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Why Price Should Not Drive Your Hiring Decisions For Home Improvement Projects

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Any house improvement project, such as a sliding patio door installation or installing vinyl siding, is a big one. While some owners tackle these projects themselves, many understand their own limitations and choose to hire a professional contracting company to handle major projects. If you're considering hiring window replacement contractors or other professionals, consider each of what's known as the 'Four P's.'

Problems: What Are You Trying To Solve?

The first thing to consider is what you want done. What type of project are you doing on your home? For instance, if you're replacing windows, then hiring dedicated window contractors is what you want to do. If you need to install vinyl siding, it's important to find a business that's knowledgeable about the different types of vinyl siding. Hiring a contractor that follows the Vinyl Siding Institute's guidelines is important as well!

Products: Do Your Contractors Know What's Best?

There are a number of different products available for any home improvement project. The right contractors will take a look at what you need and match your home up with the products that best fit your needs. For instance, if you're looking at a sliding patio door installation, a knowledgeable patio door installer will be able to tell you if the item you've chosen won't work on your home. Because they work with a number of different brands and products, they'll be able to help guide you toward what's best for your house structure. These professionals take a number of factors into consideration, such as price, the reputation of the brand and how it provides a solution for your home.

People: Are Your Roofing Contractors, For Instance, Well Known?

Whether you're installing vinyl siding, or having a sliding patio door installation done, you'll want to make sure the company you choose is well known locally. Particularly after a storm, roofing contractors can come from all over and start giving local homeowners quotes on repairing the damage. While some of these companies may be reputable, hiring an out-of-town company can be a risk. Instead, look for a company with a constant presence in your area. While problems with a reputable company are typically rare, working with one that's established means you'll have some recourse if there's ever an issue.

It goes without saying that any company you hire for a project like a sliding patio door installation or installing vinyl siding should be certified and insured. A reputable remodeling company will be happy to tell you about their certifications. If you can't get a straight answer, run, don't walk, the other way.

Price: Lower Doesn't Mean Better

Price is obviously a factor in any home improvement project. A low-ball quote often means that workers are unskilled or that you'll find customer service to be lacking. Instead, realize that a higher price means that you'll be receiving qualified, skilled laborers, customer service that you can count on and a company owner that's committed to you, the homeowner.

Considering more than just price is a smart idea when undertaking home improvement projects. If you're about to hire window replacement contractors, are considering replacing your vinyl siding or doing any other type of project, make sure to find a qualified contractor.

Benefits of Self Build Houses

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Would you really believe that at one time people usually built their own houses? At that time, the entire family involved itself in the project and shared the labor.

It's just the same which many people are currently doing, though these self build houses are among the most labor intensive ones. As these projects now come in DIY kits, the entire task of building them is now becoming much less complicated.

If you see the entire building project, it may appear very daunting to you though in reality it is not so. It is a fact that it is very labor intensive, but if a person is not afraid of labor, then surely this can be too rewarding for him. If you take this as a project as one which has many small interconnected project culminating into this larger one, the entire task will become much easier for you.

At first you will have to construct the foundation of cement and this is surely the largest of all interconnected tasks. First of all you need to dig the footings and then have to set the forms which may take about two weeks of time and surely there is no margin for any error. Then comes a "pour day". Many people who are in this for the first time also call it "a hell day".

A great thing about the next part is that the walls usually come in the pre-framed form. All the doors and windows are already there and you just need to locate and erect them on the foundation.

The next part of this project is to bolt the walls successfully to the house foundation, which is sometimes called by carpenters as "rolling" these ceiling joists. All the ceiling joists normally come pre-cut in length and a map usually accompany them so there is no chance of any error taking place.

After all these ceiling joists are successfully set by nailing in place, the time comes for properly sheeting the second floor by OSB or plywood. This is a very easy task but you must leave about 1.5 inches of overhand on the top side of stairwell as you start trimming its edges.

After accomplishing this, now is time for setting the topmost walls of floor in their place, bracing them and getting ready for stacking the trusses of roof. Now it is just the matter of successfully nailing these trusses in their place, properly sheeting the house roof and the house frame is totally done.

How to Manage a Home Improvement Project

Sunday, June 22, 2014

When we talk about home improvements it is the process of renovating, remodeling, replacing or making additions to one's home. Home improvement projects have basically one or more goals that include comfort, additional features, safety measures, maintenance and repair and the beautification of the home. Inspiration is one of the main reasons we want to upgrade our home by remodeling or renovating it at a budgeted prices.

