5 Tips for Professional Tradesmen Working as Contractors

To work as a professional contractor is not an easy job and at ContractorsToday.com we acknowledge it loud and clear. That’s why we’ve gathered the following dash of advice for professional tradesmen:

1. Find and keep customers.

First, decide on your business plan, what your targets and budget are. It’s wise and even a must nowadays to invest in marketing efforts. The old method of a word of mouth is something that might also earn you lots of jobs, however, planning a budget for online marketing, advertising in local media outlets, flyers and business cards is a good idea for increasing the online visibility of your company.

 

Think about creating your own website and developing a social media presence. For window cleaning business it’s a good idea to create a Facebook profile and keep it active.

2. Grow your business.

In the beginning, you will start with the modest approaches, such as traditional window cleaning using ladders, cherry pickers and chemicals. Each business changes over the years and the competition is high, so it’s worth of thinking about ways to beat the competition. You need to use modern, eco-friendly and safety methods. Always try to penetrate in small niches that will bring your business profit.

 

For example, you can specialize and invest a capital in a grinding machine. It removes scratches and other stubborn stains like graffiti, paint, plaster, stucco, or any other construction remains.

 

There are many groups dedicated to one particular trade, say the to Top window cleaning professionals. In such groups you can find jobs, advice, support and more. Research them and join in as many as you can. But also keep an active presence, join discussions and advice people and even colleagues. This is also a form of a free advertising.

 

Look into business listings and create business profiles. Your online presence is essential because customers will look for services on the Internet and through the Apps on their smartphones. You should be online and your brand, logo and image should be visible and recognizable. Don’t be shy about these forms of interactions with customers, dive into it and see for yourself the immediate effects.

3. Get good insurance.

When you start a business one of the main expense would be a liability insurance. The insurance professionals at MortgageSavingExperts.com advise that no matter whether you work by yourself or you have employees, this is crucial because trades can be dangerous. Working as a contractor can lead to many injuries and accidents, and adding the risk of medical negligence on top, it simply does not worth it. A proper insurance gives your company more credentials and trustworthiness among both customers and partners. There are different insurances but the most important ones include:

 

  • Personal accident insurance: it can cover any injuries or even death caused by an unexpected event.
  • Employers’ insurance: if you hire employees you’re legally obliged to have this one.
  • Business equipment insurance: this protects your equipment and tools in case of loss, theft or other damages.  
  • Public insurance: it covers you from a customer or other public person who experience a harm as a result of your business.

4. Get proper training.

First, you need to look into the training and qualifications that a tradesman in your niche has to acquire. Investing in your training and in that of your staff, if you are considering running a bigger business, will be repaid in the quality of your work the competitive services you’re offering to the customers and the trust you will build by providing reliability and quality.

 

Тraining courses are provided by federations, unions and professional qualification providers. Another option is to reach out to business owners of already established companies and ask or apply for a training position/apprenticeship programme and from then on to be able to qualify as an experienced tradesman.

5. Consider health and safety.

Familiarize yourself and comply with all the laws and health and safety regulations that apply for your particular business. If you went through a professional training, then you will already be familiar with all these requirements. According to James, a Glasgow stonemason and bricklayer, if you underestimate and neglect the importance for health and safety precautions, you risk lawsuits and fines that will not only destroy your company but can also destroy

Final remarks

However, if you are on the brink of starting your own business, you need to consider all regulations and laws for practising your job, hiring staff, working with customers and what equipment you should invest in.

 

HOW PLUMBING CONTRACTORS FIX ROOTS IN YOUR SEWER PIPES WITHOUT KILLING ANY TREES

If tree roots have ever caused you sewer pipe problems, you understand how frustrating the whole thing can be. In most cases, homeowners decide to attack the roots, which leads to the destruction of the tree. Though this may look like a simple, fast and rational solution for some, many others find this method problematic because they would to like to preserve the plant. What most people don’t realize is that the issue can be resolved in an eco-friendly way.

Why trees go for the pipes?

