Don’t Be Cheated by “Kickbacks” and “Referral Fees”!

Is Making Money with Kickbacks and Referral Fees That Important?

Money Changing Hands - Referral Fees

A custom cabinet manufacturer was upset about a designer who, after referring a remodeling project to him, asked for a referral fee. Unfortunately, getting/giving “kick-backs” is not a new practice. Does this practice bother you? Here’s how it impacts your remodeling investment, and what you can do about it. (more…)

Detailed Remodeling Plans — Why Bother?

 What Remodeling Plans Are, and How They Can Help You

Jobsite With Full-scale Backsplash Detail by Diane Plesset If you’re thinking about, or planning to remodel your home, this article will help you. You’ll understand how detailed remodeling plans can help you achieve the best results and reduce chances for costly mistakes. You’ve heard the quote, “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.” So true, especially regarding home remodeling plans. This information applies to every type of home improvement project:

  • Turn-key: all labor provided by a contractor.
  • Partial D-I-Y: specific labor provided by trade specialists, as needed.
  • Full D-I-Y: all labor provided by homeowners.

WHAT ARE DETAILED PLANS?

  • Translation of everything you want, spoken in contractors’ terms.
  • Dimensioned schematic drawings drafted to scale, usually 1/4” per foot, or 1/2” per foot.  Larger scale allows details to be shown more clearly.
  • Visual “GPS” that gives accurate directions, so everyone gets to the desired destination.
  • Scale and dimensions accurate to 1/8 inch. (more…)

Recipe for D-I-Y Home Remodeling Success

The Key To D-I-Y Success: “Know Thyself”

Basement Rec Room

Found space in a basement is great for many purposes!

 How To Make A New Room Using Leftover Space

Classic, time-tested recipe to convert and remodel a leftover basement area, approximately 280 square feet, to be a multi-purpose bonus room for the entire family to enjoy.  One  corner of the area, approximately 24 square feet, can accommodate a powder room for occupants’ convenience.  An existing doorway accesses the rear garden for indoor-outdoor parties. Delicious possibilities for year-round entertaining!

The key to D-I-Y success is to be honest about what you can do yourself, and what you can’t do (i.e., hire others!)

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Remodeling Treat -OR- Trick?

Achieving D-I-Y Treat Was Tricky

Trick or Treat Construction Witch The title of this blog is seasonal, but unfortunately, “Trick or Treat” remodeling happens year ’round. The “treat” is homemade. If you follow the Recipe for DIY Home Remodeling Success,” you’ll end up with something very sweet. If you try to change the recipe, your treat may look like it’s sweet, but it  could be face-puckering bitter — the kind of bitter that you’ll never forget.  This is a true story about one family’s DIY Treat that turned into a Trick.

It Was Supposed To Be a Treat

Imagine how great it must  feel to discover that you have 280 square feet in your basement that you can convert to usable space. Wow! What a treat! Remodeling is going to be a lot of work, but there are many ways to use the space. Storage? Possibly. How about a bonus room? Yes! It will require at least two of the four structural posts to be removed, to open up the room, but it can be done. Using the exterior doorway that’s already there is an added bonus, because you can build a deck for summertime inside/outside parties. And, as long as you’re doing the work, how about adding a powder room, so family and friends don’t have to climb a flight of stairs to use the bathroom? Sure! Wonderful idea!

This is the shorthand version of what often happens during DIY  brainstorming, talking

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Home Remodeling: How to Cope With Change

Six Examples: What TO DO and What NOT TO DO to Cope with Home Remodeling

State of ConfusionWhy does change overcome many of us with anxiety?  Is it fear of the unknown, or fear of failure, or a combination of the two? Marilyn Ferguson describes the anxious feelings beautifully: It’s like being between trapezes. It’s Linus when his blanket is in the dryer.” Following are brief stories about six remodeling projects, for couples in different stages of life.  Three projects flowed smoothly, like chocolate syrup on vanilla ice cream, and three of the projects were like curdled milk, filled with sour lumps.

Have you ever noticed that people who embrace change ultimately enjoy life more, and achieve more success personally and professionally? Relating this to building and remodeling, homeowners who enter into a project with an adventurous spirit and maintain a positive attitude throughout, achieve the best results.

If you’re thinking about building a new home, or remodeling your existing home, please take a few minutes to think about how you feel about change, and the period of transition that you’ll be going through. There are no absolute right or wrong answers to the following questions:

  • Why do you want to remodel (or build) your home? (more…)

No “Cookie-Cutter” Home Remodeling Solutions!

Invest in Home Remodeling Wisely, To Get the Best You Can Afford

Custom yellow and gray marble fireplace Experience teaches us that if we treat everyone with the same levels of compassion and respect, we discover that they have real feelings, needs, and desires. Everyone wants the best of everything! Although there may be more money to invest in a remodeling project, there should always be a budget.

Everyone is special in their own way. It shouldn’t matter whether you have $500,000 or $5,000 to invest in your home. No matter what your remodeling budget is, follow this advice:

» Talk to at least three professionals before making a decision; get information about experience, check references, and trust your “gut feelings”

» Ask questions, and don’t accept pat answers about anything

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