‘Construction coaching’ available for do-it-yourselfers

‘Construction coaching’ available for do-it-yourselfers

Robert Durand next to a deck he’s been installing at a North Smithfield home. (Breeze photo by Ethan Shorey)

NORTH SMITHFIELD – According to the vipHomeLink app, surveys are showing that millions of Americans stuck at home this spring intend to use this time to improve their homes.

More than 15 million homeowners have already started a home renovation project, it finds, and 51 percent of people surveyed expect to take on a project they’ve been putting off.

Robert Durand, of Innovative Kitchen and Baths and Home Improvement based in North Providence, says contractors are dreaming up new ideas to approach a new reality in the business.

Along those lines, he’s started a new service he’s calling “construction coaching,” offering his expertise to a homeowner at his regular hourly labor rate to teach them how to do a project they’ve been wanting to do. Instead of full-time labor costs for a week or two, the cost to the homeowner would essentially be labor for a couple of hours.

Many people have less money than they normally would right now, Durand said, as well as unexpectedly large amounts of time on their hands, so he thinks this initiative will gain legs. As he sees it, someone looking for a project but wanting to save money and keep busy themselves would gladly pay someone to lay it all out for them and buy the right materials rather than fumble through it using questionable YouTube videos and buy items they don’t end up needing.

“You’re paying for my labor,” he said.

Part of the service, he said, would involve coming for follow-up appointments if someone gets stuck and needs help through a certain phase of a project.

“We’ll basically babysit,” he said. “If they have any questions, I’ll come back for steps two or three. I’ll show them how it’s done.”

Many jobs are easier than they appear, he said, like putting windows in or doing bathroom tile.

Some people are paranoid about having someone in their home right now, he said, so limiting interactions with construction coaching would be an added benefit. Some people have canceled projects this spring, he said, leaving him with materials he doesn’t know what to do with.

Email ketelone1@verizon.net or call 401-942-8070 for more.