Tuesday, October 21, 2014

More College Construction Leads to More Jobs

As more people head to college, universities are running out of space. The answer? More buildings, of course. Areas like New York are seeing a wave of construction at various institutions of higher learning. That's good news for students and builders alike.

http://nypost.com/2014/10/20/a-boom-in-students-creates-a-boom-in-construction-at-colleges/

Thursday, October 16, 2014

It's Time For Home Fall Design Trends

What's happening in the world of home design this fall? According to this group of experts, it's more "mix" and less "match." But do they agree on grey being the color of the season? Take a look at what they had to say about these topics and more.

http://www.lohud.com/story/money/real-estate/homes/sell-this-house/2014/10/10/home-design-trends-fall/17027937/

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Remodeling Your Home? Keep It Small

When people dream about renovating their home, they sometimes envision grandiose plans of addition and expansion. But often it's better to keep everything on a smaller scale. Before you go crazy on your next remodeling project, take a step back and ask, "Is bigger really better?"

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865612870/Bigger-isn7t-always-better-in-home-remodeling.html?pg=all

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Photos Show New World Atop NY's Highest Building

Man-made buildings can be wondrous things, especially those that literally reach for the sky. Not everyone is privy to the view from these staggering edifices, but thanks to the efforts of one Instagram photographer, we get a peek at the world atop 432 Park Avenue in New York City. Set to open in 2015, this residential building will be the city's tallest structure at 1,398 feet high.

http://www.archdaily.com/555135/view-from-the-top-instagrammer-climbs-nyc-s-tallest-building/

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Replacing House Windows Can Yield Resale Benefits

We all know there are certain home improvement projects that are more exciting than others. Redoing your bathroom or kitchen, for example, allows for a certain amount of creativity. When it comes to replacing windows, however, most homeowners respond with a big yawn. If you are interesting in selling your house, though, changing those frames and panes could be a worthy investment.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/a-not-so-sexy-home-improvement-project-with-real-benefits-2014-10-06

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

TV Expanding Its Foundation of Home Improvement Shows

If you like watching home improvement shows, then you are probably pretty satisfied with your TV options these days. Networks are zeroing in on the popularity of DIY projects, with about 180 renovation-related shows currently in development. Wow.

http://www.latimes.com/home/la-hm-home-show-hosts-20140906-story.html

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Builder Using Recycled Shipping Containers To Make House

It's always interesting to see what kind of materials can be used to build a house these days. In Michigan, a home is being constructed out of red metal shipping containers like those you see on a rail car or in a boatyard. The recycled material is touted as energy efficient. The completed project will be a three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath house measuring 2,100 square feet.

http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2014/09/17/container-home-under-construction-draws-eyes-in-royal-oak/

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Skilled Construction Workers in High Demand

It seems there is so much talk about how difficult it is to get a job nowadays. But if you are a skilled construction worker, there are plenty of opportunities. Take a look at this story, and you'll see what I mean.

http://www.npr.org/2014/08/06/338011367/construction-industry-missing-key-tool-skilled-workers

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Saying Grace Earns Discount at NC Diner

Many restaurants offer coupons and other specials to help bring in customers. But an eatery in Winston-Salem, N.C, has added a little heavenly guidance to the mix. Mary's Gourmet Diner gives a 15 percent discount to guests who pray before digging into their meals.

http://news.yahoo.com/why-one-restaurant-gives-15-percent-prayer-discount-163833915.html

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Restaurants' Social Media Snafus A Marketing Nightmare

There is no doubt this is the age of social media. And while Facebook, Twitter and the like can bring their share of goodness and light, they can also ruin reputations with the tap of a finger. Take the impact that social media has had on various restaurant chains, including Taco Bell, McDonald's and Chick-Fil-A. These eateries, among others, have served up some major PR blunders, thanks to diners and their ever-present digital devices.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/the-daily-meal/the-worst-restaurant-soci_b_5603707.html

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Boost Bathroom Appeal With These Renovation Tips

Everybody likes a new bathroom. In fact, these relatively small spaces can make or break the sale of a house. If you are looking to sell your home, or simply want to spruce up where you live, then bathrooms are a good place to start. Take a look at the following renovation tips for your bathroom.

