Home Improvements – Making Up Your Mind to Begin Your Project

Getting up the nerve to begin your home improvement project can be exasperating to say the least. One moment you’re gung-ho and ready to tackle the job…the next minute you’re almost suffering from anxiety attacks.

But you shouldn’t allow these roller coaster feelings to continue to prevent you from doing what you really want to do. And besides, after almost a quarter of a century as a home improvement contractor, I sometimes still get these same feelings.

It remind me of the butterflies I would get just before kick-off, when I was playing football back in the day. So, if you are having uneasy feelings and doubting yourself, just put your foot down and make a commitment to start the job immediately and do it. Don’t get caught up worrying about making mistakes because mistakes are really nothing more than growing pains. That’s right. We all are human and we all make mistakes, but you can profit from your mistakes and turn those bloopers into building blocks.

Never give up on yourself before you even give it a try. First, take the necessary time to get all the information you can from as many reputable sources available and immerse yourself in it. Try to obtain all the knowledge you can about whatever task you will be performing and prepare to follow those instructions completely.

Remember, even if the outcome is less than perfect you still are to be commended for overcoming your fears and going forward with your project. And you are the better for it too. Let this be a spring board for future references. No matter the outcome you really have succeeded and deserves to be congratulated for it.

One note of caution in closing, always use common sense and do not jeopardize your safety and the safety of others by attempting to do a dangerous job that should only be done by licensed professionals. And always call a reputable contractor if in doubt about anything at all. And be sure to check with your local officials concerning codes, regulations and licensing permits. Thank you and good luck.

The Home Improvement Nightmare-Who’s To Blame and How To Avoid It

Unless you live in a remote part of the country with no television, newspaper or other people to talk to, there is a good chance you have heard or read about a home improvement scam or project gone wrong. It seems to be a fact in this country that when you go about doing a home improvement project you will usually encounter countless problems, delays and shoddy work.

The home improvement experience leaves most people stressed and vowing never to do another project again! So it is not surprising to hear that home improvement complaints rank at the top of consumer complaints nationwide year after year. Where does the blame fall for this epidemic of home improvement problems?

I am proud to say I was a home improvement contractor for almost 30 years and I was fortunate enough to win some of the industry’s highest awards. However, it has never ceased to amaze me the poor home improvement decisions that I have seen so many homeowners make. One of the more notable mistakes I would see done over and over again was when a homeowner would blindly hire someone to do a project because the person was a friend or a friend of a friend. To me this reasoning makes no sense.

Friendship and craftsmanship are not related, but for some reason a lot of people believe other wise. Another great example of homeowner apathy is hiring someone to do a project without ever putting anything in writing. Who in their right mind would ever agree to such a disastrous situation? Another very similar blunder would be for a homeowner to blindly accept an estimate on the back of a business card. Usually the only information that has room on the back of a business card is the PRICE.

A major mistake made by many people doing a home improvement project is letting price dictate the decision on who to hire. More problems occur because homeowners pick the lowest price they can find. Why? It is very simple. You can only produce a high quality project at a certain cost. High quality materials, expert labor, appropriate insurances and a reasonable profit to stay in business, cost a certain amount of money.

If someone can do that same project under that amount, what do you think is going to happen when the job is being done? That’s right, the person or company is going to do anything they can to try and make a profit. All of the possibilities that could result from the person you hired, as the low bidder, trying to make a profit, are simply all BAD for the homeowner. In home improvements you get exactly what you pay for.

Let’s not forget to put some of the blame on people looking to work on your home. Over the years I have seen some of my competitors commit heinous business practices. (Surprise!!) I have seen contractors switch materials to lesser quality without customer approval, use unqualified labor, overcharge homeowners for “unforeseen problems”, try to up sell the customer once the project starts, etc.,etc.,etc…….it makes you wonder if you can trust anyone?

So where does the blame fall for all the home improvement complaints year after year? I guess it would be easy to blame the homeowner for not educating themselves on what to do when attempting a project. However the next question would be where does a homeowner get “educated”? Maybe a better question would be when does a homeowner find the time to get “educated”? Education is a great tool if you have the time to do the research. Most people don’t have the time or want to take the time to do hours and hours of research on how to go about getting a home improvement done correctly.

Oops I almost forgot Uncle Sam. A lot of people, including myself, think the government makes it too easy for someone, who has no ethics or skills, to do home improvement work. Why are there still some states that do not have licensing for people doing home improvements? And in the states that do have licensing, why are some of these states issuing licenses without the applicant needing to demonstrate any type of competence in home improvement work? This is like giving out a driver’s license without taking a road test. Doesn’t make much sense to me.

