What You Can Learn At Home Improvement Shows

Many areas host house improvement shows for the community at least once a year. The shows are a chance for house improvement experts to meet and greet potential clients, display their talents and abilities and offer information all in one location. For homeowners, home improvement shows are a great place to gather information and learn new things about your home. Instead of having to go from business to business conducting your research before starting a project and hiring a contractor, you have access to the area’s best professionals all in one location. There are sometimes special discounts offered to homeowners who schedule services at the show or you may receive a coupon for future services just by visiting a house improvement expert’s booth at the show. There is a lot to learn at these shows including the resources available to you. You can check out shingle roof companies or other home improvement companies and begin to figure out what your options are for renovations.

As you browse your options, you can determine which expert offers the best deals. As mentioned above, attending the shows may get you a better deal. In general though, you can ask questions about rates and determine what changes and renovations will even fit into your budget. Some of the projects you have in mind may just be too expensive, no matter what renovation professional you choose. The house improvement shows will help you narrow down your options and make the right financial choice.

The shows give you a chance to see how the market is going and what other homeowners are interested in. These shows are filled with trends that are hot for the season, so you can get an idea for what is current design for interior house renovations. This can help you determine if there are certain things you do not want to do because they will be temporarily popular and what things will work well as long-term investments.

These renovation shows are an excellent place to find renovation inspiration. If you know there are changes that need to be made, but you are having a hard time deciding where to begin and what to do, you will get plenty of ideas at the shows. Many people want to improve the value and comfort of their homes, but it can be hard to have a designer’s eye if you are just not good at coming up with ideas. There are plenty of creative ideas at shows for renovations.

Finally, make sure you are prepared to collect information, get ideas and look for special savings. Before heading off to a renovation show, understand where you are in the process. If you are just at the information collecting stage, be up front with experts about this. If you are ready to act, let them know this as well. You do not want to get caught up in something you are not ready to act on, but you do not want to miss a great money-saving opportunity if you have committed to making the improvements.

Top 10 Home Based Business Ideas in Today’s Digital World

A couple years ago I would have never thought about the top 10 home based business ideas; but like everything and everyone, things change. In today’s economy so many people are scared of starting a home business, but it really isn’t that bad. While you hear and see on TV that people are tightening their pocketbooks, there is one thing for sure; there is no recession on the internet.

There are millions of families that have been affected by the current global financial crisis. Some have lost their homes, their jobs and everything they have owned. Others are looking to build the backup plan or additional income to get them through the tough times. Many are turning to different home business ideas because they offer the flexibility, low cost and lower risks models compared to the traditional brick and mortar business.

Here is my list of what I consider the Top 10 Business Ideas and what they potentially involve:

Blogging – A very low cost of generating income from home; is on the internet and is individual that do this are known as “bloggers”. Blogging is very easy to set up, maintain and gives you the ability to write about topics that you like. There are millions and millions of people online reading a wide range of content on a daily basis. With blogs you could become very successful by attracting certain readers and offer them products and or services that help them. You could also “rent” out space on your blog to different marketers, which in turn provides you with additional income.

Home Based Franchise – The possibilities are near endless of starting a home based internet franchise; and many are recession proof. I have known people to start the own internet franchise but this is much more risky than joining a proven, time tested internet franchise. While an internet franchise can be a huge learning curve for many, I have found this as the most rewarding in more time for what I like to do but also the compensation is normally higher.

Home Based Tutor – Although you may not have thought about this as an option, it has become a very viable one. No matter how bad the economy gets, people are always looking for additional education to enhance the situation that they are in. Many parents are doing everything in their power to obtain the finest education for their children, sometimes even taking out a second mortgage on their home. With the standard education; many people are obtaining tutors to give themselves and their children an educated edge over others. As unemployment rises, many are going back to school and they require some additional tutoring to help with the learning curve.

A Food Home Business – No matter how grim it gets, people still have to eat and many are starting to cut down the amount of times that they go out to restaurants. With a food home business, you want to focus on a niche that is still needed year after year. Many people start a bakery offering wedding cakes, birthday cakes and other different treats involving chocolate. The chocolate industry is booming due to the satisfaction it gives to people and the lower cost compared to other treats.

A Staging Home Business – With the real estate industry plummeting at an uncontrollable rate, home owners need help staging their property to sale. Home owners trying to sell their homes are turning to home staging experts to prep the home to its highest potential. Not only do home owners request home stagers but also banks and real estate agents; to prep and sell the property quickly.

Virtual Assistant- Many companies are trying to reduce their operating costs while improving their profits. Companies have been and will continue to outsource, which gives you the ability to become a virtual assistant. A virtual assistant provides assistance and support to businesses, entrepreneurs, executives and really anyone that needs help but does not want to hire a full time employee. This is a very low cost in high demand home based business idea.