http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2014/07/18/13-ways-to-save-on-your-bathroom-renovation

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Eateries Spark Your Spending With A Little Menu 'Magic'

One of the keys to a successful restaurant is the value of its menu. We're not just talking about the cost of food, though. Menus can feature a lot of "psychological" tactics that encourage diners to spend more. Take a look at how your local eatery may be using special tricks to influence your food choices.

http://www.businessinsider.com/restaurant-menus-spend-more-money-2014-7

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Some Home Renovations Not Worth the Money

We often talk about which home renovations can help improve the value of your property. But there are some alterations that may be more trouble (and expense) than they are worth. Take a look at these five projects that may not be the best use of your time or finances.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2014/07/12/home-renovations-to-avoid/12483595/

Thursday, July 10, 2014

These 10 DIY Projects Can Help Home's Curb Appeal

When you are trying to sell your home, first impressions matter. And the first thing prospective buyers see is the exterior of your house. There are several projects you can take care of yourself to aid your home's curb appeal.

http://www.theintelligencer.com/article_91c02317-6e2b-53df-aa3a-28251bbb6786.html

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

These Signs Point to Zero-Star Dining

Everyone has had a bad experience at a restaurant. But how do you know when it's a "fluke" and when it's the sign of a zero-star eatery? There are obvious signs to determine the difference, including dirty dinnerware and rude servers. Check out this columnist's advice ...

https://www.yahoo.com/food/how-to-spot-a-zero-star-restaurant-without-a-review-90373964521.html

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Priceline, TripAdvisor Dipping Into Mobile Restaurant Reservations

We've talked before about the effects of technology on the restaurant industry. Here's more proof that mobile applications are considered to be the future of the dining-out experience. Two giant names in online travel reservations, Priceline and TripAdvisor, are stepping into restaurant scheduling, as well.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2014/06/26/where-are-priceline-and-tripadvisor-headed-with-the-restaurant-reservations-business/

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Ohio Man, 91, Creating Small-Scale Replica of Jacobs Field

Attention to detail is a trait that every good building contractor understands well. That's why we can especially appreciate the work of Joe Duncan, a 91-year-old man who is building a detailed replica of Jacobs Field. It's not the first model he's undertaken, but it may be the most intricate, right down to the seating on the third-base line. Take a look at his amazing work!

http://www.cleveland.com/tribe/index.ssf/2014/06/jacobs_field_ballpark_joe_dunc.html

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Stop, Thief! This Restaurant Put You on Facebook!

A restaurant in Arizona had an interesting -- and humiliating -- way to handle a man who stole some artwork from its walls. Instead of calling the police, the pub's owner posted surveillance footage of the thief stuffing the $500 painting into a backpack. Not bad for an amateur crime fighter!

http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/arizona/2014/06/18/flagstaff-restaurant-shames-thief-facebook/10707999/

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Find Dining Discounts With These Mobile Apps

Eating out can be fun, but expensive. Thanks to technology, though, you can find ways to save money while still enjoying the experience of dining away from home. Several mobile applications offer tips on locating the best discounts for your favorite restaurants.

http://money.usnews.com/money/the-frugal-shopper/2014/06/17/restaurant-apps-that-will-save-you-money

Thursday, June 12, 2014

'No Tipping' Policy Aims to Protect Servers, KY Restaurant Says

It may seem like a crazy idea to some, but a restaurant in Newport, Ky., says it is looking out for its waiters and waitresses by instituting an anti-tipping policy. Instead, Packhouse Meats pays servers $10 an hour or 20 percent of their individual food sales per shift. The policy is geared toward rewarding employees for their actual work, not by the whims of the customer. What do you think of the idea?

http://www.courier-journal.com/story/entertainment/dining/2014/06/12/no-tipping-at-kentucky-restaurant/10365711/

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

When Renovating Home, Choose Contractor Wisely And Don't Forget Insurance

There are many things to consider when renovating your home. Two of the most important aspects involve selecting an experienced, trustworthy contractor and setting up adequate insurance for the project. The following article offers some advice to help your remodeling process go as smoothly as possible.

http://www.idahostatejournal.com/vac/money_and_finance/home-renovation-starts-with-good-planning-and-good-insurance/article_c63c5788-ecb2-547b-8cd1-17a6fe652e3b.html

