How to Stop Losing Money on Change Orders

Have you ever lost money because you didn’t manage the change order process effectively?

In a perfect world, your original plans are clear, and the job will be produced as planned and with zero modifications. However, since that rarely happens I thought it would be a good idea to explore this under-appreciated topic.

In this week’s episode, I share best practices you should be

Heat Bending AZEK Trim

A quick look at the labor and time savings when you heat-bend AZEK trim

Sales: How Contractors Can Play to Win, Instead of Playing Not to Lose

Do you play not to loose or do you put forward the effort and prepare to win? When you play not to loose you are on the defensive and appear weak when trying to win business from the consumer. You question your price and the consumer picks up the vibes and your lack of confidence. They make up any excuse or reason to get you to drop your price even further. If you cave and they buy, you end up taking on a project

Home Automation Comes of Age

It’s not quite ‘The Jetsons’, but a dishwasher that can text?!

A futuristic kitchen designed by Virginia Tech University researchers includes a dishwasher that sends a text or email when it is out of soap, a microwave that listens for the moment when popcorn stops popping and a pantry that can report low supplies.

But it will be a while before most big U.S. home builders offer such automation on a mass scale.

Home automation has made great strides in recent years, with wireless technologies enabling users to monitor and control more functions

6 Advantages of Social Media Advertising Over Traditional Advertising

Still hesitant to make a commitment to social media? These reasons may convince you to jump in.

The Internet has invaded all aspects of our lives, becoming people’s main channel of communication. Smartphones, tablets, and Wi-Fi hotspots make accessing the Web a cinch, so reaching people has never been easier for contractors. And with the proliferation of constant access to the Web, companies large and small are allocating more of their advertising budgets to online marketing. This has given birth

Buy Your Remodeling Clients a Meal. It'll Pay You Back Later

Many contractors have pretty clear boundaries between their business activities and their personal activities. After all, why try to mix the two, as wouldn’t that mean one was working all the time?

I used to feel like that for many years when we ran our company. Then I realized that sharing a meal with clients has the potential to take the business and personal relationship to a new level.

More often than not, about two-thirds of the way through a project,

Home Upgrades That Are Totally Worth It

There are upgrades you can easily forego, and there are those you should hold on to for dear life.

A surprisingly large amount of the money you spend on your new home will be determined by the options choices you make — and those options are forever changing. 

For example, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, both considered pricey upgrades for years, are now standard in most new homes.

Three Ways Builders Can Attract Millennials to Combat the Labor Crisis

Young workers are just what the industry needs to avoid a full-blown labor crisis, says BUILDER guest blogger Vineet Jain.

A skilled labor shortage is threatening the construction industry, and contractors across the nation are already feeling the effects. 

A report by Construction Labor Market Analyzer indicates that by 2016, U.S. construction projects will require 6.7 million skilled workers — about

How to Shop Wisely for a New Home — Part Two

STEP 6: Go shop model homes that match your needs. 

The fun part, at last! Walking through state of the art model homes furnished by top interior designers (AKA merchandisers in the new home world) offers some big benefits:

You get a free pass into an interior design showroom, with the latest home furnishing and design trends on display. Picture Crate and Barrel, Ikea and your local furniture, wall-

How to Shop Wisely for a New Home — Part One

Don't believe Mick Jagger — if you’re embarking on a journey to buy and build a new home, you can get what you want in your dream home.

The key is to do your homework first — and then to plan and organize your shopping process to ensure that your journey is rewarding, concise — and most of all, enjoyable.

Opportunity Lost: Tough Love For Suppliers & Trades

There's much that builders can do to build better homes while eliminating waste. But suppliers and trades have a part to play, too.

About the time that this article is published, I’ll be speaking at the Canadian Home Builders’ Association–Alberta, at its February conference in Edmonton. With Edmonton high up on most everyone’s list of idyllic winter destinations, it’s hard to believe you missed this, yet I have worked in Alberta many times in the winter and I find the preparedness and resilience of Edmontonians quite inspiring. My favorite day a few Decembers back was when Celsius and Fahrenheit converged at –40, with a wind howling out of the west across the prairie. Life—

How Energy Efficient Windows Work

What do the numbers mean?

Understanding the NFRC Label, and what all the numbers mean can be confusing. Here is a short video that helps to explain ...

This video was originally posted on YouTube by Weathershield Windows and Doors. Click here to see original post >>

Conduct Business Like a Business Owner

It should be obvious. If you own a business, you need to act like a business owner. That means being professional; returning phone calls, showing up for appointments, doing what you say you'll do.No Excuses

One of our coaching clients was telling me about his problems finding a subcontractor for a job. If you're a general contractor, this might sound all too familiar.

6 Do's and Don'ts To Keep Out of Court

A veteran attorney's advice to reduce your risk of litigation.

Smart business practices can go a long way toward reducing, even eliminating, the chance of legal trouble. With that in mind, here are three Do's and three Don’ts that should keep you from being sued by unhappy customers or vendors.

DO get it in writing--always. Even a small job needs a formal written agreement. It should include scope, price, payment terms, and schedule. It should reference a complete set of plans and specs. It should include language on insurance, indemnification, warranty, termination, dispute resolution, and recovery of legal fees and costs.

Visualize Your Dream Deck

Timbertech has made visualizing your dream deck a whole lot easier!

We all have that dream deck envisioned in our mind. Personally, my dream deck has 2 levels, with three separate “rooms” and of course a spot for a hot tub! The more difficult part is figuring out what colors I want and how multiple colors look when used together. Well, TimberTech has a solution for that.

2015 Cost vs. Value Report

Want to know what projects are the best bang for your buck?  Check out the latest Cost vs. Value report for our region when planning your projects.  You could be spending money on the wrong room!

This site compares average cost for 36 popular remodeling projects with the value those projects retain at resale in 102 U.S. markets. Check out this year's trends and how they compare to prior years.

Azek iPad App Now Available!

It’s time to turn the dreams of any home and outdoor living space into reality with the AZEK Building Products iPad App.  From inspired trim and moulding applications, deck and railing designs, porch colors, and paver layouts, the AZEK App puts the power of creativity in your hands. Mix and match products, designs, and colors. Create a home design that anyone would truly be proud to call their own.  And, then, step from the world of flat, 2-dimensional visualization into the future using visionary, 3D technology  to, literally, make the AZEK House come to life.

ThermaTru Doorways App: Visualizing Your New Front Door

The DoorWays App by ThermaTru brings mobile shopping and visualization together into one tool that makes the selection and buying process quicker and easier for trade professionals and homeowners.

The new marketing tool features the Therma-Tru portfolio of fiberglass doors in the most popular sizes, as well as decorative, privacy and specialty glass.

It is available for I-devices as well as Android.

15 Questions to Ask When Selecting a Home Builder

Selecting the right builder is a key step in the journey that leads to your dream home.

Asking builders the 15 questions below will help you choose the right builder to create your new home — and give you confidence in your choice.

These questions will also help you better understand key steps in the building process and the decisions you'll make, in partnership with the builder, to bring your new home to life.

Do Your Home Work Right: Avoiding the Most Common Mistakes Made by New Homeowners

Before making any changes to your new home, always check with your builder.
You’ve finally moved into your new home. But, like many new homeowners, you may not be familiar with construction standards or how your home was built — and how to maintain it.

Many builders work hard to educate their buyers to help them avoid common mistakes that can lead to costly repairs.

“We work with our homeowners to help ensure that they have all the information they need to make a smooth transition,” says Teri Wilber, customer experience coordinator for Grenadier Homes in Dallas, Texas. “Most of the common mistakes new homeowners can make stem from not having enough information.”