5 Home Improvement Mistakes to Avoid

Just as a home improvement project can be very beneficial, it can also cause as much disaster when not done right. Year after year, the number of New York homeowners jumping into the home remodeling and improvement bandwagon is getting larger and larger.  A percentage of this population fails miserably in one way or another. To avoid becoming one among this number, here are the 5 most common home improvement mistakes to avoid ideal whether you are in Manhattan, Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens, or Staten Island.

Not Checking with the Community

Before even creating your home improvement plan, it is a must to check your property’s local zoning codes. Not doing so could lead to ugly legal bouts, and not knowing is never an excuse with the law. Contact the City Hall and inquire about the requirements to acquire permits for your project. Some homeowner associations might also have their set of imposed design specifications. And certain home improvements are restricted if your home is located within a historic neighborhood.

Failing to Plan… Properly

With the lot of warning homeowners are getting, those undertaking home improvement projects have already taken action. Many now prepare a game plan before actually tackling just any project. But the question is, have you drafted your plan well enough to ensure project success? A well-detailed plan is one of your keys to a beautiful as well as functional result. And any area overlooked in the plan could create the greatest of disturbance in the progress of the project or worse – failure and a waste of time, effort, and money.   

Not Accepting Your Limitations

When weighing the skill set that you posses, pushing your limits can not only lead to backbreaking tasks that results to wasted time and effort. What you think saved you some dollars by doing yourself might end you up with more bank-breaking bills. Yes picking up a paint brush can be a breeze but with projects that require larger tools and more intricate knowledge, better hand the home improvements to qualified contractors. With your experience in project management and time available, carefully consider whether you’ll need a part-time supervisor or a general contractor. Do your home and your pocket book a favor and don’t risk it.

Hiring the Wrong Contractors

As craftsmanship is what makes up high quality results that stand the tests of time, who you hire is among the most important decisions you have to get to in the life of your project. Hire a qualified contractor through considering: proper and valid license, BBB membership, unresolved complaints filed, applicable liability insurance coverage, professional background and references. To hire the home improvement contractor to give the best value for your money, get multiple bids before making the big decision.  

Not Doing Your Part

Being a homeowner means that you still shoulder the greatest accountability, and take note, this is the case even if you have hired a general contractor. Every so often, you still have to check on your hired home improvement contractors and subcontractors and the work that they are doing. Keep complete records of important project documents and have easy access to them for quick reference in case of confusions and arising issues. Leave the lines of communication open to resolve problems in its earliest stage enabling immediate resolution that is within budget. And provide a good and comfortable working environment for your workers.

Home Improvement Sales Leads – 4 Tips For Getting Leads in Your Area

As a business owner you obviously want as many home improvement sales leads as possible because leads turn into sales and sales equal income! There are lots of ways to market a construction type business in order to get consumers to call on you, but which ones work and which ones are a bit expensive for what they deliver in terms of generating quality leads? Well these 4 key points or tips can give you some insight of what resources are available and which ones are the most effective when you are looking to gain focused construction, siding, windows, plumbing, or other type of handyman leads for your company.

1. One item is clear and that is in order to have an effective sales and marketing campaign now days you need to have an online presence, regardless of what type of company or service business you are running. You may ask why this so crucial because you may be used to just always following the path of some small or large phone book ads and maybe a few radio advertisements. The fact is more and more consumers, potential clients, and other people in need of specific services search online everyday in order to find businesses and companies who can provide quality and proven service in their area.

2. Hopefully we can assume you have heard of Google, Yahoo, and Bing, the most powerful and widely used search engines on the internet. Some where close to 70% of all online users search Google for business services everyday and the other 25% use Yahoo or Bing! And to take that a step further, it has been said that more than 50% of consumers will do some research online before choosing a construction company to work with and pay for before they call them. The reason for the large number of online searches as opposed to the old, some what out-of-date, yellow pages is that consumers and prospects can find out so much specific information about a company before they decide to call and speak with them. The internet is a way that can save people lots of time searching for exactly what they want where as with a phone book or yellow pages they can only see a small portion of information and in most cases just a your company name and phone number! When someone in need of home improvement help goes to Google and types in “home improvement companies in their area” Google will only show the top 10 most relevant results (same for Yahoo! and Bing). With the yellow pages there can be hundreds of choices to pick from and it’s tough to know which one has the exact services that you are looking for, you can see the internet cuts out lots of wasted time filtering services including wasted time on the phone.