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Mobile Payments Continue Push Into U.S. Restaurants

You can't go into a restaurant nowadays without seeing some evidence of technological progress. Mobile payments are one of the fastest-growing high-tech applications being used by customers. Find out how it works ...

http://www.qsrweb.com/articles/for-the-restaurant-industry-mobile-payments-move-into-critical-mass-phase/

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Be Smart About Home Renovation With These 5 Tips

Most people like the idea of renovating their home, but what are the best changes to make? Although any upgrade is welcome, there are some aspects of a house that can create more bang for the buck. Read on to discover how steel doors, wood decks and kitchen remodeling can make your home renovation truly shine.

http://wallstcheatsheet.com/personal-finance/5-of-the-most-profitable-home-renovations-you-could-make.html/?a=viewall

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Google Glass Stirs Up Controversy at NY Restaurant

Google Glass seems to be one of those products you either love or hate. At a restaurant in Manhattan, that disparity has come into clear focus after a user was asked to remove the device while she dined. What do you think about it?

http://consumerist.com/2014/05/27/is-it-wrong-for-a-restaurant-to-tell-diners-to-remove-google-glass/

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Eatery Turns Tables on Customer's 'Offensive' Suggestion

Never let it be said that a restaurant owner doesn't take his customer's comments to heart. An eatery in West Virginia is hosting a special event after one customer suggested that the servers should "show more skin." Read on to find out just what the boss did.

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/eats/restaurant-answers-show-skin-request-clever-article-1.1800580

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Restaurant Rewards Couple For 'Well-Behaved' Kid

Are you one of those people who notices children in restaurants? Particularly when they are quiet? A restaurant in Canada issued a "well behaved kids" discount to a couple dining on Mother's Day with their 1-year-old daughter. How do you feel about the idea?

http://www.click2houston.com/news/restaurant-gives-family-wellbehaved-kids-discount/25950458

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Modern Kitchen Renovations Combine Style, Utility

Many people take pride in their kitchens, and rightly so. This room not only provides food, but for many individuals, it also gives a home its soul. It's no wonder, then, that kitchens are one of the most-renovated parts of a house. If you are considering a remodeling of your kitchen, then take a look at some of the newest trends.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Beard Awards Name America's Best Restaurants for 2014

The highly coveted James Beard Awards have been announced, marking the best that American restaurants have to offer in 2014. The annual recognition is one of the most prestigious honors available in the U.S. dining industry and includes a variety of categories, such as best new restaurant, outstanding bar program and outstanding chef. Take a look at the results.

http://eatocracy.cnn.com/2014/05/05/2014-james-beard-awards-chefs-and-restaurants-winners-are/

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Looking For Home Renovation Loan? Know Your Options

Renovating your home can be expensive, depending on the scope of your project. Fortunately, there are ways to finance your plans. But before you jump in, find out what loan options are available and determine which one works best for you.

http://cjonline.com/life/home/2014-04-25/home-living-home-renovation-loans


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Where In The World Is The Best Restaurant? San Pellegrino knows

If you are into fine dining and travel, then this story is for you. The annual San Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurant Awards is out, and the top spot belongs to Noma in Copenhagen, Denmark. But the real winner is Europe, as the continent boasts more than half of the venues on the list. The highest-ranked U.S. restaurant? Eleven Madison Park in New York, which came in at No. 4.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/28/travel/san-pellegrinos-worlds-best-restaurants/

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Spring Is Time To Deck Your Home With New Patio

Now that winter has faded away, it's time to enjoy what Spring has to offer. With a new patio deck, you can bask in the beautiful, blooming and bustling outdoors. Just keep in mind these tips as you are planning this exciting home addition.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Use Tile to Add Style -- And Easy Maintenance -- to Floors

When you are building or upgrading your home, one of the best investments you can make is tile flooring. Not only is it beautiful, but it is also easy to clean. Plus, there are tons of options, ranging in color, size, texture and price. Read on to learn some tips for choosing the right tile.

http://ravallirepublic.com/special-section/how-to/article_00aae254-c102-5918-95d1-1c317ffbcdfa.html

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Renovating Your Home for Spring? Let There Be Light!

