The Best Social Media Platforms for Contractors

21 Jul , 2017  

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Today we will talk about the top social media networks for contractors and why they are such a big part of any business conducted online. The first thing that you must have is a good website where your customers can both interact and see information about information about your business. once you have this in place then you should have made an account on some of the top social media platforms that businesses use.

The first one we will mention is, of course, Facebook, this platform makes it easy to create a page you manage and to make it visible for many people considering that most people have Facebook. This is a great way to get much more information to people opposed to just having a website.

The next one we will talk about is Twitter, this platform is a great way to reach many people as well. Another thing that Twitter brings to the game that other social media platforms do not is the use of hashtags. This allows many people to view your information even if they do not follow you.

The next very important social media platform that contractors can highly benefit from is Pinterest.
The last one we will mention is called LinkedIn, this is a great tool for all business due to the way it is structured. This is the only social media platform that allows you to add as much information as you can about your business in search or potential employees and employers. This platform is highly based for those conducting business type networking which makes it perfect for a contractor.

In conclusion, the use of social media is a great idea for any contractor trying to gain more attention from the public. This can help them gain labor as well as potential jobs. By getting your name and the services you offer out in the world using these social media platforms you will be able to expect more engagement. To learn more about these social media platforms we talked about you can make a quick Google search of them and find out as much as you need to be successful in using them. Good luck with all contracting business and social media ventures you may be involved with.


Best YouTube Channels By Builders

17 May , 2017  


If you’re looking to make DIY improvements to your home, these are the YouTube channels to watch:


If you’re looking for clear, how-to style recordings on almost any theme identified with home improvement, investigate the House Improvements channel. The HouseImprovements.com channel covers everything from how to outline a divider to how to utilize a tile saw. You’ll get master tips on the best way to handle each venture, and a sensible gander at what each piece of a project will involve. The recordings are separated into small segments, so each presenter will give you a decent take at one specific bit of the home remodel job.


Tim Carter has been the go-to guide for mortgage holders for quite some time now. On his YouTube channel, he gives home improvement advise, noting inquiries from his blog AsktheBuilder.com in lively, neighborly, and quick paced recordings. He covers points, for example, on how to spare your tile after you’ve given grout a chance to dry on it. He’ll likewise clarify diverse materials and methods, so you can settle on a more educated choice for your DIY projects.


Another manufacturer who has a long notoriety of noting inquiries and giving guidance, Ron Hazleton’s channel manages how-to style recordings identified with all parts of home redesigns. He has a benevolent, simple to understand way of speaking, and regularly demonstrates a few unique strategies for handling various DIY home projects. He also explains to home owners what may happen to their homes amid a rebuild, and how to keep their sanity during construction.


Check Donovan of HomeAdditionPlus, who offers more than 100 unique recordings on his YouTube channel identified with DIY and all parts of home rebuilding. These recordings are best for anybody searching for a review of different parts of a redesign, for example, home owners searching for a fast refresher before handling a venture themselves, or the individuals who need to get a general thought of what a remodel will look like on their home.


With almost 400 recordings, Build.com offers a pleasant blend of various home change plots for watchers. Incorporated into their channel are various diverse DIY and how-to style recordings. Build.com is a great channel for DIYers who are looking for projects and design ideas to spruce up their home or garden property. They offer life hacks and how-to videos on almost every aspect of the home building process.


Becoming A Licensed Residential Builder

27 Apr , 2017  


A residential builder is a contractor or sub-contractor who is properly licensed, bonded, and skilled in the construction of residential properties and homes. They work in almost every settled part of the country, and their pay can vary depending on skill level, type of work, and the overall size of their contracting company.

While there are no specific educational or skill requirements to become a residential builder, a specific knowledge of construction and building design is necessary. Often, a degree in construction science is recommended, but the knowledge and skill base can be obtained through real world experience and training with more skilled construction workers. If you are the business owner, ultimate responsibility will lie with you for the quality of your workers and their product.

Often the builder will be responsible for every aspect of construction from design and land acquisition to permitting and actual building. Material choice as well as zoning issues are often part of the knowledge base required to be a successful residential builder. Since the paperwork and code requirements are a continual part of the building process, a degree in business would be helpful, as is a working knowledge of the building codes in the communities where you will be working.

