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Thread: CGR designation

  1. #1
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    Little River, SC
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    Default CGR designation

    Ok this has got to be the most difficult thing to complete that there is. First of all the only course being offered even remotely close to me is the prep test which I have already done. I have called the NAHB to get "information" that was a waste. They direct you to there web site & tell you to do a search (good luck). They gave me a number of my local chapter which I called & still got no answers.

    You would think that since they push this & other designations as continuing education for construction professionals that they would be a little more helpful. I find it extremely hard to believe that in the second biggest city in the US they offer next to nothing. Once a year the JLC show comes here & they offer one class. At that rate it will take six years for me to complete. Its just so damn stupid. Apparently they don't pay attention to there own courses when it comes to how this organization is set up.

    If there is anyone who has this designation that can shed some light on how you did it that would be great. I would also love to hear how long it took you to do it & if you had the same problems I am having. I really hope that after all the things I have had to endure to reach the end result (CGR designation) that I will benefit from it.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: CGR designation

    Carl
    I hold a CGR and am working the last 2 classes for GMB into the mix. I assume you reached the web page with the 500 class results?

    I did not take the time to see where LA is and what is close. I will say that many local HBAs determine their class possibilities in a couple ways. Is a trainer available? Is there interest in that particular class? Is the class a good general interest class for the members and not just a class for CGRs? Is any other close HBA doing the same class within a certain time frame? And so on!
    I've taken classes at JLC Live, IBS in Orlando and in my local area. It's a timing issue and different HBAs have different outlooks on education! Some are active; some are not.
    It took me about a year to get done because I too wanted certain classes and sometimes they were not close.
    Feel free to contact me if I can help!
    Take Care

    Jim

  3. #3
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    Default Re: CGR designation

    Carl,
    As you may know number of years in business, attending remodeler shows and home builder shows, leading a remodelers council and other things also count. When I took the courses I needed I was lucky to be able to complete the whole thing in 2 days through a cluster of courses offered one weekend. That was ten years ago. I think the credentials are fine but honestly I have never once signed my name with CGR or used the gold seals. I have never pitched a job where I felt comfortable bragging about being a CGR. Frankly I thought about using this designation for years in sales and always thought a customer may think I went to school to learn remodeling as opposed to coming up through the carpentry ranks. Maybe going to an RC meeting , you could impress the newbies. Don't let me discourage you, just shedding some light on cost vs. value. Even after you get the CGR designation, try and figure out the rhyme and reason of the maintenance courses. I called for 3 years and got different answers and schedules every time. They kept my designation for years without the maintenance courses but I always had to call to ask them if I was still a CGR. I am not sure if I still am today!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: CGR designation

    Since I moved to the east coast I have been able to find 2 of the remaining 5 class I need to complete the CGR program. As luck would have it that will make 3 that I have taken this year. With any luck I will be done within the next 6 to 8 months.

    Considering the amount of time, energy & effort I have spent in doing this I really hope that after all I have done to get the certifiaction that it will be worth it. I have to admit that taking the classes have been a worthwhile thing. I hope that it will continue to be so.

    I also recently joined my local HBA. I hope that something positive comes from that as well. It definately has been an expensive process. I am at about $1100 now. Here's hoping!
    Two roads diverged in a narrow wood. I took the path less traveled.
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: CGR designation

    Carl

    Have you looked into the CR study groups given through your local Nari chapter. I think their comparable in what they cover.

    Jason

  6. #6
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    Default Re: CGR designation

    No, I havent checked with the NARI. The CGR program is through the NAHB. The NAHB has the remodelers council. Actually they sent a sheet out with the various groups that members could choose to be a part of. I believe that there were about 10 to choose from.

    From what I have heard you get out of it what you put into it. The NAHB I mean. My goal for the whole experience was to learn new things from other people. So far it has been a struggle but I will give it time & see what developes.
    Two roads diverged in a narrow wood. I took the path less traveled.
    http://renov8u2.com
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  7. #7
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: CGR designation

    Carl,
    I became CGR in 1997, I have never used it as a marketing tool as it seemed to have no relevance with customers. I have some gold seals and a press seal. If you're in it for the education, thats good. I guess going to 5 classes didn't stand out as that important to me as working in the field for 25 years before that and being self employed for 20 of those years. I mentioned my credentials to a few prospects right after receiving the CGR and I don't think they cared and I dropped it off my business card shortly thereafter. It is prestigious , I guess, to have at your BA meetings. Your post is the first I have thought about this in a while. Personally, I would spend the time on college courses with accounting or certify with suppliers as qualified installer. Sorry for the negative outlook, but I had to travel many miles to go to classes that were elementary at best.
    Last edited by Andrew R.; 09-11-2005 at 07:54 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: CGR designation

    Didn't realize this thread was resurrected, my response repeated, sorry.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: CGR designation

    Based upon Tom's experience, I have to agree with Andrew. While the classes may benefit a newbie to business, most of the public could care less if you are certifed in anything, and maybe one of 20 might care if you're even licensed.