Take advantage of Spring to lighten up your home. Consider projects like inserting a skylight or sprucing up your walls with a brighter shade of paint. Not only can these changes enliven your abode, but they may also provide added value to your home.

http://marion.wickedlocal.com/article/20140414/NEWS/140418854/12445/LIFESTYLE

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tableside Computer Tablets Add Speed, Entertainment to Restaurant Dining

That computer tablet you’re holding in your hand could be coming to a restaurant table near you.

An increasing number of food establishments are turning to technology to add some spark to their service. Well-known restaurant chains like Chili’s Bar & Grill and Applebee’s, as well as smaller eateries across the United States, are incorporating tableside touchscreen tablets so customers can order drinks, appetizers, desserts or even their entire meal.


With the unlimited aspect of technology, restaurants can offer more detailed menu descriptions and nutritional information.


Another use for the tablets is quick payment, as diners can swipe their credit card themselves.


Not only is this mobile technology being used to speed up ordering, but it is also providing a means of entertainment for customers. Diners can tap into sports shows or listen to music while they are eating or awaiting their food. It’s a more personalized approach to the televisions you see hanging around many sports bars.


Other entertaining features include interactive games for adults and children. That means, instead of a ubiquitous pack of crayons, kids could use a touchscreen tablet to play connect the dots, conduct a word search or paint a picture.


Restaurants are utilizing these tablets in a variety of ways, including setting up special kiosks or simply providing handheld devices to patrons. Both options seem to be getting positive feedback from clientele.


However, not everyone is sold on the idea. Detractors are worried about the effect these tablets will have on waiters and waitresses, including whether jobs will be lost in the name of technology.


Other concerns revolve around the dining experience itself, as some opponents decry the solitary nature of these handheld devices. After all, “eating out” is typically a social endeavor. Will that camaraderie be lost if guests have their noses buried in a tablet?


Regardless of debate, it seems that tableside tablets are the trend du jour. Tech companies like MenuPad, Ziosk and E La Carte are striking more deals with restaurants across the United States, so don’t be surprised to be working with one of these devices the next time you stop in at your favorite dining spot. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Restaurant Customers Use Social Media to Protest Menu Changes

Ever been disappointed when your favorite eatery updates its menu -- and gets rid of your favorite dish? You are not alone, and there are plenty of social media campaigns to prove it. Find out how your fellow diners are fighting for what they want to eat.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Take Time to Create Solid 'Blueprint' for Renovation Project

It can be easy to get over-excited when you are planning a renovation for your home. But be sure to step back and make a plan ... before you jump into any changes. By taking your time, you can avoid mistakes and ultimately achieve the home upgrade you desire.

http://www.dailyinterlake.com/online_features/real_estate/renovating-laying-a-good-foundation-for-home-improvement-success/article_65f64586-1afe-517b-8d18-b339b013b286.html

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tiny Homes Challenge Theory That Bigger is Better

More people are taking part in the Tiny House Movement, building homes measuring as little at 1,000 square feet. The simpler approach appeals to individuals who want to minimize the "stuff" in their lives and focus on the basics. It's also much easier on the pocketbook!

http://worcestermag.com/2014/04/03/big-dreams-tiny-house/22202

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Report: U.S. Commercial Construction may be on rebound

Spurred by hotel and retail chain growth, non-residential construction is expected to be on the rise, according to a recent report from the American Institute of Architects. This is good news for a sector that has struggled just as mightily as the housing market in recent years.

http://www.nwitimes.com/business/local/construction-is-picking-up-projected-to-grow/article_5902c114-6c77-5578-8f93-130833703818.html




Thursday, March 27, 2014

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Remodeling? Know Which Contract is Right for You

Most homeowners, at one point or another, have dreamed of remodeling at least one part of their house. If you decide to work with a professional contractor, be sure you are familiar with the three most common types of construction contracts. The best one for you will depend on your goals and circumstances.

http://www.coloradoan.com/article/20140321/COLUMNISTS115/303210110/Building-solutions-Understand-possible-costs-before-signing-remodeling-contract




Monday, March 24, 2014

Textile-based house to use energy of 1 hair dryer

Schools from U.S. and Germany join forces to create a solar-based home made primarily of fabric. The 800-square-foot abode, which will be entered in the biennial Solar Decathlon Europe competition, uses 90 percent less energy for heating and cooling than a traditional house.