The licensing and bonding procedure is the most intense requirement of the procedure. Each state will have different standards, possibly including testing, background checks, liability insurance, and bonding. Municipalities may impose stricter standards than states, as do government entities with which you will want to contract. Some even require membership in construction boards, union participation, and the payment of prevailing wage. In those areas that require testing, often classes are offered at local universities and community colleges to help prepare.

When beginning your new company, you will likely need to work directly alongside your employees. As with most small businesses, the early years are the most difficult and will require serious time investment by the proprietor. Your major investment will be in equipment, both simple and complex. Everything from a hammer to a truck to a load lifter can be required in the construction business, as are many more specialized tools. You will need to be prepared to make initial investments in building materials as well, while waiting for clients to make payment.

Construction can be a very rewarding business. You get to see the product of your work rise into the sky. But it also requires a lot of skill, commitment, and hard work.


Residential Builders: License Classifications

27 Apr , 2017  

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There are two basic types of builders; there are commercial builders and residential builders. The licensing required for the two varies greatly, depending on which type and at what scale the project will be built.

This is the case for being licensed as a builder, as well as being licensed as a business who is a residential builder. The amount of licensing necessary varies between states and within states, and sometimes between municipalities. The building situations vary so greatly that this type of piecemeal licensing effort is necessary. In some places, it is not necessary to have a particular license to become a residential builder. This does not mean that certain precautionary measures are not taken against malpractice or criminality, but that the burden of deciding grievances is different.

With licensing organizations, states and municipalities can regulate and exclude builders based on certain criteria before anything is built. However, in some states, anyone can term themselves a residential builder if they have the appropriate insurance measures taken, and their work is heavily inspected by governmental agencies during several steps in the process, all of which can be interrupted or terminated depending on inspections. In these cases, any malpractice is directed toward that builders’ insurance entities, and any further damage or ineptitude is prevented because the operation cannot continue until each individual part of the inspections are passed in the appropriate order. Although all systems are protected by an inspection protocol of some kind.

However, some states and municipalities grant licenses for residential builders based on expertise and the ability to cover any problems which may occur. This is often done with a bond system of some kind along with stringent insurance requirements. One of the oldest forms of becoming a builder is through the apprentice system and whether informal or formal, it is the system by which most good builders have gained their abilities and knowledge. This system is important in areas with heavily regulated structures because the homes are old and historic, or near other residents. In these cases, a working knowledge of the system is required to prevent homes from being built that do not follow historic or preservation efforts, or safety standards. Because of this wide array of variables, it is necessary to research the appropriate material on residential builder’s licensing in the area and state in which a builder intends to build homes.


Easy Fixes For That Clogged Toilet

9 Mar , 2017  


For a toilet to be unclogged without any damage to the plumbing system, and to prevent undue mess without any issues or unsuccessful attempts, is to contact a reputable licensed plumber. This is especially true if the clogging is caused by a situation related to a failure in the plumbing in some fashion, versus an actual clog caused by something being introduced that cannot physically pass through the toilet lines. However, because a clogged toilet presents an immediate situation if these clogs can be solved simply, homeowners should have the information so they may free the clog themselves.

The plunger is the all-time greatest toilet clog-freeing tool. Many clogs are simply the act of paper overload. Toilet paper is a fragile enough entrant into the toilet that the pressure created by the plunger is enough to free the clog by pushing the clog material on through the system. However, plumbers may utilize the plunger to pull things out as well as push them through. This action simply requires more knowledge to perform, but because it may be easier to pull things back in to the bowl from the source of the clog, it is sometimes more feasible than pushing the clog through.

Additionally, continuing to apply pressure to the clog with a plunger can further cement the clog making a call to a licensed plumber necessary, as will pipe failure that can also be caused by the pressurized toilet. Pipe failure and pressure can also cause a very unsanitary and bio-hazardous blow out because many people do not respect the amount of pressure that plunging a toilet can exert on the toilet itself, as well as the corresponding plumbing.