Roots thrive in the warm, moist, nutrient-rich atmosphere above the water level inside sanitary sewers. The flow of warm water inside the pipes causes water vapor to escape to the cold and/or dry soil surrounding it.

 

Tree roots are attracted to the water vapor leaving the tube and they follow the vapor trail to the source of the moisture, which is usually coming from cracks or loose joints in the sewer pipeline. They will penetrate the opening to reach the available nutrients and moisture. This continues in winter even though trees appear to be dormant. Once inside the tube, roots will continue to grow and if not disturbed, they will completely fill it.

 

As roots continue to grow, they exert considerable pressure at the crack or joint where they entered the piping. The force exerted by the root growth can break its structure, which may result in total collapse of the pipe. Severe root intrusion and damaged pipelines can even lead to complete replacement, which usually costs a lot of time and money.

How to save both the pipes and plants?

The key to work out a problem such as this without having to sacrifice a whole tree is using trenchless technology. This type of sewer repair gives the professionals the ability to address the situation without causing any damages by digging up your yard. Not only that they can perform the job without going underground but can also replace your old clay, concrete or iron pipes with new ones.

 

High-quality HDPE is used, which has been shown to last more than 100 years.

Here is how the procedure is performed?

The technicians work with certain tools to clean and remove all the obstructions. They also use techniques such as relining and bursting to replace or repair old pipes. Professionals can complete the job all at once, within a few hours or in small intervals depending on your preferences.

 

Once completed, the visual difference is barely noticeable. This process has been around for over 10 years and it is affordable in comparison to an excavation. The cost for the trenchless replacement method is a bit higher than a traditional sewer excavation but it is still much cheaper than having whole trees removed. Another major plus is that you are left with an intact garden.

What is a trenchless sewer repair?

A trenchless sewer repair is exactly what it sounds like – it’s a method that replaces damaged pipes without trenching. This technology is preferred because it is less intrusive, more affordable, and quicker than traditional, open-trenched repair.

 

There are two types of trenchless sewer repair:

1. Pipe Bursting

As alarming as it sounds, bursting is quite an effective way of handling cases like these. “This procedure doesn’t require digging trenches.”, says Shem Bruce, a fantastic plumbing expert from London, “Professionals will intentionally break the existing pipe with mechanically applied force. This is accomplished by pulling a head, also known as a “bursting head or bullet,” through the old one. The head fractures the existing piping while dragging and laying the new one behind it.”

 

This technology does not require the use of any added chemicals or other contaminants during the trenchless repair process – it simply replaces the existing piping with environmentally-safe HDPE. Because of HDPEs long lifespan, bursting also prevents future disturbances to the surrounding environment through additional projects and replacements.

2. Sliplining

Sliplining is an older method for trenchless rehabilitation of existing pipelines. Basically, an epoxy liner is installed into an existing sewer lateral. This essentially creates a “pipe within a pipe”. The most common materials used to slip line an existing pipe are high-density polyethylene, fiberglass-reinforced tube and PVC.

 

This method is very cost-effective. Easy to install and requires tools and equipment widely available to any pipeline contractor.

Why you should choose this method

  • Less damage is caused to the site
    Pipe bursting causes less damage to the area that’s been worked on – there’s less cleanup and repair necessary, subsequent to the work. It is also “greener” than other more conventional ways on the marker. When using excavation, a lot of toxic substances are used, and since trenchless repair doesn’t involve digging, there is no way for them to enter the water supply or anywhere else on upon land, for that matter.
    Another important factor is that the state of your yard will be in the same condition as before the procedure – no holes, no missing grass, flowers left intact.
  • It’s a much cheaper option
    At the end of the day, pipe bursting will save you tons of money. Just think about it: with excavation, you’re going to hire an army of workers to dig a huge hole (either that, or a large loud machine). Upon completion, you’ll have to clean everything up, right? This means you need to spend on new soil, grass, plants, flowers, etc. You can see how quickly this process can empty your pockets. Opt for the trenchless version and only a couple of workers will be required, while the site they are working on won’t be damaged in any way.
  • The flow capacity of the pipes can be increased
    Bursting and splitting can be used to upsize the pipeline thereby increasing its flow capacity if this is necessary.
  • You get a lifetime guarantee
    Modern sewer tubes offered by trenchless technicians are much sturdier than the traditional clay and iron pipes. They do not support rust making them indispensable and are resistant to potential chemicals found in salt water and sanitary sewerage wastewater. In fact, manufacturers have concluded that your new pipelines should last as long as a century. Unlike a lot of the materials today, this type of plastic is impervious to the damage roots impose.