Although it seems like a mere "huff and puff" would blow this kind of structure away, the creators point out that the home is supported by steel ribs and its fabrics consist of sturdy materials, such as Teflon and fiberglass.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennifer-grayson/innovation-earth-house-made-of-textiles_b_4997701.html


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Corner Bakery to Expand in Indianapolis Market

Several Corner Bakery sites are set to cozy up the Indianapolis region this year. A franchisee has signed a multi-unit deal with the chain of casual, neighborhood-style cafes.

http://www.restaurantfacilitybusiness.com/the-latest-news/775-corner-bakery-signs-deal-indianapolis.html




Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Special Schools Strengthen Future Foundation of Commercial Construction

Young people interested in building and running their own restaurants have a chance to learn and ultimately show off the necessary skill sets. Special academies like Seacoast School of Technology in New Hampshire are teaching high school-age kids the hows and whys of commercial construction and restaurant services.





Monday, March 10, 2014

Workers Wanted in The Construction Industry!

Found a great opportunity for any one interested in construction work in the Dayton, OH area. WDTN News is reporting there will be an opportunity for candidates to meet with prospective employers on Wednesday March 12, 2014. The site states:
'Construction workers on the job trail have a chance to meet a lot of prospective employers all in one place.
The 2014 Construction Job Fair is set for Wednesday, March 12 from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the Dayton Convention Center on East Fifth Street in downtown Dayton.'

To read more about the fair click here.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Ways To Make Money With Your Home

You may not have known it but you may be sitting on some extra income. Your home can be monetized if you're willing to use a little elbow grease and ingenuity. BankRate.Com has an article with "12 Ways to make your house a cash cow." Here are some of the highlights:
"Fire up a bakery or production kitchen 
Do you have an unused mother-in-law apartment or an industrial-size kitchen that sits vacant all day? Rent it out as a food production facility.
“Food-oriented businesses tend to be very successful.”
Custom cookies and cupcakes, delivered gourmet meals and birthday-party catering are popular services that don't require a storefront but may need additional ovens and kitchen space.
"Food-oriented businesses tend to be very successful," Jones says.
 
Share your garage 
If you have a garage you never use -- or an extra spot in a three-car garage -- consider renting out that unused space.
A weekend mechanic who lives in an apartment may pay for the chance to work on his or her ride in your garage. Others may be looking to store a motorcycle, boat, trailer or recreational vehicle.
Still others may prefer the location or convenience of your garage to the local self-storage options, especially if the price is right. If your home is out in the country, you might even discover the next U2 by renting your garage to a local rock band.
 
Grow your own money 
If you've got a green thumb and a bit of tillable land, consider growing a cash crop.
Although commodities, such as wheat and cattle, are well beyond the scope of most backyards, berries, flower bulbs, vegetables, grapes, florist products and landscape plants can be cultivated and sold to wholesalers, at farmer's markets or on your front porch.
In the Northeast, you can even tap your maple trees and sell the sap to a sugaring operation.
If you didn't get the green-thumb gene, take a slightly different approach.
For example, enterprising Princeton classmates Tom Szaky and Jon Beyer started their own worm gin, which produces a potent organic fertilizer from worm waste.
Their company, TerraCycle, now sells its products to Home Depot and Wal-Mart. Although Szaky and Beyer started their worm gin in the basement of an office building, you could start a similar venture from the comfort of your home."

To read more tips and ideas click here.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

10 Cheap Repairs to Increase the Value of Your Home

Whether you need a professional contractor or you will make other arrangements there are some repairs that aren't too costly that increase your home's value. An awesome article over at Bankrate.com has some great suggestions and I'll give you some highlights:

2. Give Your Appliances A Face Lift  
When Persley called the dishwasher manufacturer to see about ordering a new, black face panel, the customer service representative clued her in on a big secret: Many dishwasher panels are white on one side and black on the other.
"All I had to do was unscrew two screws, slide out the panel and flip it around. Sure enough -- it was black on the other side!"
 