Caregiver – no matter what happens, we are all getting older and caring for the elderly is now and always going to be in high demand. Many of the individuals now that need adult day care are also tightening their wallets but there will come a time that they need additional care and support that you could provide.

Trading Assistants – During a recession more and more people start selling their personal belongings to get by for another month or two. Many people have heard of eBay and Craigslist, the problem lies with many not feeling competent enough to use them. Many people believe it or not, still do not have an email address or never used a computer. For this reason trading assistants exist, they help sell other peoples products in which they obtain a percentage of the sale price.

Cosmetics Consultant – the demand for cosmetics will always be there, mo matter what. Many times during the toughest times is when products like cosmetics are at their peak. There are two primary reasons for this:

People want to continue to enhance their visual appeal to maintain their employment or to gain new employment.

It makes people feel good about themselves, improving self confidence in turn improving productivity.

Affiliate Marketing – This is the home based business idea that many people use online and offline the same. This has become very popular and has exploded as unemployment rises and the recession continues. Becoming an affiliate marketer allows you to make a great deal of money while working from home; selling products like cosmetics, vitamins, soap, educational products and many more.

While I cannot say that I have tried all of the Top 10 Home Based Business Ideas, I can say that I have been involved with a few of them. All of these ideas have pro’s and con’s, each has its own level of risks and rewards. I have had my home based business for quite awhile now and love the freedom and the financial benefits that come along with it.

Hire the Right Home Improvement Contractor the First Time

This isn’t like shopping in a grocery store or purchasing things from your local mall. You usually only have one shot at this and if you’re wrong, it could cost you thousands of dollars. Let me see if I can help you find the right home improvement contractor the first time.

Try to avoid hiring large companies who use unskilled professionals. This is more common than you think in the home improvement and home repair business. These companies usually pay low wages to stay in business, because their overhead and advertising expenses are enormous.

I also don’t recommend using online construction referral companies, because their fees can be outrageous and eventually become financial burdens to contractors who use their services. You might not be charged a fee for using their services, but the contractors are. Don’t forget, nothing is free and when you sign up for their free services, without understanding how that company makes money, you could easily find yourself paying for these expenses, as the contractor passes them on to you.

Feel free to ask your friends for referrals, look through the Yellow Pages, newspapers and other local advertising to find a few home improvement contractors. Now for the hard part, have at least three of these contractors but preferably more, look at your home improvement project.

You’re going to be asking them questions about the project and if you’re not comfortable with their answers, they’re out. Find out how many years of experience the people have that will be working on your project and last but not least, if you’re not comfortable with the contractor don’t hire them.

If you notice, I didn’t say anything about the price of the home improvement project. I’m not talking about how to get the lowest price, I’m trying to show you how to find a good home improvements contractor. Most first rate home improvement contractors are not going to give you the lowest price.

If you’re truly looking for the lowest price, you’re probably not going to find the most qualified contractor. Keep this in mind, when making your decisions about which contractor to use for your project.

Why You Should Make Home Improvements in Winter Months

Who says you can’t remodel your home in the winter? Despite popular belief, home improvements can and most certainly should be handled in the winter! There is no real need to wait until April to begin contacting home remodeling contractors. And there is definitely no reason to have home improvement companies working in the summer’s blazing heat.

The biggest reason to begin in wintertime months, however, is the costs. Business for remodeling contracting companies can significantly slow down in the winter, which has caused many contractors to reduce prices beginning around November. These low costs for remodeling are definitely a huge advantage for price-conscious homeowners that need to make home improvements on a reduced budget. Here are a few home improvements you can make while stuck in your home this winter:

Replace Interior Doors: December or January are the best time to get door replacements installed. Get rid of your boring standard wood doors and give your home some new style.

Programmable Thermostats: The most important factor for all homeowners is saving money. There’s no better way to do that then installing a programmable thermostat. When you replace a thermostat with a programmable option, your energy bill be significantly less because you are able to control the temperature in your home at certain times of the day

Insulate Your Water Heater: While on the topic of saving money on energy bills, another great way to do this would be by insulating a water heater. Wrap your water heater in a water heater blanket and place insulation at the bottom. Or, if you need a new water heat entirely, select a water heating system that will be energy efficient.

Painting: Nothing will brighten up your drab winter days than coming home to a newly painted, bright room. When you paint your rooms a new color, you will instantly breathe life back into your furniture and positively alter the mood of your household.

New Window Treatments: Wood plantation shutters, Roman shades, or Hunter Douglas blinds are all the kinds of window treatments that will spruce up your home. Plantation shutters are especially recommended if you want to make your home look more contemporary.

Refinish Your Basement: You will have much better luck contacting a basement remodeling contractor to refinish a basement in the winter. Chances are, their business is much slower at this time and a contractor will be able to easily fit your project into their schedule.

Let’s face it. You’re bored sitting at home all day in the winter. What better way to spend your time than falling in love with your house again. Start making these easy home improvements now!