 

Top 10 Tips to Save Energy on Heating and Cooling

Spring is the perfect time to start thinking about ways to save on heating and cooling bills. The worst of winter may be behind us, but cold temperatures still plague much of the nation—especially at night when thermometers plummet down to near-freezing…or worse. And during the day things tend to heat up to the point where switching your HVAC system over to the cool setting might be necessary. We’ll go through 10 tricks to help keep your home at optimal temps either way.

 

    1. Cover Your Windows

Windows, although more energy efficient than ever, can be a primary culprit for thermal transfer. Consider buying insulating drapes that will help to cut down on cold drafts and heat loss without breaking the bank. The same technique is also helpful for keeping out unwanted heat on those warmer days. If your home’s windows are old and poorly insulated, you may wish to consider replacing them altogether with more energy efficient models.

  1. Uncover Your Windows

On the flip side, if it’s cold during the day, open the insulating blinds or drapes to allow the sun to warm the house. You’ll be amazed at the difference this can make in rooms that receive direct sunlight.

  1. Up Your Insulation

As the name implies, insulation is the primary source for insulating your home from cold and heat. The greater the level of insulation, the less your home will be affected by exterior temperature changes and the more easily you will be able to control the temperature inside.

There are many different types of insulating materials and the best choice is often dependent on where the insulation is being placed. For example, insulating concrete is often used for foundation walls, whereas blown-in insulation is usually used in attic spaces.

Keep in mind that heat rises and cold air falls, so the attic is often a prime culprit when accounting for insulation loss within a home. Also, an older home, unless it has been renovated, is often not insulated to the same levels as today’s modern home.

  1. Look for Leaks

A great way to figure out what corrective actions to take is to actually find any air leaks. An inspection of the openings around your home can provide a great deal of insight. For example, take a look at window and door frames. Electrical, plumbing and gas lines that enter the home can also be primary culprits. Basically anywhere on the exterior of the home that had a hole cut so that something could be installed or routed. Are there gaps around any of these opening where air is leaking? A set of expert eyes can be helpful for this and there are companies out there who provide professional energy audits.

 

  1. Fix the Leaks

Once you or an energy auditor has determined the points of leaks, it’s time to seal them off. What’s used to seal the leaks will depend on where the leaks are. For doors, weatherstripping is usually the most appropriate remedy. For windows, caulk will often work best. Foam spray insulation is usually used around pipes. Each situation will be unique, which is why these fixes are best left to the pros.

  1. Fire Your Fireplace

A fireplace can be an excellent source of heat in those frigid winter months, but when it’s not in use, the chimney is one giant air vent in and out of your home. Be sure to close the damper to block off the flue (and don’t forget to open it again before using). It’s imperative to make sure the damper creates a tight seal, so have a professional come out to service your chimney if this is not the case.

  1. Semi-Annual Service

Once you’ve corrected insulation and air leak issues, it’s time to focus on your home’s heating and cooling units. Getting these units serviced on a bi-annual basis is an excellent way to keep them in top-running condition. If tests prove that there are efficiency problems, consider having the unit fixed or even replaced, which may actually save you money in the long run.

  1. Keep Tabs on the Thermostat

Technology has impacted the way that we do nearly everything. Controlling your home’s temperature is no exception. If your home is still equipped with a manual thermostat, consider upgrading to an electronically programmable thermostat. These thermostats can be set to kick heat and air on and off at certain times of the day. That way, you can let temps fluctuate a little more while away at work, and bring them back to a comfortable temp by the time you get home. There are even some systems that can be controlled remotely from your smartphone.