4. Step Up Your Storage. 
 
Old houses, particularly, are notorious for their lack of closet space. If you have cramped storage areas, Realtor Moe Viessi of Miami suggests adding do-it-yourself wire and laminate closet systems to bedrooms, pantries and entry closets.
Firms like ClosetMaid allow you to measure and redesign your closets online. You can also get design details and parts for these systems at many large home-improvement stores. Most closets can be updated in a weekend or less.
In the end, your closets will be more functional while you're living in the house and will make your home look more customized to potential buyers when you're ready to sell.
 

5. Add A Room In A Week or Less. 
 
"If you have a three-bedroom house with a den, the only reason the den can't be considered a bedroom may be because it doesn't have a closet," says Persley. "If you add a closet to that room, you've now got a four-bedroom house. That adds a lot of value."
Persley says it's usually possible to add a custom closet system and drywall it in for less than $1,500.

To read the rest of the story click here.

.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

How To Get Rid of Old Furniture or Equipment?

If you are relocating whether commercially or residential and you find yourself asking what can you do with all this stuff you don't need in a month or less. I've compiled a list of 5 things you can consider to get rid of that stuff:

1. Craigslist
You could simply picture the items put up a quick description and price and hope someone wants your stuff. It takes 5 minutes to list. Worse case scenario a lot of times you can put things on the curb and list it for free on the site and someone may come pick it up.

2. eBay
You can list your item on eBay if it has a decent value. Factor in shipping costs they can drastically change a profitable transaction into a disaster.

3. Garage Sale / Liquidation
Host a garage sale, if you're a business then contact liquidation companies.

4. Goodwill / Thrift Store
Donate your items to a thrift store. Habitat for Humanity, Salvation Army, Humane Society, and many other options exist.

5. Blood Hound
If you are really a blood hound you will find someone to take your stuff. Whether it requires you posting on all kinds of websites, dialing numbers, and asking around.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Some Home Improvements You Shouldn't Do

A great article over at HomeSessive.com has some great tips on some home improvements you could live without. Even if you have a professional contractor or some other arrangement some home projects just aren't worth the effort or cost. Here are some highlights:

2.  Putting in a poolIn many areas a pool is a detriment and turns people away from your home. 

4. Adding a new roofWhat the studies have shown is that people don't really care much more about the roof than whether or not it leaks. 

9. Replacing kitchen cabinetsTry to give them a little love by painting or refacing before you spend the money completely replacing them.
To read the entire list click here.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Home Repairs You Shouldn't Put Off

A great article over at About.Com details some home repairs that you shouldn't put off. Some of these are simple but important things to handle. If you find yourself in over your head on any of these you may need to call a professional residential contractor or another qualified professional. Some of the more complicated ones are:



Roof Repairs:
High risk in many ways but can be equally dangerous if left unattended. It may be worth the extra money to let an experienced handyman or professional to handle any roof repairs.

Plumbing Leaks:
This is one that should be addressed immediately after discovering. It can lead to horrible water, mold, and structure damage.

To read more of the list click here.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

How To Hire or Choose a Reliable Contractor

If you are trying to make sure that you aren't hiring a spotty contractor or handyman it is helpful to follow a few guidelines.

A great post over at LifeHacker.com has some wonderful tips. The first one was probably the most true and important. Be prepared by inspecting your home early and often. This way you can budget for and anticipate work ahead of time. This also gives you time to have several people come in and bid on the job. If finding a professional residential contractor is your goal then starting early is your best bet. To read the rest of the tips click here.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Thinking About Jumping Into The Housing Market

If you're thinking about buying, selling, or even renting a home this seems to be a good time to get moving. There is a general consensus that the housing market is really recovering. An article on the Huffington Post gives some predictions that are worth looking at if you plan to get involved with real estate sometime soon. To read the list click here.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Should I Hire a Handyman or General Contractor?

If you're thinking of a repair than you may find yourself asking should you hire a professional contractor or a handyman. A great article about this is over at Channel 2 of Tulsa's website. They bring of the great point that the general rule is the scale of the project. You have to determine everything that you need done. If it only requires a few hours and is generally similar in category than a handyman might be better. If your jobs are varied and cover different skills or will take a weeks to complete you probably need an experienced and professional residential contractor. For more information click here.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Step By Step Guide to Choosing the Right Location For Your Business

Location. Location. Location. I'm sure we've all heard it before. The old adage is basically getting at that if you choose a good location you have a good amount of the equation solved. Eventually you may need to have an experienced and professional commercial contractor to handle any renovations but now were talking about finding the location. I stumbled upon a great article on NYDailyNews.com that I think gives a good guide. Some highlights are:
Set the Parameters 
The first step is to honestly assess two basic components of your business plan: 
- Who is your target customer? 
- How do you want this business to fit into your life? 
 