3. If you own a home window replacement company in Des Moines, IA and a home owner uses Google and types in “Des Moines home window replacement” you can’t get a much more focused lead than that. And the cool part is if you have a good online marketing presence and have an easy to read website with you service information on it you could be one of those top 10 companies on the front page results for that prospect’s search! That consumer or lead is looking for what you have and because you have a home improvement website that lists all of your services and specialities you will get a call and have a much higher rate of closing a deal and making the sale than if they just looked up home repair or window companies in the phone book! Some home construction companies in the phone book don’t offer window replacements but the only way a homeowner knows that is to call and find out, if that same person types in “window replacement in Des Moines, IA” they know that any of those 10 companies have exactly what they want! That is why you need to be online and especially on the front page of Google results.

4. How can you start marketing effectively online and more specifically with Google in order to get these targeted sales leads? There are many options available, some more expensive than others. The main question you need to ask yourself is how much is one good home improvement sales lead or call worth to your company profits? Once you get a call what are your skills or abilities to close the deal and make the money instead of your competitors? The best way to get these types of sales leads for any type of business, whether it is windows, doors, home siding, or home remodeling services, is to get your company website on the front page of Google! If you don’t know how to get ranked on Google you should find an experienced and reliable company who can do it for you. Remember 50% of people search the internet these days (and that % continues to rise every year) instead of finding companies with out-dated forms like the phone book. The phone book ads can cost thousands of dollars a year and sometimes hundreds or thousands per month, getting results and a presence on Google or online in general can be much more cost effective and profitable in the short term but more importantly in the long term!

Keep tips in mind when thinking about your marketing campaign online or more specifically with Google or any sort of lead generation campaign. Find and talk to a company who can get you results for home improvement sales leads online so that you are one of the top 10 in your area. See if those same online advertising specialists can also make you a website, rent you one that already gets local home servicing leads, or if they can help your existing site. Having a website is only effective for getting new leads if it shows up during a prospects search. Find a company and call them up to let them know what kind of results you are hoping to achieve online and then ask if they can help or improve your chances of getting your piece of the online home improvement sales traffic!

Be Careful With Home-Improvement Leads – Finding Reliable Contractors

I’ve got more stories that I could tell you about home improvement leads, than I have fingers and toes to count them on. Anything from the most wonderful contractor in the world, to the worst home remodeling nightmares of the century. I’ve heard them all and I’m here to tell you about the pitfalls, from using home-improvement leads.

Nobody really cares about the good home-improvement stories, so I’m going to skip the wonderful contractor who remodeled the bathroom for $100 and did a fantastic job. The contractor also became friends with the family and now maintains their front and backyard for free. I’m going to skip that story and get right to the problems.

I don’t know how many times I either worked with a homeowner, for a homeowner or heard a story about a homeowner who found a contractor from one of their friends. Some home improvement leads aren’t going to work out like you envision them to. The pictures that you have in your mind, might not be what you end up with, after the job is completed.

Any homeowners who received a recommendation for a contractor, needs to check them out. Don’t assume that your friend already has. Check your contractor to make sure that they’re licensed, bonded and insured, if your state requires this. If they have any employees, make sure that they have the required insurance and that the workers aren’t working here illegally.

Just because you’ve got a recommendation, doesn’t mean that you found an honest, dependable or reliable contractor. The recommendation is just a foot in the door for the contractor. It’s time for you to start doing some serious research. I don’t know how many homeowners, hire someone who is recommended to them and never even checks to see if they’re licensed.

Don’t get caught in this trap. Simply by checking their license, you could eliminate almost half of your potential problems.