Another of the easiest ways to clear a toilet of a clog is to simply wait. Sometimes the paper causing the toilet simply needs to become saturated enough to pass through with only the flushing system of the toilet. If this simple technique does not work, a home or business owner can try sparingly to utilize a plunger, but if the clog does not clear itself after giving it some time before trying again, a plumber may be the best call before non-professional efforts make the situation progressively worse. Additionally, there are often surrounding issues that cause toilets to clog more often such as hard water deposits, hair clogs, and objects blocking the trap. These issues must be investigated by a licensed plumber.


Easy Home Repairs: You Got This

26 Jan , 2017  

As your home is likely the most expensive asset you’ll ever buy, it is of course important to be able to care for it properly. While it may be at some point necessary for you to hire an outside expert to perform needed repairs, you can do a lot of the more common repairs yourself. Not only can this save you a surprisingly large amount of money, you’ll also gain many useful skills that you can show off to your family and friends. Not to mention you’ll just feel better having cared for your own home without the need to call upon someone else. Often doing something you weren’t even sure you could do in the first place. Sounds good, right? Let’s get started.

Starting Your Toolbox

While you may not have all the tools at hand to perform every task, the essentials are easy to stock up on so don’t feel you’ll need to go out and buy the whole hardware store to get what you need. For most simple home repair tasks a simple tool kit can consist of: adjustable pliers/wrench, plunger (toilet and sink), a multi-purpose tool or small screwdriver set, WD-40, tape measure, claw hammer, flashlight, utility knife and of course my favorite, duct tape. While this is not a complete list of everything to fix every problem you’re likely to come across, this list is sufficient to cover most common tasks.

The Clog

Likely one of the first and most common problems you’ll come across will occur in the bathroom in the form of a clogged or running toilet. In the event of a clog, a toilet plunger will usually quickly fix the problem. If there’s not enough water in the bowl just pour enough in to cover the plunger head and give about 8-10 good pumps to loosen the blockage and release the flow. If after a few repeated attempts the clog remains it may be necessary to bring out the big gun – the toilet auger. Just run the auger into the toilet until the clog is reached and turn the crank. Once you get a grip on the clog you should be able to pull it free with no problem. (Augers are a bit more expensive than plungers but still much cheaper than calling out a plumber to do the same thing.) Toilet plungers and augers can be used to also unclog shower and bath tub drains as well. In the event of a sink drain clog in your bathroom or kitchen use the same method but with a sink plunger instead.

The Running Toilet

A running toilet is usually the result of a problem with the chain running from the flush handle to the stopper needing adjustment. Yes, jiggling the handle might provide a temporary fix but at some point, you’ll likely have to get in there and adjust it yourself. No problem, if the chain is too tight just loosen by a couple of links and if it’s too loose tighten a couple of links. In some cases, the handle or flap itself may need replacing but these too are easy to replace yourself with nothing more than a new handle/flap and an adjustable wrench. If your toilet happens to be leaking out the bottom it’s likely the wax seal needs to be replaced (just make sure to shut the water off and flush before you begin to unscrew the toilet from the floor.) Replace the wax seal, re-assemble and turn the water back on and you should be good to go.

Garbage Disposal

Of course, kitchens have clogs too, thus the need for the smaller plunger but the same principles will usually apply. A jammed garbage disposal is a different matter however, and a scarier one for some, but not as difficult as you might think. (note: for this project, you will need a specific too called an Allen wrench. Another small but very handy tool to have around.) Make sure to first cut the power to the disposal (usually located beneath the sink) to eliminate potential accidents. Insert the Allen wrench in the hole at the bottom of the disposal to adjust and loosen the flywheel and the food jamming the unit. Then you can simply use the handle/dowel end of a wooden spoon to reach in and remove the food caught inside. You shouldn’t need to worry about removing all the food, just enough to allow the unit to run properly again. Once you’ve removed the food, re-adjust the flywheel and plug the power back in. Then run cold water (make sure it’s cold, not hot) through it and turn it on to finish removing the clog.

