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Posts Tagged ‘home remodeling’

How to Win Friends and Influence Your Contractor – 4 Tips to get the Home Remodeling Project of Your Dreams

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

 

How to win friends and influence your contractor | Innovate Building Solutions

At midnight, I received the all too familiar email. It said,

“Mike, my general contractor is extremely hesitant to work with the (you fill in the blank) product (in my business I could fill in this blank with unique products like wet room systems, grout free shower wall panels or glass block showers or windows). I desperately want this product in my remodeling project. I’m crushed. How do I convince him to use this new product….to innovate on my project? I’m completely frustrated. I don’t want to have to beg get what I want – but I will if that’s what it takes!”

Have you ever resembled this remark in the middle of a kitchen, basement or bathroom remodeling project? Contractors are not known to be the most progressive ‘tools in the shed’ – and in the busy market of today it’s much easier for them to tell you, “hey lady we don’t know anything about that product.” Asking them to innovate can be as hard as asking the shyest person you know to give a speech about physics to a group of egghead scientists. Neither request is likely to be fulfilled – unless you know how to influence them in a way they want to help you get what you want.

This is not an easy mission, but you’ve got no choice but to accept it if you want to get the home renovation project of your dreams (money alone will not convince your contractor to do a project they are uncomfortable installing). A quality contractor doesn’t want to stick their neck, pocketbook and reputation out if they don’t know what the heck they’re doing. They will be responsible to come back to fix what’s wrong if something goes sideways for you – and they aren’t eager to take the risk.

How do you get your competent (in this article I’m assuming they are competent – if not, you have other bigger problems!) – yet conservative general contractor to go out on a limb and install a cool or important new product you’ve just got to have? To get something new it’s time to turn back to some good old fashioned advice. This timeless advice was adapted (with a twist) from a book originally published in 1936 (and has sold over 30 million copies) from Andrew Carnegie called How to Win Friends and Influence People. In this article let’s look at 4 common sense tips (with a little psychology thrown in) inspired by the work of Andrew Carnegie to influence your contractor (or anyone for that matter) to get what you want.

The 5 Step Program to Remodel Your Home out of a Fashion Time-Warp

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling, Glass Block

The 5 step program to remodel your home out of a fashion time warp @InnovateBuild

How do you know when your clothes or home have gone out of style and you need a makeover – BAD? You may ask a trusted consultant for their honest opinion. Someone who will not beat around the bush. I remember doing this during my early days as a professional speaker. I approached Danielle Turcola (a national image consultant) about how I was dressing and she said, “Mike – it’s time to ditch those button down shirts. It’s way too middle-manager looking for a professional speaker.” While it hurt to get Danielle’s “give it to you straight” advice she was spot on. I listened.

In many cases we’re oblivious to our own fashion – whether it’s in clothes (do you have any family members who are stuck in the 70’s with long hair and groovy outfits?), or in home décor (the wallpaper in their homes looks like Marcia and Greg Brady could show up any moment!).

Such was the case for Lilly Epstein of Orlando Florida when she brought in Interior Designer Laurie Lake with Floor to Ceiling (a contractor and interior design firm) in Winter Garden Florida. Laurie came originally to look at upgrading one of Lilly’s floors. While Lilly’s home was hot (it won the Best Home in the 1989 Orlando Parade of Homes) it’s current décor was stuck in a bit of a fashion time warp. As Lilly said to me, “I didn’t realize how dated the home had become until I saw the before and after remodeling pictures!” The reality is time moves on but sometimes we become oblivious to our own surrounding and sense of fashion (I would still be wearing those button down shirts if Danielle had not set me straight!).

If you look at your home today is it looking a little long in the tooth? I can still think back to the “June Cleaver Kitchen” my wife and I inherited as a young couple when we bought our first home (many people today probably don’t even know who June Cleaver is!).

