Paul Morse Earns Master Certified Remodeler Designation

Certification logo MCR, GCP, UDCP

We are delighted to announce that Paul Morse, founder of Morse Constructions, has earned the Master Certified Remodeler (MCR) designation from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI).

The MCR designation was created to recognize remodeling contractors who have demonstrated superior remodeling knowledge, dedication to the industry, and community involvement.  To earn the MCR designation, remodelers must undergo comprehensive review and testing in areas of business management, ethical conduct, and technical skills. The NARI certification program assesses the knowledge and skills of the remodeler in more than 20 remodeling task areas including business methods and practices, building codes and construction law, planning and building site layout, and all trades skills required in home remodeling.

MCR candidates must have attained the NARI Certified Remodeler (CR) designation and maintained it for a minimum of 10 years. Candidates must have also achieved at least one additional NARI certification, and have served in a NARI chapter or community leadership position. All MCRs are bound to abide by the NARI Code of Ethics and the NARI Standards of Practice.

In addition to his long tenure as a Certified Remodeler, Paul is a NARI Certified Lead Carpenter, Green Certified Professional, and Universal Design Certified Remodeler. Want to know more about what these designations mean? Read our "Remodeling Credentials Decoded" blog post!

Congratulations Paul!

Tags: awards and certifications, Paul Morse, NARI

Aging-in-Place Renovations (and Morse) Featured in Boston Globe

Aging in Place article Boston GlobeAging-in-Place is a topic that is very important to us. We renovate with aging-in-place in mind, Paul is a NAHB Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) and a member of the National Aging-in-Place Council, and Paul and Karen Morse recently renovated their own home so they can stay put as they age. Paul has testified at the Massachusetts State House on visitability and aging-in-place issues and we recently wrote a guide to aging-in-place renovations. So when Boston Globe correspondent Jay Fitzgerald contacted Paul for an article about aging-in-place renovations, he was more than happy to share his thoughts.

Jay's article -- entitled "Aging in YOUR Place" -- was published in the April 13, 2013 Boston Sunday Globe. The article features photos of Paul and Karen's own home, as well as extensive comments from Paul. We'd love to know what you think of the article. You can read it on the Boston Globe website here.

If you have any comments or questions, please post them on the blog or email Paul.

Tags: aging in place, Morse Constructions News, Paul Morse, Boston Globe

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
GCP, CGP, UDCP, CAPS, CR

 

 

 

 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

Does Green Remodeling Increase the Value of a Home?

Paul Morse, Morse ConstructionseGreen remodeling is a hot topic -- and one that Paul decided to address in his most recent blog post for boston.com. Here's what he had to say:

Green remodeling and building is the hottest trend in the construction industry. McGraw-Hill Construction recently reported that the green homes share of the construction market is expected to rise as much as 38% by 2016.

Does this mean that more homes will sprout solar panels and feature bamboo flooring? Not necessarily.

Growth in green remodeling is being propelled by an interest in energy efficiency. Straightforward steps such as upgrading insulation and installing energy-efficient windows and appliances are considered “green remodeling”.  So is smart design to increase a home’s function without enlarging its footprint.

Most Boston homeowners want to go green to reduce their impact on the environment and live in healthier spaces, but they are pragmatic about it. Improvements to increase energy efficiency are popular because they lead to measurable payback and greater comfort. Sustainably harvested lumber, low VOC paints, and products made with recycled materials are typically embraced if the costs are comparable to traditional materials. Green products that are priced significantly higher than traditional materials are often dismissed.

The biggest change that I have seen in the past few years is the value that the homeowner now places on energy efficiency. Home designs and materials that minimize energy use are often a priority in renovation, rather than an afterthought.

Homeowners are willing to pay for greater energy efficiency during remodeling, but are they willing to pay more when a house is on the market? An article in the Chicago Tribune reported that green-labeled homes in California sold for 9% more than typical California homes. In Boston, where heating costs are so much higher, I’d like to think that energy-efficient, green homes are also worth more to homeowners, but I’m not sure that is the case yet. I don’t recall seeing many ads that tout low annual heating costs or space efficient designs as key selling features, but I’m optimistic this is the direction that we are heading.

