Remodeling Credentials Decoded

If you have ever received an email from Paul Morse, you’ve probably noticed that he has an alphabet soup of letters after his name.

Paul Morse, Morse Constructions, Bostonto




Paul Eric Morse




 What do those designations mean? Here’s a quick explanation:

GCP: Green Certified Professional

Paul was the second person in the country and the first in New England to be named a Green Certified Professional (GCP). He went on to facilitate the certification study group for about two years.

The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) established the Green Certified Professional (GCP) designation to promote the highest standards of green remodeling through credentialing of remodeling professionals. GCP remodelers have passed an extensive exam to demonstrate a solid understanding of the critical issues related to Green Remodeling.  The exam covers 16 subject areas including Building Science, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Renewable Energy Applications to name a few.  The requirements to sit for the exam are five years in the remodeling industry, 16 hours of Green or Sustainable Remodeling/Building continuing education hours, and agreement to uphold the NARI Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.

CGP: Certified Green Professional

Didn’t we just talk about this? No, this is a different designation from the National Association of Homebuilders (the other one was NARI) that recognizes builders, remodelers and other industry professionals who incorporate green building principles into homes— without driving up the cost of construction. Extensive classwork leading to the designation provides a solid background in strategies for incorporating green building principles into homes using cost-effective and affordable options. To earn your CGP designation, you must pass an exam and complete 12 hours of continuing education every three years from building industry-related educational activities. A minimum of eight hours is required to come from green building industry-related educational activities.

Paul is one of about 50 builders and remodelers in Massachusetts to have received this designation.

CAPS: Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist

The Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) program was created by the NAHB Remodelers of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) in collaboration with Home Innovation Research Labs, NAHB 50+ Housing Council, and AARP. The program's goal is to help remodelers meet the needs of mature clients who wish to age-in-place, which means living in your home safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of age or ability level.

A CAPS has received advanced training in the unique needs of the older adult population, aging-in-place home modifications, common remodeling projects and solutions to common barriers. As with all of these certifications, participants must pass an exam before becoming a CAPS.

Morse Constructions is also a member of the National Aging in Place Council.

UDCP: Universal Design Certified Professional

NARI developed the Universal Design Certified Professionals (UDCP) designation to promote standards of universal design and remodeling through credentialing of design and remodeling professionals. A Universal Design Certified Professional handles renovations that make the home livable for anyone who wishes to move about his/her house freely, without barrier and without creating an "institutional" look. Families who have members with special needs also benefit from a UDCP. The UDCP designation is granted to individuals who have completed coursework and passed a rigorous exam about universal design principles. 

CR: Certified Remodeler

Paul has been a Certified Remodeler (CR) for about two decades. CR is a NARI designation indicating that the person is a professional remodeler who provides a full range of remodeling services. Certified Remodelers have passed an exam and demonstrated skill and knowledge in a broad range of business management and technical skill areas.

For more information about our certifications, please check out our Certifications & Memberships Web page or give us a call at 617-666-4460.

Tags: Boston renovation, Boston home renovation, Paul Morse, Boston remodeling

Can Home Remodeling Strengthen a Relationship?

Try Googling “Remodeling and Relationships” and you’ll get entry after entry about relationship woes caused by the stress of remodeling. Even, a site dedicated to remodeling and home design, released results of a survey showing that 12 percent of couples consider separation or divorce mid-remodel.

It’s human nature to feel stressed when your home is in a state of upheaval. If your marriage is in a fragileBoston couple home remodeling state already, I’m sure the additional stress may be all it takes to question your choice of mate. In the 30 years that I have been renovating homes, however, I have seen remodeling strengthen relationships more often than strain them. I’ve seen couples collaborate, communicate, and celebrate when the process results in a home that suits their lifestyles.

Houzz recently released the results of a survey with a subhead that says: “Houzz Survey Unveils Happy Ending to the Turmoil as 84 Percent of Couples Spend More Time at Home Post-Remodel”.  It turns out that remodeling really can be good for a relationship!

The release had some interesting points about the importance of collaboration and how to strengthen a relationship during remodeling. Here are a few interesting excerpts:

Conflicting style is a major source of stress as one third of respondents do not like their significant other’s design style. They’re not shy about telling their partner, either, with 76 percent sharing their opinion with their significant other. But honesty doesn’t help get rid of some of their partner’s favorite items. Forty-two percent of respondents reported being stuck with items they hate but aren’t allowed to get rid of – yet one in five has gone ahead and removed a significant other’s item without telling them. Forget knickknacks, the most common item creating clashes is old furniture, followed closely by posters and artwork. Some of the other hated items mentioned were antlers and other hunting trophies, wood paneling and old magazines.

While the majority of respondents describe their process as collaborative, when couples can’t agree, some partners move ahead on their own. One in five respondents have made a significant decision during the remodel process without telling their partner, from tearing down walls and picking paint colors to choosing furniture and appliances.

Despite the stress of remodeling, home really is where the heart is. Four out of five survey respondents reported feeling more relaxed in their home after completing their project. In addition, 42 percent of respondents do more entertaining and 41 percent report an increase in their level of happiness with their significant other.

Here are a few tips for keeping the peace – and even strengthening a relationship – during the remodeling and decorating process:

  • Strike a style balance. Can’t see eye to eye on traditional vs. contemporary? Before you begin a project, browse photos on Houzz, create ideabooks with images you like and have your partner do the same. Then, have a date night to share each other’s ideabooks and look for commonalities that will establish the style for your project.

  • Compromise or downsize. If you insist on tossing his mounted antlers, be prepared to give up something you hold dear. Conversely, if you’re not willing to let something go, be prepared to let him or her keep something you’re not a fan of either.

  • Money matters. Money is already major pain point for many couples. Avoid adding this stress to your remodel by agreeing on a budget up front. Research costs for materials and projects early on and make a list of items that both partners need to approve such as wall color, kitchen appliances and electronics.
The “Remodeling & Relationships Survey” is an online survey of Houzz users conducted July 2013.

Tags: home remodeling, remodeling trends, Boston remodeling

Our Latest Ebook: Aging-in-Place Renovations

Aging-in-Place and visitability renovation issues have been a hot topic in our office recently. I testified at the State House in early May about visitability, we became members of the National Aging in Place Council, and we wrote an ebook about renovating to age-in-place.

Why the emphasis on aging-in-place? We certainly design and build renovations for homeowners of all ages. No matter the age of the homeowner, we feel it simply makes good sense to plan for potential future issues when renovating a home. Even if you don’t intend to grow old in your house, a major renovation is the ideal time to make your home as welcoming as possible to visitors and guests of all ages and mobility.

aging-in-place renovation ebookWhat is aging-in-place and visitability? Why should you consider such issues if you are still young? What are key aging-in-place renovation elements?

I hope you will consider reading our free ebook on Renovating to Age-in-Place to find out more. You can download it at the link below.

Please email me or call us at if you have any questions or would like to discuss a possible project.

Download Renovating to Age-in-Place

Tags: aging in place, visitability, renovation guides, renovation ebooks, Boston remodeling