5 Great Home Improvement Projects That Will Save You Money Without Sacrificing Quality

Home improvement projects are a given when you own your own property. No matter the size, age or location of your home, at one point or another you’re going to run into an issue that needs to be addressed. Some of these repairs and replacements are a necessity to have your home continue to run at it’s best, while others are simply design and style desires.

Home improvement projects are a given when you own your own property. No matter the size, age or location of your home, at one point or another you’re going to run into an issue that needs to be addressed. Some of these repairs and replacements are a necessity to have your home continue to run at it’s best, while others are simply design and style desires.

Saving money is always a good thing, but you also want to think about the old saying, “you get what you pay for”. Cutting costs can work for you, if done right. That’s why it’s always important to figure out all the details of your upcoming home improvement project to decide on exactly what you can do without. Also take into account a few different contractors. Don’t go with one company just because their price is lower; balance cost and quality to have the best result.

  • Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

Kitchen remodeling is one of the most popular home improvement projects across the nation. Many homeowners grow tired of their outdated cooking space, and look for something brand new in their kitchen. While a full kitchen remodeling project is the best way to get the custom kitchen you’ve always wanted, they come with a pretty hefty price tag. Cabinet refacing is a great way to give your kitchen a beautiful new look without emptying your entire savings account. Since your kitchen cabinets take up a good amount of the visual space in your cooking area, when you change them, you change the whole room. A skilled kitchen cabinet refacing contractor will be able to give your cabinets a great new feel in the color and style that matches exactly what you have in mind. Combined with brand new hardware, you have a fresh new kitchen at a small fraction of the price!

  • Paint Your Home’s Trim

Getting tired of what you see every time you pull into your driveway. Many homeowners get tired of the same old look of the exterior of their home. While painting the entire outside of your home will most certainly change that, it’s not always the best option. You may have vinyl or aluminum siding which can be a pain to paint, and not to mention quite costly, or maybe you can’t justify spending the money simply because you want a new look. Well, trim painting is a great solution. You’re looking at spending less than $1,000 for just about any home, which most can stomach. When you change the color of your trim you can really give your entire home an amazing new look, by simply introducing a new accent color. Many professional painting contractors will be able to show you computer generated images of your home with just about any color trim you’re looking for. This means you can see exactly what you’re going to get before a single brush stroke is laid down. You can change your home’s exterior quickly and cheaply with a new coat of paint on your trim.

  • Create A Good Relationship With a Local Handyman

These days who really has the time to be spending working around the house every weekend? Many homeowners are busy with children’s activities, work, chores or simply relaxing, that they don’t get to a majority of their minor home repair projects in a timely fashion. A skilled local handyman contractor will be able to complete all of your small repair, replacement and installation projects in a fraction of the time it would take your average do-it-yourselfer. Find a reliable and experienced handyman to work with and establish a great relationship. If a handyman contractor knows they have your business in the future they will be much more likely to give you discounts and better pricing on all of your home improvement needs. They will also be quite familiar with all of your home’s inner workings, saving them time on projects that would normally take longer on a new home. This means on top of any repeat business discount you get, you will also save on the labor time charge.

  • Use Composite Flooring

Has the time come to replace your home’s flooring? Whether it’s a small section or your entire home, flooring projects can become expensive if you don’t consider all of your options. Sure hardwood and tile floors are very aesthetically pleasing, but at a steep price. The same look can be had with composite flooring. With a feel and design which can mimic just about any material from stone to wood; composite flooring gives you the beauty you’re looking for but at a price you can afford. A local flooring company or contractor should be able to provide you with samples of every type of composite flooring material. This means you’ll be able to see exactly what goes with every room, giving you the peace of mind you deserve on your flooring project.

  • Have Your Gutters Cleaned Regularly

Sure your gutters are just little aluminum troughs attached to the top of your home, but they actually play a very important roll in protecting the rest of your home from the harmful effects of Mother Nature. Your gutter system safely routes water from your roof away from your home’s vulnerable interior systems and foundation. When gutters fail you’re sure to see roofing damage, wood rot and basement flooding. All of which aren’t fun or cheap. The thing is many gutter problems are simply clogs. Leaves and debris collect in the gutters or downspout and prevent water from traveling their desired course. An experienced gutter cleaning contractor will be able to quickly un-clog any bad spots in your gutter system. This gets your gutters working like new and saves you the cost and headaches of major repair and replacement projects. Gutter systems also last much longer when they are cleaned on a regular basis.

These are just a few of the many ways to save on your home improvement projects without sacrificing on the quality of the job. When you take into account all of your options you will certainly find a solution which fits your budget and schedule. Just remember to compare a few quotes from local, reliable and trustworthy contractors before committing to a certain expert. You can use an online contractor referral site to find pre-screened contractors in your area, who provide absolutely free estimates on all of their services. Get started on your next project and use these cost saving tips to find a result you can afford.