Collect the Necessary Data 
After developing a clear, detailed picture of your customer and setting boundaries based on your personal needs, the next step is to locate the specific communities that are right for your business.

Evaluate the Available Options 
Now that you've come up with a list of promising communities for your business, it's time to find out what is available. 

To read more about this in greater detail click here.

Friday, February 7, 2014

What To Consider When Planning Commercial Renovation, Expansion, or Relocation

The economy is picking up and that is causing a lot of businesses to consider whether it's time to renovate, relocate, or expand. This is a complicated and tricky issue to navigate but REJournal.com has some great tips on what to consider. Some highlights include:
"Check the resume
Before you do anything else, make sure that you have a reputable and reliable relocation specialist in your corner. 
Not-so-rough around the edges 
If someone nicks a wall or scrapes the floor during a residential move, that might not be the end of the world. In the commercial sector, however, damage to the surrounding building or property can expose you to costly liabilities.
Coordination and complexity
Because commercial moves are significantly more demanding and involved than a simple residential relocation, selecting a moving partner who specializes in retail, office and industrial work is important."
The bottom line is you need a professional and well established commercial contractor or mover. For more info please click here.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Home Improvements That Add The Most Value

If you are considering home improvements it's important that you spend your hard earned money where it will give you the best return. You should always speak with a professional contractor before doing any major home renovations. An article on BankRate has some great tips on where to focus your energy to get the most bang for your buck. The kitchen is definitely the soul of a home and should be the first place you attend to if remodeling. The bathrooms are another area you should direct attention to as it can make or break a purchasing decision. If you are interested in remodeling or even flipping houses here is the full article.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Tips on How to Negotiate to Save Money on Remodeling

If you are trying to remodel your kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, deck/ patio, or whatever space around the house you might soon realize the prices can add up! I'll give you some pro tips as a professional contractor using a great article I found on yahoo homes.

1. The first thing they mention is to think like a contractor. This is solid negotiating advice period, if you can understand where the person across the table is coming from then making a deal is that much easier. Some costs are fixed, you can't negotiate the price of lumber, paint, cement, etc. You have to realize where there is leeway and where there isn't.

2. Knowledge is power, the more you know the better you can negotiate.

3. Ask for multiple bids and itemized pricing. You can compare costs and see where the money is going.

4. If you feel like you can buy certain materials cheaper than do that.

5. Ask if there is a cheaper way to handle the project. An experienced and reputable contractor will work with you if your budget is in line with reasonable market value of your requested project.
There's more tips if you read on here.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Ohio's Jobless Rate Bouncing Back, Thanks to Construction

In good news for the State of Ohio more people are getting jobs reported by the Columbus Dispatch. 4,000 Construction hires in December shifted the 7.4% Unemployment rate to 7.2%. That spells relief for a lot of families as people are returning back to work.
“There is general optimism through all the sectors of construction,” said Chris Runyan, president of the Ohio Contractors Association.
 -The Columbus Dispatch
The growth has been dramatic enough to put pressure on the highway construction industry to find highly skilled operators of heavy machinery. The trend of optimism is expected to expand this year as economic indicators point to a continued economic recovery. Read more here.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

5 Home Repairs You Should Never DIY

If you're strapped for cash and need a home repair for the smallest cost doing it yourself is sometimes a viable option. I've done some posts recently that have given you some cost cutting tips. I want customers to be well informed and not take it overboard. Some fixes are just too risky or important to risk doing yourself and you should hire a licensed contractor. I'll list my 5 (weird number I know) top projects to not DIY:

1. Removing Asbestos


First of all, do you see how those guys are dressed? That is a smoking gun that removing asbestos is not something you should do yourself. It's dangerous to your health and what dollar value is worth living a health life? To quote the United States Department of Labor
"Breathing asbestos fibers can cause a buildup of scar-like tissue in the lungs called asbestosis and result in loss of lung function that often progresses to disability and death. Asbestos also causes cancer of the lung and other diseases such as mesothelioma of the pleura which is a fatal malignant tumor of the membrane lining the cavity of the lung or stomach. "
Hire a professional, please.