Pipe Leaks

Besides clogs, kitchen/bathroom sinks will also tend to develop leaks. These are most often under the sink and are easy enough to fix. These are usually the result of a washer that is worn out or a compression nut (the big white screws) that’s broken. Just place a bucket underneath the P-trap (the curved pipe at the bottom) and then unscrew the nuts to remove the trap itself. Don’t worry about how gross it is, it’s supposed to be. Then replace the defective part (or the entire trap if you prefer) and re-assemble.

While certainly not a complete list of common fixes and mishaps you’re going to come across in home ownership (or even when renting and you need to repair something yourself i.e.; not covered under normal wear/tear, these are likely the first ones you’ll come across. They’re also some of the more expensive fixes that you can do just as easily. So, you’ll save time, money and feel good about doing it yourself…win, win, win!


Frequently Asked Questions For Contracting Professionals

30 Nov , 2016  


Contracting professionals are often left to answer questions that are quite routine. Customers may read the FAQ’s listed below as a guide for the services provided by a contractor; the article will show that every contractor has an answer for even the most complex situation.

#1: Is A Contractor Capable Of Building Anything?

Contractors are not miracle workers who cause any project to come alive at the mere mention of their name. You must run a project by a contractor for an estimate. Contractors know what they can and cannot do, and your project will be rejected if the contractor is not comfortable completing it.

#2: Are Contractors Insured?

Contractors and their employees are insured against injury, damage and theft. They must carry insurance under the law, and it is quite important a contractor provide proof of insurance to you before performing any work. Allowing an uninsured contractor to work on your property is foolhardy, and you will have a problem that cannot be solved after damage or injury occurs.

#3: Do Contractors Hire Subcontractors?

Subcontractors are welcome on every job site as they bring expertise to the job that is required for the work. They may do something simple and beautiful, or they may perform a complex task that is difficult for anyone to do alone. Ask the contractors who they plan to hire during your project, and you will learn who is coming to your home or business for their work.

#4: Do Contractors Require Upfront Payment?

Contractors do not require upfront payment for all services, but they require a deposit that may be used for your project. The deposit begins your work, and you may make installment payments until you have paid off the work you require. Your contractor will offer an agreement that explains when you must pay, how much to pay and what you are paying for.

#5: How Long Do Projects Take?

Construction work does not happen on an exact schedule. No contractor may stay with a schedule that is set at the beginning of the job, and they must adapt as the schedule changes. You will find your contractor offering incredible customer service as they explain when they believe the job will be finished.

Your contractor is ready to answer any other questions you have about their work. They can build just about anything you like, and they will do so with honesty and style.


How To Avoid Home Improvement Scams

6 Oct , 2016  

Homeowners are often targeted by unscrupulous salesmen offering home improvements. Once they get inside the door, the have an advantage over the homeowner because their sales skills are stronger than most people’s resistance.

A smart salesman will prefer to speak to both husband and wife and will target them when they are together. This salesman will ask leading questions with only one possible response; for example, “You don’t want your home to be the ugliest house on the block, do you?” The couple hardly know that they are in the elaborate process of being conned. Reputable businesses do not send out these kinds of salespeople soliciting sales. The couple who makes the mistake of letting these salesmen into their homes are at a great disadvantage.

Other unscrupulous sales techniques include being notified that the homeowner has won a prize or a vacation and they must listen to a short sales pitch in order to receive their prize. This short sales pitch is loaded with high pressure sales techniques and the homeowners should insist on meeting at the sales office of the company where they have the option to walk out the door.

It is highly advisable to meet at the office of the business promising to do any work on your house if the homeowners are unaware of the reputation of the company in question.

Be aware that unscrupulous home improvement sales people will use subterfuge to get inside the door, but be ready for any request. A saleswoman may start a pitch and then say she needs to take a medicine, and can she come in for a glass of water. Keep her outside and bring a glass to her. If they are too hot or need the use of your bathroom, you must refuse. Use an excuse or a flat denial.

High-pressure salespeople and their employers are not dumb. They will use spotters to canvas your neighborhood to see which houses need repair. They will notice clues about your home and critique your family as possible candidates. They collect information about you from public records and determine the approach to use to part you from your hard-earned money.