There are three main approaches to better manage a home improvement project: First is by hiring a general contractor. Basically, a general contractor can either be a group or an individual responsible for the means and methods to be used in the construction execution of a project. It acts as project manager who coordinates work schedules, provide access to the site, and perform some aspects of the work. Second is hiring specialized contractors-these contractors are specialized credentials, licensing and have experiences to perform renovation services. The third one is the "do it yourself" approach or what we call DIY. Majority of the home owners report they will do some work themselves when they remodel their home according to Remodeling Sentiment Report.

For most homeowners, home maintenance can be tough and difficult. But remember, it is very essential for us to maintain our home, make it clean and should always be taken care of. Some people wanted to maintain and repair their homes but for some reasons, they can't do it. Either they don't really have much time to do this and no intended budget for the maintenance. Maintaining our houses 'conditions can help us save much since it prevents frequent house repairs, general constructions or renovations. Our household is indeed our shelter and our sanctuary where we are most comfortable with. At least we have to make sure of its safety and comfort for the sake of each member of the family.

Safety and security is also an important factor when we improve our homes. We always have to prepared with whatever incidents that might occur in our homes. Consider in investing security systems such as burglar alarm systems and fire alarm systems. This is the best option to be safe and be prepared whenever terrible circumstances arise. This may cause more, but at least it's worth the investment. Safety and security of your family is the most vital of all and no one would ever risk the safety of one's family.

At the end of the day whatever we may decide on how to better improve our home we just have to make sure the best quality improvement ideas that best suits our household. Always stay safe when renovating your home and enjoy what you do best were you are most comfortable with because one's home also reflects the owner's ideas, character and personality.

5 Interior Design Mistakes People Make

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Interior design including furniture, fabrics, wall coverings, colors, textures and styles can make your home comfortable and aesthetically appealing. It truly reflects your nature, personality and lifestyle in an outspoken manner. So it is necessary to select each an every design material carefully to enhance the look of your home design as well as make it more functional. Maintaining a consistency throughout your home decor is essential to give it a more luxurious and appealing ambiance. Interior design can be a quite daunting task for some people and they usually make various interior design mistakes while decorating their homes. In this article, I will discuss a few of them.

1. Creating Clutter and Disorganization

One of the biggest interior design mistakes people make while interior decorating is cluttering the home with too much accessories and items. Cluttering can make the room appearance smaller and even bring anxiety if not handled properly. Eliminate extra and useless items that you never or seldom use; it will provide you more living space. You can avoid this by buying only those things that you absolutely love and you think is essential for the room.

2. Selecting Wrong Type of Furniture

Another common mistake is choosing the wrong type of furniture that is either too large or too small as compared to the space available in your room. All the measurements should be made prior to purchasing pieces of furniture. Decorating your home with an appropriate furniture type that complements your living space will definitely give a pleasant and welcoming feel to your home design.

3. Ignoring Color Coordination

It is a very common and frequent interior design mistake that most people do not consider. Selecting the right colors will always be one of the most important decisions in the interior design. Choosing the shades and tints for the wall paints that fit best with fabrics and furniture will greatly depict the mood and nature of the habitants. Adding different contrasts in your color scheme can set the mood you want in your dream place.

4. Incorporating Bad Lighting

This is the worst mistake that people usually make within their home. Lighting is the one of the most significant features of the interior decor that truly influences on the emotion of the room. Incorporating lighting that fit best according to every room will improve the overall ambiance of your home decor.

5. Choosing Improper Height to Hang Artwork

Another pitfall which is often observed while interior decorating is hanging artwork on improper height that are either too low or too high. Selecting an elegant artwork that complements the room style and surface with a correct proportion is decisive to format the appearance of the walls. It will certainly give an aesthetically and pleasant appearance to your room.

The ultimate goal of interior design is to create a more functional and aesthetically appealing look for your home. The above mentioned points are some common mistakes that people generally make while decorating their home designs. Getting the help of a professional interior decorator is a worthwhile option to avoid these common mistakes.

Top Tips On Finding The Perfect Bespoke Furniture

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Furniture isn’t a cheap purchase, and whether it is one room or the entire home that needs filling, you can easily find high quality furniture that will meet all of your expectations while also saving a bit in the process. How can you find the best bespoke furniture?