This article was written by Aaron Klimchuk, the content manager for online home improvement resource BizziBid. This website provides it’s visitors with information and tips on just about any residential or commercial home improvement project. They also match users with the most qualified home improvement contractors in their area.

Home Based Business – Don’t Let it Ruin Your Health

It is quite common for people who are involved in a home based business to feel slightly displeased when looking in a mirror.

While running a business from home, you do not have to wake up and rush around to get ready to commute to work, fight the daily traffic and worry about the time clock. Hectic as these chores are, there are some physical health benefits to them, in that they force you to keep your body somewhat active. You are probably thankful for most of the benefits of owning your own home business, but many times the casualness of the business and the limited confines of a home office may cause or prohibit your attention to your physical well being.

It’s no wonder that the benefits and the freedom of owning a home business are attractive to you. However, it can also encourage less physical activity and it often promotes less than healthy nutrition. Allowing your health to suffer is a shame since working from home offers you the freedom and flexibility to keep yourself in good shape and stay healthy.

A healthy lifestyle has many side benefits including the ability to have more energy and focus. It will also improve the quality and productivity of your home based business activities by allowing you to work longer and stay more focused on your business.

So, make sure to schedule yourself for some regular physical activity everyday to keep your health and wellness in tip top condition. A simple 1/2 hour walk in the park every day, if nothing else, will clear your mind and give your body a physical break that will be noticeable in your physical well being.

Eat healthy snacks:

It is certainly difficult to resist those cookies and ready-to-eat snacks when you have an entire drawer full of them only a few feet away. However, your health is critical to your maintaining your business, so you should avoid them when ever possible.

Instead, pack your kitchen with fresh fruits and vegetables to snack on. Moreover, allow a designated eating and break time which should preferably be away from your home office. This will give you ample opportunity to stretch yourself and it will also prevent the all day eating habit to form.

Get an ergonomic chair:

Mobility is another health problem which a home business owner generally puts on the back burner. Sitting in one place for hours without any other physical activity might make you suffer with some of your biggest health issues. Apart from that you will also suffer from poor posture, back and neck pain etc. It can keep you away from an active lifestyle. However, this issue may be fixed with a supportive computer chair. Check out your local furniture store or even better you local office supply store where they normally handle ergonomic chairs. They can offer you great advice on which chairs will fit your needs and you can even try one out to make sure it fits you, your budget and your office decor.

Your health and wellness is very important for your business because you operate solo. You cannot afford to fall ill, after all, who will run your business if you are sick or disabled? Prevention is much better than the cure.

Take a break:

Your home business will generally be confined to one small area of your home and it may not provide you with much opportunity to move around. If so, then you will need to take designated breaks and go outside and take a walk or spend some time on a treadmill or other physical fitness equipment that you may have. This will also improve the blood circulation and your cardiovascular health.

You may even prefer to start your day with a run or a long walk which will not only keep you in good shape but it also will give you the energy to work for the whole day.

So, take advantage of your work-from-home-lifestyle and improve your home based business along with your health and wellness. There are two critically important factors which go hand in hand with your business success and which, if absent, could cause your business to fail or your health to deteriorate to the point where you will not be able to appreciate the freedom provided by your new business.

Home Improvement – The Top 10 Home Improvement Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

Although a major home improvement can prove to be a rewarding project, it can also turn your life upside down if you are not prepared. I’ve heard of some worst case scenarios involving people who have lost their homes because they got in over their heads and others who ended up with incomplete project nightmares that cost them thousands of dollars to correct.

Following is a list of the top ten mistakes homeowners make when undertaking home improvement projects and tips on how to avoid them:

1. References. Do enough research and background checking to satisfy you. Walk away if the contractor is not willing to provide references from former clients. Do an online search of the contractor’s business and personal name. Check with local courts for judgments filed against them and with the Better Business Bureau for any consumer complaints. Look at previous work completed (in person). Check with material suppliers since a good contractor will have a long-standing relationship with suppliers. Contact other contractors who have worked with them before. Check their credit standing – contractors with bad credit are often disorganized and don’t manage their business well. Inquire about insurance, workers compensation and licensing.

2. Project management. You need one person to help you manage your project. Most issues occur when inexperienced homeowners try to manage their own project. A project manager is a single point of contact between the homeowner and other contractors and is responsible for scheduling and workflow.

3. Contracts. Make sure your contract is solid. As obvious as this may sound, failure to get a contract or signing an incomplete contract is one of the most common mistakes. Put all the details in writing – never take someone’s word for it. Following are items that should be included in the contract: (1) the full name of the company and the person you are doing business with and their contact information, (2) an addendum consisting of the complete set of plans, (3) an addendum consisting of the materials to be used, (4) the price of the goods or services, (5) the manner and terms of payment, (6) a description of the work to be performed, (7) a start date and an estimated completion date, (8) a default clause in the event either party defaults that specifies how damages will be calculated, (9) warranties and (10) signatures.