    Tom and I have found that our reputations get us jobs and desired profits. Almost nothing else.

    Did I ever mention the word "Branding" here? (-:

  11. #11
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    Default Re: CGR designation

    Carl

    The study group that I belonged to was great. It wasn't so much the material provided to prepare us for the test but the feed back and discussions in the study group that I found so beneficial.

    I find the CR designation has been helpful - we have had people contact us because of our listing as a Certified Remodeler on the NARI website. It is a great marketing tool.

    http://www.nari.org/level2/homeowner...onalsimple.cfm
    http://www.nari.org/level2/remodeler...ionisimportant

    Jason

  12. #12
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    Default Re: CGR designation

    One thing about this program that baffels me is the fact tht in the US thee are only 850 people with the CGR classification. They have other classifications & I dont know what the numbers are on those but I would guess that they are the same maybe a little higher.

    My question is why? I read all these posts about continuing education yet all the responces I get are "waste of time", "public doesn't care". It doesnt make any sense. Either you believe in continuing education or you dont. I think that this & other programs the NAHB & NARI have fit the bill. In my opinion the NAHB & NARI both do a really poor job of promoting itself & its offerings to the construction industry. If the responces & views (towards certifications) of the regulars on here are any indication of the general consensus of people in the construction industry then the NAHB & NARI have failed to brand this certification as being something worth while & having.
    Two roads diverged in a narrow wood. I took the path less traveled.
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: CGR designation

    Carl-

    I fully believe in continuing education- it's the designations I can do without. I'm LEED Accredited by the US Green Building Council, and I'm working toward getting the title of Certified Professional Estimator from ASPE. However, I've done these things for the education I get, and the way it will help me in my profession- not for the alphabet soup behind my name on my business card.

    95% of the clients I meet don't have a clue what it means to be a "LEED Accredited Professional", and even fewer are aware of what the CPE designation denotes. But I do it anyway to advance myself, and I'd recommend you do the same. Maybe it's not the CGR courses- maybe it's some local seminars, a JLC live show, a community college course, or just reading everything you can about a subject that'll help you succeed.

    And I will agree that NARI and NAHB have failed to prove the worth of their certifications- the general public hasn't a clue that the certifications exist- most don't even know that the ORGANIZATIONS exist. I've seen isolated pockets where there's a strong NARI chapter (Washington DC/Maryland being one of them), and there every member seems to have the designation. But if everyone's got it, it kinda diminishes the importance, no?

    Sonny-

    I'm not sure I've seen you mention "branding" before- care to elaborate?? lol.

    Bob

  14. #14
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    Default Re: CGR designation

    Carl
    I don't buy into the public doesn't care...but I do agree the public doesn't know what the the initials are for and therefore they do not feel the need to place any value on the initials. As the question is asked as to what does CGR, GMB, etc. mean it provides the opportunity to explain the concientious effort to continue the educational part of being a contractor. Not standing still, not accepting "that's how I did it for years", and I believe I have more to offer because of my involvement in these organizations are some of the benefits for BOTH the contractor and the client!

    There will always be those who only care about the bottom line; in some sense the additional EARNED designations can help clients who are undecided about cost determine who may be their contractor of choice when the numbers are close. It's not a panacea of only money spending unlimited funds clients......rather it's a value you have placed on yourself which is not just given to someone who pays a join-up fee but is earned by someone who spends time continuing educational efforts to be a more knowledgeable contractor.
    Take Care

    Jim

  15. #15
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    Default Re: CGR designation

    Bob, James,


    I agree with the wanting to enrich your education for your own personal benefit. I wanted to learn things from other people that I did not know. I have also helped others to learn. So it works both ways. I dont necessarily need the alphabet soup part but at the same time if I spent the time , energy & effort to do it I would want to let people know about it. Sort of a catch 22.
    Two roads diverged in a narrow wood. I took the path less traveled.
    http://renov8u2.com
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