Tags: Massachusetts remodeling, Paul Morse, green remodeling

Renovations for Older Homes in the Boston Area

The median age of houses in the Boston area is about 63, and, of course, many homes are much, much older. We have spent decades renovating these wonderful older homes and decided that the time had come to share a few tips. So.... we are excited to announce that we have published our first ever ebook!Renovating Older Homes Ebook

The 38-page ebook is entitled “How to Breathe New Life into Older Homes.” We incorporated numerous project photos and used magazine-style page flip technology to make it easy and enjoyable to read. Here's what you'll find inside:

  • Solutions to common problems in older homes
  • Photos and information about popular updates
  • Tips to evaluate whether your home is a good candidate for renovation
Boston renovations for older homes
To view the ebook online or download a PDF for free, just click this link:

 We'd love to hear your feedback or questions. Please comment on this post or give us a call at 617.666.4460!     

Tags: Historic Renovations, Morse Constructions News, Paul Morse, Renovating

Will This House Last?

Paul wrote a post for the Real Estate Today blog on boston.com. The post was published on September 20, 2012. If you missed it, here's the text of his article:


Paul MorseBuying an older home is a lot like buying a used car in a private sale. You can have it checked out by an expert, but there are no guarantees that something won’t wear out or malfunction – and no warranties if they do.

I’ve worked with homeowners who bought homes with leaks that were temporarily hidden by paint, insulation that had settled so much that it was virtually nonexistent, and basements that turned out to have serious water problems. The prior owner or home inspector may know of and disclose the potential for future problems, but often they come as a complete surprise.

A few years ago, the National Association of Home Builders conducted a study on the life expectancy of home components. Here are a few highlights:

  • A foundation should last forever, but termite proofing will only last about 12 years
  • HVAC systems last an average of 15-25 years with proper and regular maintenance
  • A slate roof can last 50 years or more; a roof made of asphalt shingles lasts an average of 20 years (although it may be less with the tough Boston weather)
  • Wood windows last longer than aluminum – 30 years versus 15 to 20
  • Stairs and custom millwork should last a lifetime
  • Kitchen faucets should last about 15 years, but a whirlpool tub could keep going as long as 50 if you don’t use it much
  • Decks could last 20 years, depending upon the materials used

 In my renovation work, I frequently encounter structural or infrastructure problems such as window headers that are not framed to meet today’s code; original balloon framing without floorload support that meets today’s standards; joists that have been cut or notched in improperly done renovations; rotting wood hidden by soffit and fascia boards; and electrical panels that will not support home improvements. These issues may dramatically affect the total cost of the project.

Maintenance and repairs are part of being a homeowner, but unexpected problems are no fun. Some of these surprises could be avoided if buyers ask questions such as “When were the windows installed?”  ”Have you replaced the roof since you’ve owned your home?” “ Have you installed insulation and when?” or  “Do you have a record of structural changes made to the house?” Answers to these questions will help anticipate future expenses.

 

Tags: home renovation, boston.com, home remodeling, Paul Morse

Paul Morse talks about universal design in bathrooms on boston.com

 

Universal Design Doesn’t Mean Institutional Bathrooms

When you walk into a beautiful bathroom with a wide entrance, large shower with multiple shower heads, wall mirrors extending all the way to the sinks and adjustable cabinetry, I’m willing to bet that “universal design” is not the description that pops into your head.  Most people seem to equate universal design with accommodation for physical disabilities, which, unfortunately, often seems to mean an institutional look to many people.

Myth #1: Universal Design is just for people with physical disabilities or for aging in place.

Universal design is the art of creating environments that are usable by all people without the need for adaptation or specialized design.

 

Read the rest of Paul's article on Boston.com's Real Estate Today

Tags: boston.com, universal design, Paul Morse, bathroom design