4. Warranties. Make sure you receive a warranty with detailed terms and conditions. Don’t accept a contract that simply states that all work is guaranteed. There is often confusion as to who is responsible for the warranty. Get the following in writing: (1) Who is backing the warranty? (2) What is covered and what is not covered? (3) How long is the warranty valid for? (4) What can void the warranty? (5) What is the process for placing a warranty claim?

5. Changes. During the project, you may change your mind on certain design aspects which may require more or less work from contractors. It is critical to document every change order and note the exact cost or savings. Changes should be signed and dated by all parties.

6. Plans. Get a clear description on what will be done, how it will be done and the materials to be used. For smaller projects, contractors can draw up plans. For larger and more complicated projects, find a qualified designer or architect. And, for example, if load-bearing walls will be altered, find an engineer to review the structural side of the plans.

7. Costs. Estimating costs tends to be a big problem because people do not make realistic comparisons. Homeowners may hire the contractor with the lowest price but that price may turn out to be much higher in the end. “Allowance items” tend to be the main culprit in estimating costs. For example, contractors may give you allowances for flooring, lighting or hardware that are artificially low. The bid looks enticing until you examine it closely. Request a line item for straight costs on materials and labor since some contractors mark up materials and labor so they can make a profit on it. Ask the contractor to pass along costs to you and to add a line item for their fee. This creates a more clear and honest assessment of the job.

8. Financing and payments. Before signing the contract, figure out how you are going to pay for your home improvement project. Make sure you maintain control of the money – don’t let your project manager or contractor control the money. This sounds obvious but many homeowners allow contractors to make draws on construction accounts only to realize that the draws were not used for the intended purpose. What does this mean? It means your contractor scored a new truck, you’re out of money and the project is incomplete. Tips: (1) don’t pay a lot of money up front, (2) pay when materials are delivered, (3) pay when work begins and (4) pay as work progresses. Pay only after work and materials are inspected and approved.

9. Inspections. Don’t wait until your home improvement project is almost complete to do the inspection. Plan phased inspections along the way so work doesn’t need to be re-done. Don’t rely on city and county building inspectors to protect you since the codes they enforce don’t guarantee quality (and they often miss things too!). Before paying for work, hire an independent inspector to do periodic phase inspections.

10. Materials. Stick with products that are tried and true. This rule especially holds true when it comes to windows, doors, framing materials, roofing products, concrete coverings, epoxy floors, plumbing, light fixtures and electronics. You don’t want to be the guinea pig that test runs the supposed latest and greatest new products or materials only to find out that these items don’t last or turn out to be fire hazards!

Benefits Double For Purchases Made From Home Improvement Stores

Once you own a home and a wonderful family, it is but natural to bring in more comfort to your everyday lifestyle with trendy home appliances ranging from refrigerators, dish-washers and microwave ovens to air-conditioners, food-processors and vacuum cleaners. Over the years, these household technologies have made themselves readily available and affordable to every modern household and these days, not many would want to say no to convenience when it is staring at them, right in the face.

Investing in home appliances that are perfectly suited to the needs of a household are seen as long-term assets that improve efficiency, save time and make an elegant lifestyle statement. For example, the convenience of a washer-cum-dryer helps wash and dry clothes at one go and is considered a must-have in most households. The latest washer-cum-dryer models are highly energy-efficient and can help cut down costs by almost 10 percent. More and more new models keep making an entrance in the market but not many make it to the local appliance store.

Perhaps this is one of the reasons that savvy consumers prefer to choose and purchase their home appliances from various online home improvement stores that you like, taking advantage of the brand new models and seasonal deals on them. Reputed online home improvement stores stock several top-notch appliance models, offering customers a wide choice of the latest and most popular brands that suit their exact requirements.

In fact, it is easier to find a new model from a virtual store than from anywhere else in the world. Some of the leading models available online are so reliable, efficient and cleverly-designed that you will be astonished by the non-availability of similar models in the local market. The most popular online stores feature, at any given time, more than 400,000 major appliances such as refrigerators, upright and chest freezers, vacuum cleaners, washing machines, dryers, washer dryer, air condition and cooler, dishwashing, cooking range and so forth.

These are the very stores to check out for when deciding to buy home appliances online. Find out if these stores are supported by warehouses or distribution centers so you can be pretty sure that all products purchased online will be delivered within 2 to 5 business days, coast-to-coast. Since inventory management system is “real-time”, online orders are quickly and accurately processed.

Established home improvement stores who have carved a niche for themselves in the online business scenario are extremely particular about customer satisfaction. Some even go to great lengths to ship orders from their nearest warehouse that lies within the proximity of the customer’s location, ensuring the lowest shipping rate possible. What’s more! All the products sold by these superstores are backed by a 100 percent money-back guarantee.