First, search the web for reviews. You can find reviews for most any type of furniture you could think of, from all of the top brands. Using reviews can give you a great perspective of a piece of furniture before you spend your money. No matter your budget, ensure that you are shopping with a trustworthy company.
When shopping with a trustworthy company you can count on getting high quality furniture that meets your price range. Again, reviews are a great way to find a reputable company. Consider shopping on the web as well. Many times furniture can easily be found on the web, and you are always assured a larger selection than what can be found sitting inside of local furniture stores. And, the costs may be less when using the web to find your furniture. You can shop online any time that you like, and might even prefer doing a bit of online browsing and shopping as well as a bit in store as well.

Do not settle for less. It is your home, and having furniture that you like, that meets your style, will ensure a happy home is made. Even if it takes a bit of extra time and searching, don’t stop until you are satisfied, even thrilled, with the furniture you are getting. This is a true statement regardless of the room or rooms you are buying for.

If you are on a tight budget, compare costs before you buy. This is great even for those who are not, however essential for those who are. This is a free service most easily completed on the web. It will take you only a few short minutes to compare prices, and doing so could result in taking home savings of as much as 50%!

Finding bespoke furniture is an important decision when wasting your earnings is a no-no. You want stylish furniture made to last that looks great inside of your home. Take these tips with you when shopping and great furniture that you love will always be yours. You might even save a little bit while you are at it!

How To Select Roofing Contractors and Painting Services For Your Home Improvement Needs

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Choosing Roofing Contractors

Any type of remodeling done to homes comes with costs. But just because it does, letting any part of your home to decay is not the best alternative. One part of the house that should not be left to rot is the roof because it protects the interior. So, when it is time to repair or replace your roof, the work should not be left to amateurs. You need to find roofing contractors who can meet your needs as well as your budget.

Good roofing contractors do not only work on your roof, they also work with you to keep the costs low as possible and help you with insurance companies. You can search for them in the industry's directory or you can ask your friends and acquaintances for any referrals of roofing contractors that they have used before. The latter is usually the best option but it would not hurt to check whether a roofing contractor has a good standing with the industry's directory. The Internet is also another way of checking past performances of roofing contractors on your list through opinions from previous customers.

Checking the standing of roofing contractors before hiring one is a wise choice. Past job performances speak a lot about how a contractor takes a roofing job seriously. The opinions should not be the main factors that guide your decisions. But, be vigilant with the feedback of past customers. You do not want to hire the services of someone who have received more than a few negative comments from their previous jobs. It is also a standard in the industry that roofing contractors should comply with standards and regulations according to the current building code. So, make sure your prospective roofing contractor complies with the industry's regulations.

A roofing job should be taken seriously because it can be costly and even disastrous if done haphazardly. With the current state of the economy, it is always wise to try to do any home remodeling the first time. If you are still not satisfied with your list, do more research because you will ultimately get the value for your money for that roofing job.

Determine the Type of Painting Services Your Home Needs

A painting project for your home is a serious endeavour so, finding a contractor that can provide painting services for your home should be taken seriously. Before hiring any contractor, determine first the type of painting job you need. Different types of painting jobs may also require different types of painting services from different contractors. That is, if the contractor you have chosen specializes on certain painting jobs.

Before hiring painting services from a contractor, assess whether your house needs paint for the exterior or does it only need paint for its interior. Although most contractors are capable of offering any type of painting services, it is still advisable to know what your house needs in order to assess how much it will cost.

If you need a painting job for the exterior of your house, assess first what needs to be done. Exterior areas of your house need to check the condition of the area that needs to be painted. Some materials may need some repair before any painting can be successfully done on it. Doing this avoids the hassle of painting rework and additional costs.

Painting the interior of your house is another matter. It is not only about applying paint on walls, it includes some improvements on cabinets or putting textures on certain walls. So, interior painting is more detail oriented than the exterior. The contractor you hire to provide the painting services should be exceptionally detail oriented but does not lose focus on the quality.

Choosing the right contractor to do the painting services for your home will give you satisfaction. So, to avoid headaches and a lousy job, consider hiring the services of a trusted and tested contractor. Ask friends and acquaintances for recommendations of contractors they have hired for painting services in the past. You can also check a list of contractors who offer painting services in the industry's directory. Another method is to check opinions of previous customers on the contractor's website. Although it is not always advisable to rely on those opinions, you would not want to hire someone who have received more than a few negative feedback.

