Communication Was Responsible For 1970s Ranch Remodeling Success

Communication: The Key That Unlocks The Door To Remodeling Success!

 

Communication helped transform the front of the 1970s ranch-style home

Communication helped everyone transform the 1970s ranch-style home: New dormers and new semi-circular wall surrounding the new private patio.

The return trip home, after leaving Mark and Anne’s yearly Thanksgiving open house, presented a wonderful opportunity to think about everything that made their major 1970s ranch home remodeling project special. Then, a familiar question, “How can more homeowners achieve the best results possible — with fewer anxieties, hassles, and regrets?” Here’s what made a big difference for Anne and Mark when they remodeled (and added onto) their home, and what can make a big difference for you:

Everyone took responsibility for communication, making this a successful remodeling project!

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5 Ways To Avoid Remodeling Change Orders

Remodeling Change Orders — The LAST Thing You Want!

Remodeling change orders may be included automatically with low estimates.

Caution: The lowest estimate often comes with change orders.

Remodeling Change Orders. You’re surprised, and feel betrayed.  Just when everything seemed to be going well, your contractor says, “We’ve run into a problem,” or, “If you want it, you’re going to have to pay more.” There are (sometimes) valid reasons for Change Orders, but most of the time, they can be avoided. You do not want to feel like your home is being held hostage. Here are five ways to avoid Change Orders:

How to Avoid Remodeling Change Orders

Remodeling Change Orders during a building or remodeling project should be an exception, not the rule. Here are ways that you can avoid them: (more…)

Homeowner AND Contractor Advocate

Advocate for Homeowners?  Of Course!

homeowner advocate and contractor advocate

                  “Hello, I’m Diane Plesset.”

What is an Advocate? Many contractors conclude that an advocate always takes the homeowners’ side against them, which is not true. Remodeling is a team effort. If everyone remembers this, and takes their individual responsibility seriously.  There’s no need for anyone to take sides in most cases. There have been only five times in several hundred remodeling projects where a dispute arose. There was clear evidence that the contractor had done something very wrong:

  • Not providing products and services specified in their agreement without communication.
  • Changing the scope of the project without communication.
  • Not providing a written change order before extra work began.
  • Selling products at an inflated price because “warranty service” was provided, without specifying in writing exactly what is included and excluded.

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Building and Remodeling Changes Since 2008

Building-Remodeling Changes: Santa Claus or Grinch?

Building-remodeling changes began like Grinch in 2008

“How the Grinch Stole . . . Everything!

History Before 2008:

Building-remodeling professionals were busy, with seasonal ups and downs. Homeowners called design and construction professionals to renovate their home, or build a new home. They had high expectations and positive anticipation about finding someone to help them.They felt it was like  waiting for Santa Claus.

2008:

The Grinch (aka the economy) stole everything. Anticipation was replaced by anxiety and fear. Americans were just trying to keep their homes, trying to prevent the Grinch from stealing the roof over their heads. People lost jobs as companies downsized or closed their doors. Building and remodeling stopped. People who were thinking about trading up decided to hunker down and stay put. Recovery from such a devastating blow takes a long time. (more…)

Protect Your Bathroom Investment . . . and Your Sanity!

3 Recommendations To Protect Your Bathroom Investment (And Your Sanity)

Bathroom Remodeling NightmareHave you heard remodeling nightmare stories shared by family, friends, and neighbors? Was your reaction a vow to never remodel your home? Time has passed, and now you’re considering a major bathroom renovation. Your new vow is, “Those nightmares will never happen to me”. How can you avoid costly, frustrating problems? Let’s follow the “Smiths” and the “Browns” through their bathroom transformations:

“Wish List”

The “Smiths” wanted to remodel their master bathroom, but didn’t think about what they really wanted to include, and how they wanted to feel in their new bathroom. This opened the door for unnecessary features that could squeeze them into an over-budget situation. The “Browns” took the time to define exactly what they wanted — the look, feel, and function. They agreed that their #1 priority was a two-person shower with all the bells and whistles (rainhead shower head, body sprays, adjustable personal shower, a large bench seat, and decorative glass tiles). They could talk knowledgeably with professionals they would hire to help them design and build their new bathroom.

♦ Recommendation #1: Define Your Priorities (Money Matters!)

The “Smiths” relied on magazine articles and TV remodeling shows for information, without testing reality. They did no research about

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Bathroom & Kitchen Countertops Pros and Cons (3/3)

Which Bathroom and Kitchen Countertops are Right for You?

We conclude this pros and cons discussion about bathroom and kitchen countertops, talking about concrete, stone, stainless steel, and lavastone. This information, combined with my previous article about your countertop investment will help you make a choice that will give you years of great service and personal pleasure.

Materials: Concrete, Stone, Stainless Steel, Lavastone

Concrete:

Made popular by Fu Tung Cheng, who has written at least one book about the subject.

Countertops-ConcretePros: Concrete can be an exquisite, unique countertop, with an unlimited color palette, and the possibility of inlays or relief impressions. Undermount porcelain, cast iron, and metal sinks can be used with concrete bathroom countertops, and it’s possible to have a one-of-a-kind integral concrete sink as a focal point. Cons: Although there are many step-by-step seminars, articles, and videos showing how to create concrete countertops, they are not a beginner-DIY project; they must be manufactured by an expert. Concrete is a very porous substance and a brittle material, prone to cracking and chipping. It must be sealed to prevent bacteria growth and staining. It can be very heavy, and may require extra-sturdy cabinets — and reinforcement of the structure. (Photo Courtesy of Sonoma Cast Stone)

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