One last situation to blame, one that I would never forgive myself for not mentioning. Home improvement television shows have become the latest fad in television. You can hardly change television channels without a home improvement program popping up. The influx of home improvement shows on television has been phenomenal. However, most of these shows tend to unrealistically glorify the home improvement project as being easy to do with nothing ever going wrong. The last time I looked, nothing ever goes perfect, including home improvement projects. Little, if any information is mentioned on these shows, about how not to be “taken to the cleaners” when doing a project.

One would have to conclude that there is plenty of blame to go around when it comes to the problems homeowners face when attempting a home improvement project. Unfortunately, most of these problems have been around for many years and if you are expecting a “quick fix”, I think you might be waiting a very long time.

Since I retired from the home improvement industry two (2) years ago I decided it was time to stop worrying about who or what to blame about the constant wave of home improvement complaints (it really seems to be a waste of energy since nothing seems to change) and to put together a way for homeowners to fight back and get the home improvement results that they deserve.

This is why I founded The Home Improvement Success Club of America (TM). The club’s website, which I hope you will visit, can be found at http://www.homeimprovementsuccess.com. This is a one-of-a-kind club that guides homeowners on how to get high quality, problem free, home improvement results.

Membership to this club includes The Home Improvement Success System, a complete how-to home improvement system that details all the steps you need to take to make your project a success. The club membership also includes a web forum to ask questions, phone consultations, monthly newsletters, teleseminars, teleclasses and written evaluations of member estimates and contracts.

This club guarantees to short cut the time homeowners need to learn how to complete any home improvement project. You are shown what to do and what to avoid. All the information that you receive from this club you could spend months trying to find, but by joining this club it is at your finger tips 24/7.

To do a home improvement project correctly you need to follow five (5) steps. These steps are:

1. Define your project based on your needs, finances and structural constraints.

2. Determine who can complete the project.

3. Evaluate perspective candidates (including yourself) who you may want to use to complete the project.

4. Prepare a contract that is “thorough” and protects you from poor home improvement situations.

5. Completing certain tasks when the project is being built.

These five steps seem relatively easy to understand but it’s the “particulars” (exactly what to say and do) of each step where most people fall short. Knowing these “particulars” are what makes or breaks your project. Membership to this club will guide you to completing a home improvement project without all the problems and aggravation that most people go through.

If you are interested in protecting your home from the home improvement nightmare, than visit The Home Improvement Success Club of America Website. Joining this club is the next best thing to getting “Home Improvement Insurance”. All Club memberships come with a 30 day money back guarantee.

By Hank Jaworowski, CR
Founder and President of The Home Improvement Success Club of America(TM)

The Home Improvement Success Club of America(TM)
http://www.homeimprovementsuccess.com
e-mail:Hank@homeimprovementsuccess.com
631-360-7722

DIY Home Renovation Mistakes to Avoid

Tackling home improvement projects yourself can help you save money, but only if you avoid costly mistakes like these:

Trying to do it ALL yourself. Whether to tackle a project yourself or hire a professional depends largely on your skill set and experience with the type of project at hand. Plenty of projects look easier than they really are. With your home value in mind, carefully weigh the pros and cons of DIY versus bringing in the pros prior to taking on a home renovation.

Under budgeting. Home renovations cost more money than initially anticipated almost every time. Setting aside extra funds to account for budgeting discrepancies or unexpected expenses can prevent your renovation from coming to a halt mid-project. Regardless of how well you plan, unexpected expenses can and will most likely come up.

Jumping in without researching. Do you know where electrical wiring is located? Is that wall you are about to remove load bearing? Do you have all the right hand and power tools to complete the task at hand? Ensuring that you are fully prepared to see a job through from start to finish will help protect the value of your home and save you from unnecessary headaches.

Permit oversights. Depending on the scope of your project, one or more permits may be required for remodeling your home. Checking with local permitting offices prior to starting your project can prevent expensive problems and delays down the line. Obtaining the proper permits is important for safety reasons, insurance coverage as well as the resale of your home.

Sacrificing quality. For any home improvement project, the quality of work should be of utmost importance. Quality materials combined with quality workmanship will typically contribute to a higher home value, while cutting corners on either can lead to lost time and money. Renovations of questionable quality can hurt rather than help home value, and incur additional costs if they have to be professionally redone. Even if the cost is higher up front, doing a renovation right the first time is usually the best long term investment.