Home Renovation - Deciding What You Can and Cannot Do Yourself

Sunday, June 8, 2014

There are two kinds of people: those that like to do everything themselves and those that don't. The former group is probably going to end up saving money and they're going to learn more about the finer points of home renovation. The latter just want to have a nice home. They don't care too much how it's done and they may not even care about the price, they just care about the results. If you're the kind of person that likes to get their hands dirty, you have to realize that there are some things that you can do and some thing that you really should leave to skilled and experienced professionals.

Most of the things you can do yourself tend to be somewhat minor improvements, but they can nevertheless have a major impact on the look and feel of your home. One of the best ways to see what you can do yourself is to stroll up and down the isles of your local home improvement store and see what catches your eye. These stores cater to the do-it-yourself crowd and are staffed with employees that can offer their expert advice when asked. It's true that these stores also sell their services too, but by and large they cater mostly to people that are looking for materials so they can do the job themselves. Almost anything is fair game at these kinds of stores. If you're new to home renovation you'll probably want to start with something easy before progressing to a difficult project. Consult the staff there to figure out where you can start. You might also want to get a book to help guide you through the steps. Also don't forget that the internet is a great resource for such projects.

Then there are other home renovation jobs that will be very hard for the weekend warriors. It may even be next to impossible to complete for them. It's not because they can't do it. It's because those kind of jobs either require a team of professionals or require a lot of skill and precision work. Expensive materials could be involved as well. An example of such a job would be a replacing an air conditioning unit. Such a unit is heavy and expensive, and so installing it yourself could prove to be difficult and multifaceted. Some amount of improvisation may also be required to accommodate the unit in your home. It would probably be best to let a professional install it for you. Another example would be installing new windows in your home. Modern windows can be a lot more expensive than you might think, but they can offer many advantages over previous generation of windows. Actually, they often work in conjunction with air conditioning systems because they provide better insulation. They can help keep your home cooler when it's hot and warmer when it's cold. Eventually all homes will have advanced windows, but in the meantime it's only for people that bother to initiate the upgrade. You probably cannot perform window replacement yourself, but there are many professional companies out there that consistently produce quality results.

Home Interior Design That Suits Your Personality

Thursday, June 5, 2014

A house becomes indescribable when it litterally takes your breath away once you enter. It is when you feel that the house in itself exudes character and a statement all its own. Of course, it should be designed in a classical manner that befits its size and grandeur.

A beautiful and well-interiored home is never too harsh or dark. Nor doe it use too many elements of design and it refrains from using things too ordinary or common. It has high ceilings, an atrium and bay windows. Its design is always exaggerated to be noticed.

It should tell a story of the history behind it. It should invoke a certain culture not intertwined with others. It also requires a focal point, something out of the ordinary like a metal armor, a collection of authentic antiques, an original painting or work of art of any known artists, a cultural heritage piece or a family heirloom.

Choice of flooring and window material also counts, as does a specially designed place in the house like a mini-spa, gazebo or relaxation room.

In fact, anybody can make a truly indescribable house just by being creative and utilizing some home interior design options that compliments your distinctive taste and personality. All it requires is the actual application of a palette of colors that is a feast to the eyes.

Just remember: What other people perceive of you is what characterizes you the most. It's basically self-explanatory, no need to delve into it much further, right?

Here are 5 major categories of individual personalities for a home interior design. It's up to you on how you view yourself to be.

1. Gorgeous dresser model - If you say that you're a sleek dresser, then your color choices should reflect that. In the same manner colors can be combined or used as the color scheme for your wall painting and even accessories or decorative accents in your house.

2. Sleek businessperson - This category requires you to have a neat, refined and straight look. This should also apply in the design of your home which should be clutter-free with a streamlined architectural approach using more of the monochromatic or earth colors bordering on the brown, black, gray and white.

3. Conservative philanthropist individual - You favor simple, clean and refined look. This goes for your home design which showcases plain and simple lines. Although this is favorable, you can add more color accents and invest in decorative ornaments of your choice.

4. Confident speaker/ salesperson - Being a sales manager, you feel confident and at ease with talking to people from all walks of life. It's part of your orientation so it's part of your personal life too. You go for the vibrant, energetic colors that uplift your mood. Affinity with classic lines combined with sleek, trendy touches of colors or interior accents suits you best.

