Is Training Really Worth it? This Builder Says, ‘Definitely!’
Updated: Jun 30, 2022
The most successful business owners often view training as an investment in their craft. It demonstrates a dedication to becoming the best in their field. It arms them with the knowledge and skills to do a job to the best of their abilities. It sets the tone with staff that their business is a learning environment, one that encourages growth and development. It’s also a morale booster – knowing you can take on challenges and overcome them leads many people to feel a greater sense of pride in their work and inspires them to continue to set the bar higher for themselves and others.
With so many benefits, it’s hard to imagine why anyone would pass up training when given the opportunity. But the reality is, some people don’t always feel that training is ‘worth it’. The investment of time and potential costs associated with enrolling themselves or their team members in training oftentimes overshadows the potential long-term benefits. Unless, of course, you’re Rheal Guimond, President of Guimond Builders Ltd.
“Training has absolutely helped my business. It gives me the knowledge I need to be able to explain to customers exactly what we’re doing to make their home more energy efficient and why we do certain improvements so they can understand the process better and see the value in what we’re doing,” said Rheal while we discussed his experience moving through the Registered Energy Efficient Builder Program. “Every bit of that training was worth my time.”
Rheal has always been an early adopter of energy efficient training, eager to take on any courses that could advance his skills.
“Back in the early 80s when the R-2000 Program was still new, not many builders were taking the training. But I saw it as an opportunity to boost my knowledge. At that time, having the R-2000 training meant you were seen as a top-notch builder and among the best trained around, so I took it on as a challenge,” he recalled.
Over time, Rheal kept taking courses to further his knowledge in energy efficient home building. Now, almost three decades later, he has a range of certifications that qualify him to the build different types of energy efficient homes, something he believes gives him a competitive edge at the end of the day.
“I’ve done the training and now have those credentials (plus decades of experience) under my belt, so it sets me apart from builders who haven’t taken the training yet,” he noted.
Rheal revealed that while energy efficiency has always been a priority for his company, consumer demand has also played a big part in his ability to put what he’s learned into practice.
“Usually, the homes I build are rated to EnerGuide or R-2000 standards but we’re currently in the process of building a Net Zero Ready home, which will be a first for our company,” he stated.
And while the building methodology he uses to tackle new builds may differ from years ago, his commitment to quality has clearly never wavered, as is evident by his reputation (and recent award wins.)
“Winning awards is very rewarding, very humbling… and it’s good advertising,” he added with a chuckle. “Customers see those awards and my CHBA-NB Master Builder™ Certification on my Facebook page and reach out because of those things, because they want the best builder working on their future home. They also see our involvement in the CHBA-NB and in programs like the Registered Energy Efficient Builder Program and know we’re above board, because those organizations and certifications all come back to ethics.”
On the heels of that statement, Rheal was quick to acknowledge that consumers today are quite savvy and know what they want – in a home and in a home builder.
“30 years ago, the concept of energy efficiency was very new, so it was harder to sell the idea to new clients. Nowadays, customers are very knowledgeable. They’ve done their research and they come to us with their needs and expectations more often than we bring recommendations to them – it’s like they’ve gotten some training on the subject over the years, too!”
When it comes to home renovations, Rheal joked that the only thing customers don’t seem to be prepared for is their reaction to the work once it’s done.
“They’re always amazed by the end result. Most homeowners can’t visualize what they’re asking for at the beginning of a renovation project, but once it’s done, they marvel at the finished product.”
He also admitted that costs are becoming less of a barrier for well-researched consumers, because they can appreciate the long-term savings that come with their upgrades.
“It’s not as cost prohibitive as it used to be. Now, adding in better windows and more insulation, it doesn’t add that much to the overall cost of the home, but it does make the home far more energy efficient than a home built to code,” he confirmed.
For customers curious about how much they could stand to save on their monthly bills, Rheal suggests getting an energy audit.
“As soon as we do the tests, we can calculate how much energy your home will consume once the recommended upgrades are complete, and based on the current energy rates, we can tell you roughly what your monthly costs will be.”
Aside from financial savings, Rheal remarked that the environment inside an energy efficient home is another benefit consumers are often surprised by.
“The overall comfort, the improved air quality, and just how quiet their new home is (thanks to all the insulation) is something customers always comment on.”
And Rheal’s ability to complete a home that saves his customers money and improves their quality of life? It all comes back to the training he received to build a better quality home.
Rheal is living proof that training has improved his business, set him apart from his competition, helped him to build a better product, and ultimately, better serve his customers. And it’s something he definitely takes pride in.
“Seeing the end results of what you do all day long really shows you what you’re capable of – it’s a really good feeling. Looking a fully completed, new home once it’s finished… it’s like looking at a shiny pearl.”
And it’s because of his success that he felt confident in encouraging other builders to follow suit.
“The new standards are coming. By 2030, all new homes must be Net Zero Ready. The sooner builders get on board, the better. Consumer demand is also going to increase, so it pays to be a builder who has the credentials they’ll be looking for.”
When asked if he has any further advice for builders interested in pursuing energy efficiency training, he said,“Don’t stand back and watch the industry change around you. Get involved. Join the Canadian Home Builders’ Association – New Brunswick and talk to your peers, share ideas, discuss your concerns, and network! Sure, you pay for a membership, but the value far exceeds whatever the fee is. I’ve been a member since 1985, and my membership has paid me back in leaps and bounds.”
He also assured that builders don’t need to be intimidated by training.
“Training is not as time-consuming as builders maybe think it will be, and it’s relatively inexpensive to take the courses through the Canadian Home Builders’ Association – New Brunswick. When you think about the added earning potential it gives your business, there’s really no reason NOT to do training.”
If you’re a builder who is considering energy efficient training, consider this a sign (and a nudge from Rheal, someone who knows first-hand) that now’s the time to go for it. It’ll clearly be worth your while.
For more information about energy efficient training, visit www.registeredenergyefficientbuilder.ca
Rheal Guimond is the President of Guimond Builders Ltd. located in Rothesay, New Brunswick. He is a Silver-level Registered Energy Efficient Builder, a Certified CHBA-NB Master Builder™, and a proud member of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association – New Brunswick.
Rheal is also the recipient of the Canadian Home Builder’s Association – New Brunswick’s 2020 Membership Supporter of the Year Award and the 2020 Tim Kelly Memorial Builder of the Year Award.
Certifications: R-2000 | CHBA-NB Master Builder™
For more about the team at Guimond Builders Ltd., you can find them on Facebook.