Project Planning

Planning a home remodeling project or home room addition can be an overwhelming task. The articles in this category are designed to help you figure out some of the most important first steps: figuring out a budget and choosing a contractor to work with.

Remodeling Budget Guide

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The very first thing you should do when you start thinking about a remodeling or renovation project is to come up with a budget. I implore you to resist the urge to pick up the phone and call sixteen different contractors for estimates and use whatever responses you get to form a budget number. It is in everyone’s best interest for you to do your homework first. By wisely determining a preliminary budget you will be able to screen contractors on the phone and schedule fewer visits, saving you a lot of time and aggravation, while wildly increasing the odds of a thrilling remodeling experience.

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I’ll Take the Kitchen Remodel with a Side of Asparagus

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How do you go about selecting a remodeling company that is going to make you happy?

Unfortunately most consumers have no idea, and most remodeling companies can’t tell you either.

It’s a problem that every business wrestles with: “How do we make sure that the people our product or service fits with understand that our product or service is perfect for them?”

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How to Choose a Contractor II

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I recently came across this great article by one of my colleagues who is kind enough to allow me to reprint this.  I think Mike really hits on all the major points of how to evaluate a remodeling contractor when they meet with you to talk about your project. Please note that for Pennsylvanians you […]

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Kitchen Remodeling Design Tip

This article contains good common sense tips to designing a kitchen remodeling project on a budget.

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HUD 203(k) Loans

     The Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which is part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), administers various single family mortgage insurance programs. The Section 203(k) program is the Department’s primary program for the rehabilitation and repair of single family properties.   With the 203k program you originate one mortgage which finances […]

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Pennsylvania Passes Legislation Regulating Contractors

  The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania recently passed legislation to regulate the home improvement industry.  In addition to many other measures the bill establishes a requirement that all contractors obtain a registration number from the State to perform contracting work in PA.  I’ll discuss some of the important aspects of this bill.   There is a provisioin requiring […]

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Determining a Kitchen Remodeling Budget

It is very important to determine a budget for any home improvement project, and kitchen remodeling is no exception. A word of caution: I spent several hours researching kitchen remodeling cost and budgeting on the internet to gather data for this article.  I ran into a couple websites that gave square footage pricing for kitchen remodeling.  […]

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Choosing a Contractor

So it’s time to get that home improvement or home repair project taken care of…how do you choose a contractor? First of all, let’s look at some of the advice floating around in the stratosphere on this subject… “Get three estimates, throw out the high and low.”    –conventional “wisdom”    If you had to give […]

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Why ServiceMagic Stinks

    Firstly, this article is about “online lead generation services” in a general sense, not just ServiceMagic.com.  SM just happens to be the largest and most visible of the bunch.  Not to mention the title “Why Service Magic Stinks”  sounds much more concise than “Why online lead generation services perform poorly for contractors, drive up […]

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