  1. Stay Out of Hot Water

Your hot water tank may be using more electricity than it actually needs to. If the water from your faucets is hotter than it needs to be, turn down the temperature on the hot water heater to save some energy. When it comes time to replace the hot water heater, you may even want to consider switching to a tankless (also known as instant) hot water heater. These can be powered by either electricity or gas and heat up water on an as-needed basis. This saves energy by eliminating the need to keep an entire tank warm all the time.

  1. Pick a Pro

Since we’re talking about efficiency, working with a professional will be the most efficient way to accomplish all of the tasks above. Once they come out to meet with you in your home, they may have additional ideas about how to save even more money. Get in touch with a local contractor today.

10 smart tips for construction managers

It is a well known fact that the construction industry is comprised of various complicated work processes. The industry has a varied collection of projects that are built with the joint effort of various entities. In one given project, carpenters, masons, designers, engineers and many other parties interact together to get the job done. And once that’s done, the cycle starts all over again as the project ends and people move on to the next one and work with unfamiliar faces again.

 

With that going on, it’s a huge struggle for managers to deliver projects that would please their clients, on time and within budget. In order to help construction managers become better at their jobs, we decided to round up some smart tips for all of them. We hope that this helps them become much more efficient at their jobs.

 

  1. Get the right reporting/scheduling tool

 

A scheduling tool is an essential tool for managers to keep track of supplies and tasks on site. Reporting tools allow managers to keep track of the project’s progress, manage construction workers on-site and monitor schedules in order to make sure that all the dependencies are adjusted.

Without a scheduling tool managers have absolutely no idea or control of the entire project’s pace and that may let thinks escalate to a point where various parties handle unnecessary costs.

 

 

Currently, the latest technology is the use of real-time tech to bring construction project’s scheduling and planning to life. Even now, many managers are using various planning tools that can only be updated once the workers are at the office and the managers need to send emails and call them on site in order to get the latest update.

 

Many days and weeks are wasted in this process which is why real-time technology has reached the construction industry now. Workers now work on updated schedules, they report their progress and instantly the progress is monitored by the managers on site. Allowing various contractors to save money on travelling time. Any delays are reported as problems and relevant entities are informed in real-time. This can have a huge impact on the current work processes and improve efficiencies rates which according to Ulrik Branner are at 30% in any given project.

 

  1. Be data focused

 

Data brings you knowledge and knowledge is power. There is a reason why experienced people are given so much importance in the construction industry. Managers understand the need for people to learn by doing. Of course, that doesn’t mean that people need to invest years to gain insight and awareness form working various projects. It can be achieved by many managers if they go data savvy.

 

The tip here is to use data that is available to every manager. Approximately 95% of data is either thrown away or not used at all in construction. That just shows that managers are not using most of the data that is generated.

 

Almost every manager is using some kind of a project planning tool. All you need to do is learn from past mistakes and past achievements. Build your next project around a data foundation.

 

  1. Be on top of your project

 

Tools and the effective usage of data helps managers be on top of their construction project. It’s a big hassle when one second everything is going according to plan and the next everything goes south. Does that mean that managers are not doing their job well? No, of course not. There are just too many steps in the project cycle and all of them performed by various entities that have their own systems.

 

There are a lot of dependencies riding on a job being done right. Then there are changes made by engineers, advisors, clients or subcontractors. The construction manager needs to take into account all of these things and many times the cycle is going to stop and the work will come to a halt.

 

How does one handle that? Use real-time technology, hire subcontractors that you have worked in the past and trust to get the job done right, and make sure that your workers are well informed. There are software that are designed to help managers make the right decision and be aware of a potential problem beforehand.

 

  1. Train and grow your team

 

Want to get your project done right? Make a super team. A team that understands the importance of getting the tasks delivered on time. A team that you yourself invest hours in training and developing.

 

It’s lazy to just want skilled workers from scratch. Of course, we want qualified individuals but we also want to make sure that they have the spirit to grow and want to learn. With the right kind of mindset, a construction manager can have a team to rely on.

 

Equipment and software training is vital for the the future development of a manager’s construction worker.

