrets to their sauce and look forward to applying these principles to our daily work.

Open House and Ribbon Cutting a Great Success

Harth Builders Ribbon Cutting June 2015

From left to right: Tanya Bamford, Kathleen Hunsicker, Gregory Harth, Sean Mooney, and Pam Kelly

Many thanks to everyone who attended our Ribbon Cutting and Open House event on June 24th. We were blessed with wonderful weather and a healthy turnout. Good food, drinks, and networking were enjoyed by clients, business partners, team members, family and friends alike.

In particular, we want to recognize Kathleen Hunsicker, Vice-Chair of the Lower Gwynedd Township Board of Supervisors, Sean Mooney, President of the Lower Gwynedd Business Association, Pam Kelly, President of the PennSuburban Chamber of Greater Montgomery County, and Tanya Bamford, Board Member of the PennSuburban Chamber, for their assistance with the ribbon cutting. Thank you all for making the time to help us celebrate this auspicious occasion.

If you were unable to attend the event for a tour of our new addition, please contact Catherine Kurtz, our Director of First Impressions at (215) 654-0364. Catherine would be happy to schedule a tour for you.

 

Read About a Sweet New Kitchen in Blue Bell

sweet-kitchenIn our latest newsletter, we reveal how you can improve your home’s resale value with an exterior renovation, and highlight a kitchen renovation we completed this past December.

Our clients wanted a more elegant and functional kitchen for their 30 year old home in Blue Bell. As people who enjoy cooking and baking daily, they had high expectations for their new space. We delivered the kitchen they were dreaming of–and just in time for their annual holiday baking extravaganza. Follow this link to read all about their “sweet” new kitchen.

Join us for an Open House on Wed. June 24th

Harth Builders Addition June 2015
We recently put our design-build remodeling expertise to work for ourselves with an 800 sq. ft. expansion of our office located at 952 Penllyn Pike in Spring House, Pa. The photo here shows the addition under construction. We are happy to share that it is now complete and we are inviting our valued customers, vendors and friends to come and celebrate the opening of our new space.

Join us on Wednesday, June 24th from 4 to 7 p.m. for fun and festivities including:

  • Ribbon-cutting ceremony from 4 to 5 p.m.
  • Networking with local dignitaries and business owners
  • Tasty hors d’oeuvres
  • Frosty beverages
  • Tours of our new and improved space

RSVP Details

So that we may plan effectively, the favor of your reply is requested. Please call Catherine Kurtz, Director of First Impressions, at (215) 654-0364, or email your RSVP to Catherine directly.

Harth Builders Honored with Best of Houzz Awards

Best of Houzz 2015For the third consecutive year, Harth Builders has been awarded Best of Houzz honors. Their awards in the Design and Customer Service categories are the result of feedback and overall popularity among users of the web based home improvement community.

Boasting 25 million unique monthly users, Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing consumers with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish. From interior decorating, to complete home renovation, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts, and home improvement professionals across the United States and around the world.

In selecting the 2015 Best of Houzz Customer Service Award winners, several factors were weighed, including the number and quality of client reviews professionals received in 2014. Harth Builders currently has 16 five star reviews on Houzz. The 2015 Best of Houzz Design Award winners’ work was the most popular among Houzzers. Best of Houzz winners receive a special badge to display on their websites and Houzz profiles. The badges help Houzzers and homeowners in general select remodeling professionals who are committed to excellence.

Harth Builders has been serving the residential remodeling needs of homeowners throughout eastern Montgomery and central Bucks counties in the Greater Philadelphia region. In addition to receiving Best of Houzz recognition, their design-build team has received numerous local, regional, and national awards including the 2014 Angie’s List Super Service award, the Chrysalis award, eight consecutive GuildQuality GuildMaster awards, and several national Contractor of the Year (CotY) awards. With a creative design team that includes architects, engineers, interior designers, and contractors, Harth Builders helps clients bring concept to reality while being mindful of their construction budget.