4 Little Known Secrets to Successfully Remodel Your Home

When it comes to choosing a remodeling contractor, it’s sometimes hard to figure out the “good guys” from the “bad guys.” In order for your next remodeling project to meet your expectations, use this guide as an informational tool helping you to avoid the scams and unscrupulous tactics that are rife within the home improvement industry.

SECRET #1 – Avoid The Two Biggest Misconceptions About Remodeling

Misconception #1: Taking a contractor’s word simply at face value.

Request to see all claims in writing. Believing simply what a contractor tells you can be a costly mistake. If a contractor claims to be a member of a particular organization, there is certainly nothing wrong with asking to see proof. Hearsay is not admissible in a court of law, and so should be the case when it comes to dealing with your biggest investment – your home.

Misconception #2: Going with the lowest price saves you money.

This statement is not necessarily true. Everyone wants three things when making a purchase: 1) Low Price, 2) Best Quality, and 3) Best Service. It’s nearly impossible to get all three. As the old adage goes, “You can’t get something for nothing.” Before accepting a low price, consider the level of service involved, the type of company you are choosing, the design of your project, and the specifications of your project. Price should always be weighed, but value is always the more important consideration.

SECRET #2 – Elude High Pressure Sales

Beware of high pressure tactics; they are intended to get you to sign a contract immediately. A good deal of skepticism is recommended for any offer that states, “You must sign now!” If you are offered a limited time special, ask for documentation or samples of flyers stating to that effect. Legitimate companies make legitimized “limited time only” offers.

SECRET #3 – Beware Of Door-To-Door Handymen

These people may not be contractors at all. Never allow them into your home until you have checked them out thoroughly. Even if they turn out to be real contractors, door-to-door contractors are notorious for providing incomplete or sub-par work. There is no real savings if you spend your time tracking down a contractor to finish the job, or, worse yet, you must hire another contractor to correct the other’s inferior work.

SECRET #4 – Ask These Questions Before Hiring Any Contractor

“Are you licensed?” Make sure your contractor is deemed by your state to have the proficiency and knowledge to work on your home.

“Do you carry general liability insurance?” This type of insurance protects your property in case of damage caused by the contracting company.

“Do you carry workman’s compensation insurance?” This insurance protects you from liability if a worker is injured while on your property. Some contractors claim that your homeowners insurance will sufficiently cover them. This statement is simply not true. In most cases, your homeowners insurance excludes injuries sustained by hired workers.

“Are you a member of the Better Business Bureau or any other building association?” Conscientious contractors usually belong to multiple associations. These associations investigate contractors’ backgrounds and references as well. Therefore, undesirable contractors are usually weeded out of these organizations.

“Will you pull the required permits?” A reputable contractor will pull a permit on every job where one is required. Some contractors may ask you to pull your own permit. This could be a warning sign that the contractor is not licensed to do the specified work. In addition, some insurance companies will not cover work that is done without a proper permit.

“Do you guarantee your work?” This one is simple. If a contractor can’t guarantee it, then don’t buy it.

“How do you handle your clean-up?” A clean work site is fundamental to a smooth remodeling project. Your contractor should dispose of any debris at the end of each day. Your home should be left “broom swept.”

Feel smarter? Hopefully so.

Now, you should be properly prepared to solicit estimates for your upcoming project. Best of luck with your remodeling plans!

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

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.

Home Improvement Projects Could Require Garden Planning Permission

Owning a home brings lots of responsibilities for maintenance and upkeep. Most homeowners take great pride in their property and often want to improve. That’s when the smartest homeowners check to see if their planned projects need garden planning permission.

The permission requires consulting with officials about what local ordinances and/or codes you must comply with in order to make improvements to your home or property. Some types of work are considered “permitted development” and don’t need permission as long as they meet local building codes.

However, other property improvements are required to get it. The Parliament of the United Kingdom has assigned primary responsibility for planning to local authorities. Usually this duty is carried out by the planning department of a local council. Fortunately, it’s possible to check on special permit needs from the comfort of your own home computer..

Why go to the trouble of checking out garden planning permission? You can find information on all kinds of uses and structures. Furthermore, it’s possible to submit an application for a permit from any local authority in England or Wales through this one convenient site. The online service can be used for such requirements as planning permission, lawful development certificates, listed building consent and conservation area consent.

The website guides applicants through the process, and offers assistance at all stages. The application is saved online in case the homeowner needs to check on any details away from the computer.

The internet will offer information on the codes that regulate sheds, greenhouses and garages, along with swimming pools, ponds, sauna cabins, kennels, tennis courts and many other structures. There are also regulations governing the installation of a satellite dish, building a new dwelling on an existing property and provisions regarding the installation of fuel storage tanks on farms.

In additions, should you want a garden office to work from home or seek to build a granny flat for your aging parent, you’ll need to check which one needs planning permission or a special permit. Sometimes they do, and other times they don’t.

Don’t make the costly and embarrassing mistake of failing to get proper garden planning permission for a home improvement or addition. It should be a property owner’s first step in preparing to add a structure that will enhance the quality of life in his or her home.