 

  1. Focus on site safety

 

Site safety and security is very important if managers want to avoid health issues or crisis during the construction processes. To start with, guidance and information to the workers about certain safety rules and regulations is imperative. Another important thing is daily checklists. Make sure that there are posters that remind workers of wearing protective gear. Managers also need to invest in protective gear. An unfortunate incident on a construction site can lead to many damages to contractors. Site safety helps to avoid those unnecessary costs.

 

  1. Build relationships with various contractors

 

Your job on a construction site doesn’t start from your first day at a construction site. There are various stages that come before that. Most of the delays and variations that come to the construction plan midway are due to poor planning beforehand by the contractors, clients and architects.

 

The design phase needs to be realistic that should be a straightforward open process in which both contractors, subcontractors and architects are involved. If architects create an artistic building without taking into account the actual building process, then there will be a lot of delays, claims and variations to deal with in the end. And that ruins relationships with a lot of parties that are trying to achieve the same goal.

 

Many cases go to court due to various misunderstandings and petty issues that escalated. So a tip here would be to build relationships for future work together.

 

  1. Be an approachable manager

 

Often times managers focus on getting the job done and that’s it. It’s understandable that they deal with a lot of pressure. But try to be a manager that workers can talk to. Try to be someone who can be approached to discuss issues or problems. It’s a good way to collaborate with the team.

 

  1. Learn and develop from past projects

 

Everyone makes mistakes, everybody has problems, everyone deals with crisis. What’s important is what you do after that. Do you learn from it or do you wipe it from your memory and move on with a clean slate.

 

Data from a project gone wrong is insight to your next project. Data from a project gone right is information for the next one.

 

  1. Focus on self growth

 

It’s not enough that the construction workers are the only ones to grow and train. It’s important for the managers to develop along with the passage of time. Having a mindset that is 15 years old does not work in the year 2018 anymore. It’s high time that we keep up with the world around us. So a tip here is to keep up with the latest happenings such as green construction, 3D printing in construction – you never know when an opportunity may arise from that.

 

  1. Be friends with technology

 

Technology can be intimidating to those that are not directly linked to it. It can be surprising and difficult to get around. It can also be a bit unrealistic but it brings many benefits that should be explored. It can also be difficult to implement in your complicated work processes but it brings with it many advantages.

 

The idea here is to not reject it the minute you hear of it as many managers do. The aim is to know that there are a lot of technologies out there that can be implemented to get the job done right, without delays and within budget.

 

Conclusion

 

We hope this list of tips helps the current construction managers become more proactive in their construction project. Construction is on a verge to change and with that comes the need for managers to put their game face on!

 

Author Biography:

Shaneel Nasir Akbar is a content marketing assistant at GenieBelt.

 

Custom Metal Roofing

Some information in this article has been sourced by https://www.austinlonghornroofing.com and https://contentrally.com/close-look-at-top-5-roofing-materials-pros-and-cons/.

Custom metal roofing has taken the country by storm. These days, it appears in both commercial and residential structures. It couples an attractive, modern look with exceptional performance and the ability to last for decades — even in the harshest weather.

 

No matter your home’s age, size, or style, custom metal roofing is a great selection.

 

Still, the choice to update the roof shouldn’t be made lightly. After all, the roof is one of the first things any visitor will notice. Plus, the quality of the roof has a major effect on what it’s like inside your home or business, too.

4 Huge Advantages of Custom Metal Roofing

It Lasts Longer

Composite shingles are strong, but nothing out there is better than custom metal roofing. When it is planned, fabricated, and installed by a true expert, it can last five whole decades. It usually needs less maintenance than other options, too.

 

It Fights Fire and Wind

When a storm hits, wind is the culprit behind much of the damage a structure sustains. A metal roof is a great defense against wind. Additionally, rain and hail bounce right off. Naturally, metal roofs don’t catch on fire, which helps protect against major accidents.

 

It Keeps Your Home Cool

A metal roof lets you save money on cooling by deflecting large quantities of solar radiation right back into space. Since much less heat reaches and penetrates the building, it’s a whole lot easier to maintain the temperatures you want.

