Home Improvement Tips: Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home

Reasons for A Redo

Home improvement projects often begin with someone saying, “Wouldn’t it be nice if… ?” usually followed by a wish for a remodelled kitchen or a room addition for space to accommodate every family member’s needs. More often than not, reality and dreams don’t coincide, due to limited funds for realizing the dream, or limits on the available space. The trick: turning your dreams into reality. Begin with a realistic evaluation of your needs. Homeowners usually consider home improvements for one of the following reasons.

You may feel the need to update something that is out-of-date. If your kitchen colour scheme was perfect a few decades ago but no longer works, now may a good time to update it.

Some home improvement projects grow out of an immediate need to replace broken or inefficient fixtures. If a sink, tub, or toilet needs to be replaced, consider taking advantage of the opportunity to do a makeover on the entire bathroom.

If you’re preparing to sell your home, you’ll want to be sure to get top dollar from the sale. That’s great motivation for some home improvement projects.

You have decided that staying put and improving your home is a better option than moving.

Your family has grown and you need more space.

Improving to Move? or Improving to Stay?

Evaluate your plans carefully if you’re improving your home to list it for sale. Cutting corners may hurt your prospects rather than helping them. But don’t go overboard either. Potential buyers may prefer not to pay for some of the extras, such as a hot tub or pool. You’re better off keeping the changes simple.

And remember that buyers who view your home may not share your tastes and may not appreciate the care you took to find just the right shade of green paint for the walls.

You’ll find that improving to sell is easier if you can think about it from the prospective buyer’s point of view: What is important to the home buyer? Here are a few remodelling projects buyers are likely to find valuable:

Adding or remodelling a bath

Improving the kitchen

Adding a new room

Landscaping

Adding a bedroom

Adding or enclosing a garage.

If you’re remodelling because you want to stay in your home, you should still avoid over-improving it. You’ll probably want to sell it someday, and even if your house is the best on the block, it may be difficult to convince potential buyers to pay for the things you considered important. And when you consider making improvements, keep in mind the value of other homes in the area. Your home’s value should not be more than 20% above the average, which means that a $10,000 kitchen improvement project well could be a better investment than a $10,000 hot tub, especially if yours will be the only home in the area with a hot tub.

Home Maintenance versus Home Improvements

It’s unfortunate that some home improvement projects are undertaken because something has broken. Replacing a leaky bathtub may be the first step to a major bath remodeling: since the tub has to be replaced anyway, why not do the whole room?

While that might be a legitimate reason to remodel, avoid basing your home improvement projects on immediate needs. You’ll be better off if you minimize problems with proper maintenance. Examine every part of your home at least once a year. Check the roof, the plumbing, electrical wiring, etc. As soon as become aware of a problem, fix it. Making repairs when you’re first aware of them will help you avoid larger expenses later on. Keep in mind that maintenance does not add to the value of your home. Usually repairs are not improvements; they are necessities.

Hiring Professionals May Save You Time and Money

It should go without saying that home projects can be expensive, so you may be tempted to tackle them yourself as a way to save money. That may be a smart move for small projects. You won’t have to wait for someone to fit your house into their busy schedule, and you can boast about having done the work yourself.

But unless you’re very versatile, major home improvements are better left to professionals. If you decide to remodel the kitchen and plan to do the work yourself, will you be able to handle the plumbing, electrical, and carpentry work on your own?. And don’t forget that you’ll need to finish it quickly, because you won’t have a kitchen as long as it’s a “work in process” and eating three meals a day in restaurants could get expensive. Keep in mind, do-it-yourself jobs generally take more time. And you’ll be responsible for getting all the necessary permits and inspections.

Hiring people who have the required experience can save you money and time, too. For example, these professionals can help you get a custom look using stock products, and that can be a significant savings. Getting something done right the first time will give you value that lasts for years.

To find qualified and dependable home improvement specialists, check with friends, business associates, and neighbours for recommendations. Always get at least three references, and check them out thoroughly. Also check with the local chapter of the Better Business Bureau or Chamber of Commerce. Their numbers can be found in the community services section of your telephone book.

Once you’ve located the necessary home improvement specialists, make sure everyone is in agreement about the design, the schedule, and the budget, and get the details down in writing in a signed contract.