Do you need help transforming your “much-too-long-absent-from-remodeling” home into one which looks like it belongs in a magazine (and not a magazine from 20 years ago sitting in your old dentist’s office?). If so, the time may be right to enter the “5 step program for non-remodelaholics” (i.e. those people who have waited too long to update, redecorate and remodel their homes). Join the meeting – now in session- to get 5 key steps to remodel your home out of a fashion time warp.

Getting the most for your home improvement & remodeling spending – The 2011-2012 Cost to Value Report

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in doors, Kitchen Remodeling, Windows

Vinyl replacement windows provide a good return on investment
Vinyl replacement windows provide a good return on investment

Everyone is looking for value these days for their hard earned dollars. There may be no place where this is as true as it is with money spent on residential real estate. With home value still declining (although at a slower rate) when homeowners do decide to spend money they are careful where they are allocating their remodeling budget.

 

If you’re looking for some guidance on the right type of remodeling projects to give you the biggest bang for your buck an excellent reference source is the 2011-2012 Cost to Value report. This report is done through a group of collaborative surveys done by Realtor Magazine (who gets estimated resale value data through sales agents, brokers & appraisers), Specspan (an on line marketing and research company which host the on line survey) and HomeTech Publishing (a developer and publisher of construction estimating books and software).  Here’s a recap of the conclusions, trends and some of the top home improvement & remodeling projects bases on their respective return on investments.

 

 

7 1/2 Tips to Choose a Remodeling Contractor Who Won’t be a Pain in the Butt or Wallet to Work With

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Basement Remodeling, Bathroom Remodeling, Kitchen Remodeling

 

Choose a remodeling contractor with construction & business experience

Choose a remodeling contractor with construction & business experience

Let’s face it most bathroom, kitchen or basement remodeling contractors are a pain in the butt to deal with. Construction delays, change orders, poor communications can all be par for the course (if you’re a consumer with a nightmarish contractor story you’re not alone!).

The reality is many remodeling projects are complex (there are a lot of steps and different construction trades in the process) and a good percentage of the skilled trades don’t have the business and organizational background to manage and lead the people and processes to ensure an excellent customer experience. So… the question is what can you do to choose the right general contractor the first time? Check out the 7 ½ tips below:

Honey, I Shrunk the Bathroom and Kitchen Remodeling Project

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling, Exterior Remodeling, Kitchen Remodeling, Windows

Small Kitchen Remodeling Project

Small kitchen remodel Small bath remodel

small bath remodel project
small bath remodeling project

Maybe you remember the movie “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” about a crazy scientist’s miniaturization machine that accidently shrinks his kids (not exactly a cinematic classic – but kind of funny in parts). Well in these times of tight money and low real estate values many homeowner are also finding the need to shrink their bathroom, basement or kitchen remodeling ideas down to a size that fits their budget.

The key to smaller sized renovation projects is about creating cool, well planned spaces in reduced packages. If that sounds easier said than done here’s 5 practical tips to get started on a designer bathroom or designer kitchen on a 2011 budget:

Deceptive Home Improvement Sales Practices – Don’t Be Victimized By “Tin Men”

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Basement Remodeling, Bathroom Remodeling, Exterior Remodeling, Glass Block, Kitchen Remodeling, Windows

Tin Men Movie about Deceptive Home Improvement Sales Practices
Tin Men Movie about Deceptive Home Improvement Sales in Aluminum Siding Industry in 1963
Vinyl replacement window industry has been target of deceptive sales practices
The vinyl replacement window industry was the first target of deceptive sales practices in Washington State

Remember the movie Tin Men with Danny Devito about high pressure sales tactic used in the 60’s selling customers door to door aluminum siding jobs? Although Danny Devito was hilarious in the movie getting pressured or deceived into making any type of purchase is not good.

Unfortunately if you think the days of the “Tin Men” (high pressure home improvement sales people) are over – think again. In Washington State Jack G. Zurlini Jr. (the Assistant Attorney General in the Consumer Protection Division) is taking action against multiple home improvement companies selling vinyl replacement windows for unlawful marketing and sales practices (and the practices mentioned are not confined to the state of Washington). Here’s 3 questions to help educate and protect you against making a bad choice in contractors:

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