 

It Improves Structural Strength

By bringing together low weight and high strength, custom metal roofing will assist any building to age gracefully. Less pressure on the foundation improves building safety over time and can fend off major repair issues.

Find Your Local Custom Metal Roofer of Choice

Metal roofing is ideal for a wide range of situations. Still, it has to be installed by experts to truly unlock its potential. Custom metal roofers can fabricate all custom metal roofing materials on-site before installation starts.

 

That means a more durable – and more beautiful – new roof.

We recommend looking for standing seam 24-gauge galvalume-coated steel panels. These are thicker and more seamless than 26-gauge steel panels that you can get right off the shelf from the hardware store.

 

The standing-seam process enhances the strength of the panels while giving each one an ideal fit. They simply look better, too: With custom metal roofing, there’s no need for ugly bolts, screws, or fasteners. Standing seam roofs give you a truly sleek look everyone will notice!

5 ways to find great construction jobs

A cornerstone of modern society, construction jobs and professions provide individuals with worthwhile experiences as well as being lucrative professions in most states. Construction is currently one of the biggest and fastest-growing industries in United States according to Sageworks financial research. In the Forbes listing of top 10 fastest-growing industries, not only are many of the top positions held by construction-related professions, many fall into several different categories; from residential and electrical, to commercial and engineering. The industry is vast and includes many multidisciplinary skilled-laborers. There are many opportunities for skilled and unskilled laborers to work in this diverse field, but how do you find the one right for you?

 

  1. Job Searches
  2. Thanks to modern technology, locating businesses looking for workers is not as difficult as it once was. Recent updates to digital platforms like Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn have made it easier for workers of any level of experience to connect with construction companies looking for workers; skilled and unskilled. Google recently released Google Hire to allow businesses to “inject” job listings into search results, while Facebook now allows businesses to promote open positions.

     

  3. On-Site / Word of Mouth
  4. Although it may be intimidating, individuals that live close to or travel past construction areas or construction company offices can often find success by contacting the foreman of the site or speaking with a coordinator/secretary at the office. Visiting a job site is not advisable when work is underway or the construction area is restricted to authorized personnel. However, when construction work is paused or when workers are arriving or preparing to leave, inquiring about job opportunities are often welcome.

     

  5. Skilled Professional Networks
  6. For construction professionals with prior experience or education in a construction field, there are often a number of resources available either due to having obtained on-the-job (OJT) training or by obtaining/maintaining their education. Skilled construction professions and jobs often require certifications, verified know-how from accredited organizations or professional membership/association such as Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) which offers a number of benefits, including job listings.

     

  7. Education
  8. In line with professional networks, pursuing and become a graduate of a degree or certification program often opens doors to skilled labor opportunities that unskilled laborers are unfit to fill. By pursuing the education necessary to perform the tasks of a skilled laborer, you’ll be prepared for the work many fast-growing construction industries need while expanding your network along the way. In many of the educational programs in the construction industry, education centers and businesses focused on construction have agreements that support graduates finding jobs soon after obtaining their degree or certification. These job placement agreements are a win-win for everyone as the educating organization can promote the value of quick placement, the construction organization fills roles with skilled construction workers, and you get a job! The University of Florida is a good example of the value of these types of programs.

     

  9. Recruiters
  10. Similar to job searches and hiring sites, like Indeed or Glassdoor, recruiters work as middle men and women (or agencies) helping businesses find the right candidate for a position while helping potential candidates find employment that makes the most sense for them. Many of these recruiters and recruiting agencies are great resources for job searches as well as guidance on resumes, interviewing, placement, and other career guidance elements.

     

Staying Safe in Hazardous Construction Zones

Venturing into a construction zone in flip flops and no hard hat is not a good choice, everyone knows that. However, there are some tips and nuances concerning the construction industry that many new professionals, unskilled laborers, and bystanders may be unfamiliar with when it comes to staying safe in hazardous construction zones.