It’s also wise to check on professional certifications and licenses, where required, and be certain that the contractors you hire are fully insured and bonded. Your town or city Building Department can provide that information. And it’s very important that you make sure contractors carry workers’ compensation insurance: if workers are injured on the job, you won’t be liable if the contractor is covered. Request copies of their insurance certificates. And make sure that either you or your contractor have gotten any necessary permits before the work begins. Contact your local Planning and Zoning Commission for information.

Here’s a quick overview of some of the professionals you may need to work with when you remodel your home:

Architect: Architects design homes or additions from the foundation to the roof. If your project will require structural changes such as adding or removing walls, or if the design is complex, you will probably need an architect. Since architects may charge an hourly or a flat fee, make sure you get an estimate of the total cost: drawing up the plans for a major remodeling project can take 80 hours or more.

Contractor: The contractor oversees the home improvement project, including hiring and supervising workers, getting the necessary permits, making sure inspections are done as needed, and providing insurance for work crews. It’s always a good idea to get proposals from one or more reputable contractors, based on the specific details of your project.

Be sure each contractor bids on exactly the same plan so that you can compare their bids more easily. When you’ve chosen a contractor, make sure the contract specifies that you will pay in stages. You’ll usually pay one third when the contract is signed so that the contractor can buy supplies. The number and timing for making the remaining payments will depend on the size of the project. Do not make the final payment until all the work is successfully completed, inspected, and approved.

Interior Designers: Interior designers are specialists who will provide advice on furnishings, wall coverings, colors, styles, and more. They help save you time by narrowing your selection, and save money because they usually receive professional discounts from their suppliers. When meeting with an interior designer, be sure to tell them about your personal style and preferences. Expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $150 per hour, or you may be able to negotiate a flat fee of approximately 25% of the total project cost.

How to Identify Good Home Improvement Leads

Identifying good Home Improvement Leads doesn’t have to be difficult. Despite the misleading advertisers and scams to provide exclusive Leads, there is hope. People in your local area are looking for Home Improvement companies that perform quality work for services needed on their homes. The key to identifying the best source for these customers is to find a unique system for delivering the most exclusive leads available at the prices contractors and home improvement specialists are looking for.

It is not necessary to develop a high ranking website or to even have a website at all. Spending the time, energy, and money required to develop a highly optimized site is one method. Actually, one doesn’t need a website at all.

Look for a company located in your area that specializes in building search engine optimized pages specifically designed to gather leads from people looking for services today. If you have an existing website continue building it with lots of content rich information related to your business. Let the lead gathering company get your customers through their pages and make sure they automatically forward you the information. The single most important item is to make sure the lead provider gives you Customer Lead Information that is not shared with any other contractor or service provider. This is the only way to be sure your lead is truly an exclusive one.

The key component of your success with home improvement leads is having expertly written content describing your product or service. The advantage of utilizing a local company is that they will have ties to the community in which you work. It is in their best interest to provide you with a quality experience as bad reputations travel faster than good ones. You want local support so that local people looking for home improvements will find the page. If you are doing home improvement work in Fort Worth, Texas, it is a safe bet that you won’t get nearly the local flavor from someone in New York. You want that local customer who found the information to visit, read, and either fill out a form that is instantly emailed or call on a special phone number created and forwarded to your number. Having a unique phone number different from your regular business number is part of another technique for optimizing a leads page so be sure to look for this feature. Another important consideration is to notice if other companies’ information is shown on the page. Many of the so called lead suppliers are only looking for pay per click traffic through their site to your competitor pages. Find a service with these qualities and your competitors will be left eating your dust.

There are some other key ingredients to providing you exclusive leads. Does the lead provider strategically place videos and other readable media all over the web? Don’t be afraid to ask! A few choice spots with content rich media will get the search engine’s attention and drive incredible amounts of traffic to your lead forms. Don’t be surprised if your lead provider suddenly shows up with 3 or 4 spots on the first page of your favorite search engine. Get excited, because when that happens, you are about to be inundated with local home improvement leads.