People, in general, are honest and gullible. We tend to believe what others tell us. If a new roof is needed and one of these high-pressure salespeople approaches us with a fabulous offer that is too good to be true, we believe that we are lucky. If an offer is too good to be true, walk away. And remember, before hiring anyone to do anything in your home, check with the Better Business Bureau to ensure no complaints have been filed against them.


Working as an Independent Contractor

18 Aug , 2016  

Who is an independent contractor?

An independent contractor is a person who offers his or her professional services to another person without a legal attachment between the two parties. In this case, you may be a doctor, engineer, therapist, investigator or any other expertise. You offer your services to a hospital, an NGO, government, or otherwise, on a consultative basis.

How is an independent contract different from being an employee?

The main difference between working as an independent contractor and an employee is that you are not legally liable to, or under control of, the company you work for. In case of any liability, you take the responsibility for your actions. There is no specified monthly of periodical remuneration in independent contracts. Independent contracts are mostly paid in a lump sum for every service delivered. You may choose your methods in independent contracts, but you must deliver the product or service as specified.

Where can I work?

Once you choose to deliver a service as an independent contractor, you are responsible for finding organizations that may require your services. Sometimes the positions are advertised in relevant media, but ideally you will build up an industry capital and experience that will attract organizations to you.

Independent contracts range from technical and high paying government contracts to small contracts for online gigs. The level of experience differs from one industry to another. It is wrong to purport to offer services in a field you are not qualified or permitted to practice. Engineering, therapy, medical practice, and nursing are some of the areas that you must have formal accreditation before practicing.

How much can I charge?

It all depends on the level of expertise and the nature of work. You can always check updates on the adverts on the expected hourly rates or even lump sum amounts. For those that are not advertised, you can compare advertised positions and how they have offered their pricing. Some independent contracts have fixed budgets while others take into consideration other factors notably experience and expertise.

What are the terms of the contract?

This will differ from job to job. Some terms are specified while others are open for negotiation. While it is important to maintain some standard contractual terms, it is always good to negotiate favorable terms and conditions especially those that relate to the methods, timelines, and payments.

Is there a guaranteed job security?

There is no job security when you are working as an independent contractor. Once the term of the contract is over, unless it is renewed, your services are no longer needed.


Renovate Or Design Your Home With Helpful Design Magazines

11 Aug , 2016  

You’re looking at your house and you can’t avoid thinking of all the projects you have in mind. There are at least a handful of small jobs or possible improvements that you have been considering or procrastinating for some time. The best way to get a jump start on some home renovation or remodeling tasks is to grab a great magazine such as one of the five below. These home remodeling magazines are among the most popular with homeowners who like to see their own designs come to life, rather than always hiring interior designers to make the fun choices for them.

1. House Beautiful: Primarily covering interior design and garden design topics, this newsstand favorite is popular among DIY home remodelers. You’ll find a lot of classic ideas here that fit well with victorian and turn-of-the-century architecture. While some modern design elements are covered here, it will be primarily classic touches.
2. Better Homes and Gardens: This mag is best known for having action-oriented steps that homeowners can take to spruce up a drab interior design as well as suggestions for garden and kitchen projects. You’ll find projects such as “Build Your Own Gazebo” or “DIY Fall Paint Themes,” just to name a few.
3. Architectural Digest: This magazine is notorious for it’s high-end design inspiration and top-of-the-line brands. If you have a budget for the finer things in life and if you have a home with a moderate to large floorplan, this will be a great magazine for you.
4. Good Housekeeping: This is more of a lifestyle publication geared at mothers but it’s great if that sounds like you. It’s going to cover less hammer-swinging and more family-centered activities that not only make the home a warmer environment but also bring smiles to children and guests as well.
5. Martha Stewart Living: Everybody can easily identify Marth’s name, and with that comes an extremely popular magazine catering to design, decoration, and lifestyle. Martha is notorious for bringing interesting and creative solutions to her readers and fans through affordable, do-it-yourself projects.

Whether you’re just looking for some creative decoration ideas or planning on building a new wing onto your home — you’ll need a guide of some sort. These home remodeling magazines are a great start for getting ideas, material suggestions or even finding that centerpiece to an already charming interior setting. Whether your interest is in decoration, remodeling or simple and fun household ideas, one of these magazines is sure to get the job done for you.