 

Watch out for others. Whether its for you as you’re driving a forklift, crane, plow or other construction machinery or the person around these heavy equipment; vigilance is the number one rule. Between 2002 and 2012, 19.5% of all workplace fatalities involved workers in the construction industry. Based on labor statistics, in a 45-year long career, a construction worker has a 1-in-200 chance of sustaining a fatal, on-the-job injury. What leads to these types of injuries and fatalities? Lack of equipment knowledge, mechanical failures, and lapse in attention.

 

Follow the rules. Although this goes without saying, following the rules is a no brainer. Over the long history of construction, many policies and regulations have been crafted to ensure safety. These policies and rules are the results of many, many accidents that lead to loss of limb, injuries to workers, casualties, and damage to property–so the guidances are often well informed. Just as a school teacher may repeatedly echo the same rules, you see many of the same rules repeated often to build up a second nature to following the regulations:

 

  • Hard hats must and should be worn in all construction zones

  • Steel toed boots should be worn

  • Reflective vests must be worn where vehicles are traveling close by

 

Avoid Distractions. As bad as pedestrians are with modern phones and texting while walking/driving, many construction zones have now banded cell phones on the job as workers handling heavy equipment can be easily distracted or jolted by personal cell phones. While the lure to stay “in the know” or be accessible to family and friends may be strong, these types of distractions are a major concern in and out of construction zones. Labelled ‘phone/texting zombies’, these hordes of distracted individuals have become a big issue.

 

Although businesses carry insurance to cover these accidents, no amount of money or compensation can replace a life.

Inclement Weather and Construction

Although summer will soon be gone, construction projects will continue through the fall and into winter and well into the spring this coming year. Depending on your location, these months have the potential to see inclement weather including hurricanes, snow, rain and high winds. While many things can alter a construction project, inclement weather is something that can have the biggest impact on whether a project is finished on time or if it will need an extended deadline to wrap up.

Whether you are a homeowner who is working with a general contractor to have a new shed built for your tools or you’re a construction manager who needs to plan a new build at a job site, here are a few tips to keep work flowing even when bad weather starts poking its head around the corner.

  • Before beginning any project, especially one that is outdoors, carefully research local weather patterns and check the extended forecast to see if you may experience delays with the work at hand.
  • If you work in an area known for rain, plan for delays or be sure to grab plenty of rain gear ahead of time to cover the area and continue working as planned. Having plastic or storm drainage on site already will be a benefit to the worksite and will allow work to continue as normal even when the rain hits.
  • Plan for flooding if you’re project is in an area prone to flooding. While some projects will inevitably have to be placed on hold if flooding occurs, others can continue if waters have not risen significantly.
  • If you know the area has some rough weather patterns and you expect to see large amounts of rain or snow, plan accordingly and set a realistic time frame for completion as well as cost for the project.

No one can control the weather, and unfortunately it often holds disastrous surprises when we least expect. Planning Home Improvement Tips, Ideas and Projects ahead by keeping an eye on weather trends and checking to see if inclement weather is on the horizon is a good step to take when you are planning to have work done at your home or when you are a contractor who will be starting a new building project soon.

If you need to hire a general contractor and want someone who can be relied on to plan the project around the weather in your area, be sure to speak to Contractors Today to be put in touch with the best general contractors in your local area today.

 

What to Look for When Closing on a Home

You’ve made it all the way to the end of your dream of being a homeowner. All that’s left to do now is schedule a few inspections, get a good appraisal and sign some paperwork. Right? Let’s not jump ahead so fast in this process. Buying a home is a major investment and as a future homeowner, you need to know that what you’re paying for your home is worth the money.

One of the most important things, and one that lenders often require, is a complete home inspection to check for signs of faulty wiring, plumbing problems, foundation issues and other problems that can be costly or cause damage to the home. Scheduling an inspection is advised even if your lender does not require one.

As a home buyer, you want to be able to move into your new home and get settled in fast. Chances are that you don’t want to have to immediately take upon the task of contacting a general contractor to begin making repairs on things that pop up unexpectedly around the house that you were in the dark about. A home inspection offers a great way to not worry about unwanted surprises and can be a way to back out of the purchase if something major is found. A little general maintenance is to be expected, but finding out you need a new roof immediately or you have a major plumbing disaster waiting to happen can be deal-breakers on the purchase.