2. DIY Tree Removal

 This is such a dangerous task to perform. There's sharp power tools, a large and heavy tree, and possibly houses and innocent people to consider. The cost of you, someone's property, or someone in general being injured by a mistake is much more expensive then just hiring an arborist to handle it.

3. Major Home Structural Changes

Before you go all hulk on your house, take a second and think "there might be something really important that I don't know." Demolition is really dangerous in and of itself but it can create far reaching problems you didn't anticipate like weakening the structural integrity of your home. Also think before doing major bathroom jobs, building a deck, and any other large scale home improvements. There is probably permits and licensing laws that unqualify your handy man (or handy woman) status for certain things. An experienced residential contractor can get the job done professionally and safely.

4. DIY Home Electrical Work

If you get shocked by electricity it wont be this cute. Plus there are permits and other requirements you probably don't meet to be able to pull off electrical work. You could even create a fire or cause some potentially dangerous event weeks or months down the road. You don't want your house to be a ticking time bomb, call an electrician!

5. Home Plumbing

Some plumbing projects are easy to do and by all means you can fix your shower head and plunge your toilet. When it comes to serious or more critical repairs it makes sense to pay someone who makes a living handling your problem. If their are issues with your bathtub or pipes call a plumber. A small mistake on your behalf could mean leaky spouts, damaged pipes, and a water logged house.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Kitchen Design Trends for 2014

So I ran into this article on Kitchen Design trends for this year and thought it might be a good share. If you're thinking about remodeling or doing a little here a little there then it helps to know what's in. Whether you're touching up the kitchen for your personal liking or preparing for a sale these are some good starting points for ideas. The highlights are:
  • Black countertops
  • Open shelves or glass-front cabinets 
  • Darker paint tones
For a more in depth read please click to the original article here.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

How to Get a Home Repair Done When You Can't Afford One

We all have those times when money is tight and certain things have to wait until finances can get back in order. If you know you have repairs around the house that have been neglected because the money isn't there, all hope is not lost. US News recently reported about some ways you can get those repairs done when you aren't flush with cash. Here are some highlights:
1. "Apply for a loan. You may scoff at first, especially if your credit is shaky or you've already been turned down for a loan by your bank, but there are nonprofits out there that are designed to help low-income and middle-class homeowners"
 2. "Refinance. Specifically, with a Federal Housing Administration 203k refinance loan. These are loans in which the homeowner consolidates their existing mortgage and the cost of a home renovation project."
3. "See if you're eligible for a grant. Yes, free money. And, yes, good luck with that. But grants, even if they aren't plentiful, are out there."
 You can read more about these strategies here.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Target Reaching for Young Consumers with Downsized "Express" Option

The New York Times reports Target is taking a bet on smaller is better for attracting younger shoppers in urban areas. City life is marked by a fast paced tempo and it is understandable that maybe no other segment wants things as quickly as the young adults. I can relate because sometimes you need one or two things from a super store but navigating the store and waiting in line just seems more of an inconvenience than the relief the products would provide.
"The store will be about a fifth the size of Target’s smallest format stores to date, and would allow the company to open more locations in dense urban markets, like New York, where 100,000 square feet is hard to come by."
What do you think, is Target right to conform to the changing marketplace or are the young just lazy?
Read more about the story here.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Love's Is Planning 30 New Locations in 2014

Loves plans to build 30 new locations to celebrate their 50th anniversary. The Oklahoma based company is known for their Heart Logo and yellow laden gas stations. The company began with the Love couple leasing an abandoned filling station and has since ballooned to over 312 locations. Congrats on their success and read more about the story on The Oklahoman's Website.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Man Buys House in Detroit for $500 and Writes Wonderful Post About the Experience

A man from Detroit went against the market and invested $500 for a house in his hometown. He was making a bet on the future of his city and trying to rebuild it's reputation. His goal seems to be to show love and respect for his community by making it more livable and deserted even if by one home. Read the inspiring story on Buzzfeed here.