Home Improvement Leads don’t have to be expensive when you utilize the services of a local area leads supplier. These companies should be committed to helping you be more successful by delivering the most exclusive leads at the best prices obtainable. By using multiple tactics to deliver the traffic, you can focus on providing the quality product or service you are best at. Allow the search engine experts to concentrate on finding potential customers while you do the professional work you love to do. Isn’t that why you are in business for yourself?

Improving Your Home Based Business is Important

A home based business can be a great method for achieving financial stability and growth. It is an excellent method of earning money for single parents and those who are disabled or not in a position to leave home. Traditional home based businesses were seen as tough as the scope of growing the business and reaching out to the right audience were seen as major challenges. But with the advent of the Internet and its massive ability to reach people across the world, home based business has become comparatively easy.

Having said that, just setting up a home business and connecting to the internet is not enough. Every business has to be constantly worked upon and its processes improved for it to become successful. A home business is no exception. While you might start a home business in a very niche area and grow it quickly to become successful become the competition catches up, in today’s age of fast communication and information sharing, you cannot rest on your laurels and believe you will never have competition; it will turn up sooner than expected and will be tougher than anticipated.

Once competitors get the hang of your niche, they will quickly start giving you a run for your money. In such a scenario, you will have to put in lot of efforts and pay constant attention to your home business to keep it running smoothly and growing. The primary requirement in doing so is to keep improving your home business day in and day out. A home business is not much different from traditional businesses with the exception that you run it from home.

So just like traditional businesses, you also must work at continuously improving your business. When we talk of improvement, it has to be in all areas and all aspects. Whether you are providing a service, or manufacturing and selling a product, or working as a consultant, you will have to pay attention to what and where the market is headed. It is then matter of working out and implementing the changes that improve your business in that direction. With traditional businesses, you have the advantage of being in the market. This gives you faster access to new information as it comes in.

With a home based business, you are often cut off from main stream commerce and if you are not attentive enough, you might miss out on important new developments that could affect your business. This can be considered the first area of improvement for your home business – creating channels of information flow and a system through which you can keep track of new happenings as they happen.

Another major area of improvement of all home businesses is the reach of the business. Many home business owners have a short-coming of focusing only on the domestic market and not looking at reaching out farther. Any home business that does not think of growing out of its initial mold and reaching out to a wider audience is set to fail. Once competition comes in, your market share will drop and the only way to keep your business sustainable is to grow into newer markets.

One other aspect of a home business that calls for improvement is the promotion and branding. Without the right branding, your home business cannot generate the kind of client based you should have to be successful. Home based business owners often make the mistake of believing they do not require branding; no business can make a mark without a proper brand standing.

Home based businesses have traditionally been resistant to change. They are not open to accepting new technologies, which disallows them from competing with professional organizations. But by setting up a learning business that is always ready to change and improve, home business entrepreneurs can easily beat the heat and have a profitable venture that has the ability to ride out any competitor storms.

Finding Home Improvement Jobs For Your Business

All of the paperwork has been filed, licenses have been approved and insurance has been purchased. Now, all that are needed are jobs. Getting a business up and running is tough enough, but the most important part, getting jobs and making money, can be daunting if you don’t know where to look. Finding home improvement jobs doesn’t have to be stressful.

One of the most crucial elements of any business ownership is networking. Getting out there, meeting new people and letting them know about your services is how any great business gets its start. Nowadays, with the help of the internet, it’s easier than ever to connect with potential clients. There are tons of sites dedicated to matching customers with the services and businesses they seek.

Some sites allow contractors to list their business services and contact information, even including a place to link their own business websites. Most of these sites, unless supported solely by advertising, will require a fee from the contractors in order to find customers. These sites charge contractors the fee in order to keep the site free for potential clients, thereby enticing those in need of a service to sign up and create an account. This makes clients easily accessible without worrying about spamming or other ineffective advertising methods.

Merely typing in the words “construction leads” into any search engine will produce a ton of results. Weed through them quickly by seeing how much each site charges for membership. Create accounts with websites that offer a free trial period so you can get an idea of how the site works and if there are enough leads to make it worth your time and money. Some sites offer more bang for the buck so shop around to find one that works best for your area and needs.

Additional features may include message boards, subcontractor searches and customer feedback ratings. Most sites will provide various membership pricing options to fit all kinds of budgets. Finding home improvement jobs can be easy by using one of these great online services!