To close on your home and be able to feel confident that the decision to make the purchase is wise, you will need to find a quality home inspector and even if you have little time until the closing date is upon you, you need to make time for the inspection and be sure to be present as the inspector walks through the home. Here are some tips for making sure your inspection goes well and the house truly is the one you want to buy.

Check credentials

Before you just pull up a list of home inspectors online, check with friends and family to see if someone you trust can recommend someone. You will want to check credentials to see how long they have been in business and whether they have worked in other housing related fields including electrical, construction or other areas that would help them know precisely what they are looking for. Ask to see sample reports to see the various things they check for when the do a home inspection. Many inspectors will have samples available right on their website as well as lists of things they do during or after a home inspection.

The Extras

Ask the inspector if they check for things including radon, termites, mold or lead paint or asbestos. Most will refer you to a different company for tests including radon or carbon monoxide testing, but some will offer it on their own.

Schedule the Inspection Early

Try to schedule your home inspection early in the day so you will have plenty of daylight hours to spend in the home checking every nook and cranny. Late appointments work as well, but you may find that the later it is, the more chance things may be rushed a little so everyone can get home in time for dinner or to meet the kids after school.

Issues on the Report

If issues that need to be repaired are listed on the report, get together with the seller or the seller’s agent and go over the list to determine which repairs the seller needs to make for the sale to progress and which, if any, you would feel comfortable letting slide or hiring a contractor on your own to repair. If the home inspection finds a cracked foundation or a major plumbing repair, you may want to decline this sale and start your home search over. If it finds repairable problems such as a few outlets that need covers or a leaky sink, these are things that a seller will usually take care of but even if they do not, they are not usually big budget expenses to worry about.

When you are trying to close on a new home, take time for the inspection so you really know what you are walking into. If you are aware ahead of time of the various things that may need to be repaired once you close, you can plan accordingly to hire a contractor and get them fixed fast. Better yet, best wishes to you that your home inspection finds nothing wrong and you can close fast and move in as soon as possible to enjoy your new home for many years to come.

If you need to hire a general contractor to take care of a few issues found on your new home inspection before closing or you are a seller who needs to make a few repairs to get the home up to par for a buyer, be sure to contact Contractors Today to find a great general contractor in your local area.

Installing New Windows and Doors

Do you live in an older home and feel chilly air drifting through the windows and doors? If so, it’s probably a good time to consider having new windows and doors installed to keep the cold air out, the power bills down and the chance that you or those you love won’t have quite so many sniffles this fall and winter.

Sure, there is an expense to having new windows and doors installed, but in the long run, the initial cost for installation can help save money and keep more money in your pocket. You can try to do the installation on your own, but you will most likely find that hiring a professional general contractor to handle the work for you will cut down on time and will ensure everything is installed properly.

Windows

When it comes to windows, a good general contractor may be able to repair older windows if you want to keep the original looks of the house but you can also have new windows easily installed to keep the drafts out.

If you prefer to have new windows installed, the cost to purchase the windows as well as install them will far outweigh the expense of feeling drafts and paying for rising heating bills in the winter or cooling bills in the summer. Replacing old windows with new, efficient double-paned windows is a good idea for any home and is the best way to help keep your power bills as low as possible.

Doors

Older doors often have plenty of extra space around the edges that allow air to flow directly into the house. Having new doors installed can be a little costly, but they can make a huge difference in the cost you pay for your utilities each month. Hiring a professional contractor to install new doors for you will ensure they are installed the right way and over time, you’ll start to notice just how much you can save from having the work done. If you are doing this yourself, we highly recommend using one of the best cordless drills shown on this website (there’s some GREAT information on this page as well as the entire website).

To combat higher utility bills, it’s also a good idea to use weather-stripping around all windows and doors throughout the year. When you are ready to have your installation taken care of, be sure to talk to Contractors Today to reach the best general contractors in your area to take care of your window and door installation and help you save a little on your utility bills each month.