Things You Should Consider before Buying a Home Improvement Franchise

The wide variety of options in the “home improvement” sector of franchising makes this category one of the more popular service-based franchising categories.   There are numerous great opportunities in this sector.  Opportunities you can find in the home improvement sector range from painting to handyman services, from flooring, blinds and window covers to closet, garage and kitchen organizing. You can even find kitchen remodeling to full renovation and custom home-building franchises.  Anyone who enjoys using their head and their hands, this is an industry worth considering.

However, there are a few things to consider before investing your hard-earned money into a Home Improvement Franchise. This blog contains some tips to keep in mind when looking into home improvement franchises.

The demand for home improvements is significantly influenced by the  aging population demographics.

It is often been said that the baby boomer generation has had one of the biggest historical impacts on consumer spending; this holds true for the home improvement sector. Consider the following:

  1. As the youngest sector of boomers achieve that empty-nester status, their housing needs change significantly. They no longer need the dynamic environment that used to support their kids, and they have more disposable income to enjoy as a result of the kids finally leaving home! This means that they can be more selfish about their home – kids bedrooms get converted into home offices, basements get converted into entertainment rooms/home gyms; functional kitchens get converted into gourmet kitchens… The list goes on. Many boomers in this group want to upgrade their homes to reflect their newfound freedoms.
  2. Some boomers in the younger group will also find that their current homes are simply too large, so they are looking to downsize; when they move into their new home, they are willing to invest money in personalizing everything to their own tastes.
  3. The middle (and largest) group of boomers have recently experienced retirement or are about to do so. The extra time they find on their hands often gets filled with new hobbies, and often as a result, this group also makes changes to their home environment. They begin thinking, ‘Well honey, if were going to be here for a lot more years, let’s make some changes so that we can really enjoy our home for years to come’.
  4. Another factor that this group faces is that as a result of aging, they are simply not able to do tasks they used to do – this is where service companies like painting, gardening and yard maintenance come in to play.
  5. As the oldest sector of boomers face the harsh realities of health related to aging.  Sometimes, major renovations are required – after all, nobody wants to live in a nursing home.  Furthermore, it is very difficult for adult children to have their parents live with them. A common solution is to modify the home to enable aging in place – things like moving bedrooms to the main floor, putting in stair lifts or even elevators, full bathroom renovations for easy and safe personal care, etc.
  6. Transfer of wealth is another factor that is driving opportunity in the home improvement sector of franchising. Economists tell us that over the next 10 years or so, we will see the greatest transfer of wealth from the boomer generation to their children – either through estate distribution at death, or through planned transfer of wealth prior to the death. Either way, the generation that is about to receive this wealth will have the benefit of a significant amount of additional money for investing and improving their lifestyles. We anticipate that this will translate into a lot of business for the home improvement sector, as the younger generation improves their standards of living with the extra cash.

Home improvement options are vast!

As mentioned previously, the home improvement sector encompasses many different things. Make sure you understand what your core skills and abilities are, and where your primary interests are best leveraged.  In this way you can identify which sectors of the home improvement market best leverage these transferable skills and abilities to create optimum results. This will help you narrow down which franchises are a good fit for you and eliminate the possibility of wasting time with those that are not a good fit.

You will likely need liability insurance

Many customers will require that you have liability insurance before you work on their home, so make sure you work out the details of insurance coverage with potential insurance agents once you have your sights set on some franchises. Additionally, some jurisdictions may require that you possess a contractor’s license before you begin your work, so check with licensing requirements in your area to determine if this applies to you.

Home improvement franchises can be both prosperous and enjoyable business investments, so if you have a knack for handy work and are comfortable overseeing the work of installers and sub-trades, this is definitely a  category of franchising worthy of further consideration.

About Gary:

Gary Prenevost is one of Canada’s leading franchise experts and has been an entrepreneur for more than a quarter century. He has been involved in a variety of successful non-franchised and franchised self-employed businesses. By exploring the ideal solutions that fit an individual’s desires and strengths, Gary helps senior and mid-level executives take a step back and objectively look at whether franchise ownership would be a viable and positive career choice. By playing to the individual’s transferable skills and passions, the franchise owner can enjoy less stress, greater success, more fun, and improved quality of life.  In addition to being one of Canada’s top franchise matchmaking experts, also co-owns a master franchise and unit franchise for Alair homes, a custom home building and renovation company, so he is intimately familiar with the home improvement marketplace.

Oct 28, 2014