5. Sporty, go-getter executive - This character goes for the rugged and "spur of the moment" design concept. Albeit, her artistic tendencies show off once in awhile. You will want to mix and match interiors.

If your character does not fall in to any of the above mentioned, it's safe for you to choose which item goes for you - it can be a combination of any two categories or all of it. Suit yourself!

Black Homeowners Guide - How Asking 3 Questions Can Save You Hundreds On Home Repairs

Sunday, June 1, 2014

With competition getting tougher between contractors and building supply companies, the atmosphere is a homeowner's dream. Especially for homeowners who know how to take advantage of this situation. How? By comparison shopping, negotiating and using 3 secret power questions I'll reveal to you in this powerful article.

These 3 secret power questions will allow you to get rock-bottom prices for your home repairs and improvements.

There is an ancient saying that says, "It's not just what you say, but how you say it." This message will show you how to use 3 secret power questions to save money on your home repairs and improvements.

High-powered negotiators who haggle over million dollar contracts over coffee and donuts know the power of using or not using certain words. The secret is not just knowing what words to use, but when to use them. Timing is everything if you want to get the lowest price for home repairs and improvements as well.

Use certain words too soon and you can telegraph your hand alerting the other party to put up their price defenses. Use certain words too late and you can miss your golden opportunity to get a lower price.

Yes, when it comes to using these 3 secret power questions timing is everything - if you want to save money on home repairs and improvements.

To lay a solid foundation for you and set the stage to get the best use from these 3 power questions make sure you do the following:

1. Be Willing To Comparison Shop. Get or be willing to get at least 3 quotes or estimates on a home improvement or repair job. Especially if you're not familiar with the prices of the job or materials you want to purchase. This will help you to recognize a good price from a great price when you see it.

2. When you ask these 3 power questions, look the other person in the eye. Looking the other person in the eye when you say these power words adds sincerity and force to your words. Notice if they look you in the eye when they respond.

3. After you ask these power questions, keep quiet and listen for the other persons answer.

Even if it takes the other person 5 minutes to answer. Shut-up and wait patiently for the answer. They're thinking, don't interrupt them or you could destroy the power of the question. Your ability to keep quiet could save you dollars. Imagine saving $5 for every second you can keep quiet until he answers.

Now you're ready to get the lowest prices for home repairs and improvements using the following powerful questions. You should ask these questions in the following order.

1. What's Your Best Price?

This simple 4 word question often throws most contractors and repairmen off there sales plan and immediately puts you in control - if asked at the right time.

The best time to ask this question is after the contractor or repairman has evaluated your situation. Wait until after they've given you there remedy or solution and invested time with you.

The more time the other person spends with you the more willing they are to soften the price or make other concessions. (Provided you don't come off as a jerk).

2. Is That Your Best Price?

After they answer your first power question ("What's Your Best Price?"). Pause (3-5 seconds) and respond, "Is That Your Best Price? (With a slight hint of surprise in your voice.)

This simple question has encouraged many contractors to search for room to lower their price seconds after being asked. You can often see the wheels turning in their heads after you ask it.

Remember, if they give you a great price before you ask this question, this question will not have the maximum affect. And sometimes may not be necessary. That's why it's essential you know what a good price is and what a great prices is.

If it's a great price you might want to take it.

3. Use the "If" word.

This powerful two-letter word has lowered the price for more products and services than any other word of record. If the first two power questions can't get the price down low enough for you this two-letter word will often do it. Examples for using the "If" word:

A) "If "I buy 3 instead of one what kind of break will you give me?

B "If" I make a larger down payment what kind of break will you give me?

C) "If" I pay cash what kind of break will you give me? Etc.

There are many ways to use the "if" word when negotiating a lower price if you use your imagination.

If after using all three power questions you can't get some kind of price break, consider getting another estimate. Then choose the best estimate - meaning price, quality of service and value.

Be cautious of simply shopping for the cheapest price without considering quality of service and value. A funny thing happens when you shop for the cheapest price alone - you usually get what you pay for.

By using the 3 power questions you'll find yourself feeling the confidence of getting the best value for your money on purpose and not just by accident. You'll soon discover the more you practice these ideas the better you'll get at it and the more money you'll save.

 

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