Painting A Room Home Improvement 101

Weekend? It’s time to look around the house and see what projects need to be done. Home improvement is a great way to spend a weekend, to practice your handyperson skills, to spruce up your home, and even to add some extra value to your property!

Remember as you survey your domain that home improvement projects are best kept to a level that matches your expertise. If you are not a plumber, don’t attempt to put in a whole new bathroom by yourself! Repairing a leak under the kitchen sink is far different than putting all the new piping in yourself, and nine times out of ten you will save time and money down the road if you leave the big jobs fro the professionals.

Popular do-it-yourself home improvement projects usually involve minor repairs or renovations. Painting is a very popular home improvement project, and it is a task that can be accomplished fairly quickly, with minimal experience and cost.

Painting will add a whole new life to the area that you choose. There is a big trend towards bold colors when painting interiors of houses these days, so you can be daring if you like. Living rooms generally remain lighter shades, but if you really want to try something radical you might want to consider a bright color for your bedroom or another bedroom in the house- kid’s rooms are great for this as well!

Your kitchen is another area where bold colors will look great, and bring that extra touch of individuality.

When you decide to paint a room in your house, make sure to assemble all the necessary equipment beforehand. You will need masking tape, ladders, at least two brushes, rollers, trays, drop cloths (if the rooms are carpeted) paint thinner and, of course, the paint itself. As with any home improvement project, don’t be afraid to ask questions of the staff in the store where you buy your paint, they will be excellent sources of information for the project.

The great thing about painting as a home improvement project is that, if you don’t like the end result, you can easily do it over. Even if you have to correct the color scheme, the project will still remain inexpensive. Remember to apply several coats, and if the walls have not been previously painted you will also need to purchase primer for the initial layer.

Painting a room is a great way to kick off the home improvement season and get the creative part of your mind into full swing- once you see how great the room looks, odds are a whole slew of new projects will begin occurring to you!

How To Promote A Home Improvement Business

Introduction

Home improvement businesses face a unique challenge in marketing themselves to potential customers.

Businesses offering services like loft conversions, double glazing, conservatories, landscaping, kitchens and bathrooms face widespread competition, some of it from larger retailers which can offer low prices thanks to greater economies of scale.

At the other end of the market, less reputable businesses can damage the reputation of the home improvement sector through poor workmanship or unethical marketing practices like cold calling.

Marketing channels available to home improvement businesses are often costly and hard to measure, such as local press or phone directory advertising.

Yet the effort in marketing can be worthwhile, with a typically high average spend per successful order. So how can a home improvement business stand out from the crowd, whilst achieving a good return on its marketing investment?

Direct marketing tools and methods can often offer the answer. Because it’s more measurable than other marketing methods, direct marketing is more measurable and it can be targeted more closely to those potential consumers most likely to buy your home improvement services.

Here are some of the ways in which direct marketing can help:

1. Planning

Before any direct marketing campaign you have to carry out some planning. For a home improvement business this can involve analysing your existing customers to see what they have in common. Using tools like Easycheck list profiling software (www.selectabase.co.uk/i-have-a-list/easycheck) you can discover more about your customer’s interests, likes, dislikes and lifestyle just from their postcode. Also look at there they are based and what type of home they live in, to help identify potential markets.

Once you’ve analysed your existing customers you can put them into different groups, or segments, and then prioritise which groups are of most importance to you.

For example, if you are a landscaper, you might want to target properties in local areas that you know have larger sized gardens. Double glazing companies may want to target homeowners in coastal or exposed areas, where their properties are more likely to suffer from the elements. Loft conversion or conservatory companies could target growing families likely to need more living space.

2. Direct Mail

Once you’ve identified your target segment, or segments, you can source lists of more people of the same type.

There are numerous reputable mailing lists available that you can select data from. For example the Consumer Profiles list (www.selectabase.co.uk/lists/consumer/) which allows you to target potential customers by lifestyle, Silver Prospects (www.selectabase.co.uk/ppc/grey-market-silver-prospects-list.aspx) is a specialist list of retired older people, and Recently Moved (www.selectabase.co.uk/recentlymoved/) provides a monthly list of people who’ve just moved into your local area.

Mail these lists with a good quality mailer, personalised to each person, explaining clearly why you are approaching them and the benefits of what you have to offer; price, service, testimonials, knowledge etc. Include a clear call to action and offer a no hassle free quotation.

Mailings can also be used successfully to drive traffic to your website, where people can see more about your business and obtain a quote online.

3. Telemarketing

Unsolicited telemarketing, or cold calling as its also known, has done much to tarnish the reputation of the home improvement industry.

However if you have your own list of leads, enquiries or prospects that you plan to phone, you can do so as long as you check each number first to see if it is registered with the Telephone Preference Service. You can check numbers as you go using an online service like www.selectabase.co.uk/1check/ or you can clean your list each month using software like Easycheck.

Also, it is completely acceptable to follow up a mailing to a rented list with a brief courtesy call asking if the homeowner received the information and if it was of interest. If it’s bought from a reputable source, your list will have been screened against the TPS just before you buy it.

It’s worth spending time briefing the person who makes the call to make sure they have good product knowledge and know how they should represent your business.

Summary
In summary, direct marketing methods provide great opportunities for home improvement businesses to identify and target relevant potential customers on an individual basis, without the interference of competitor’s messages that you find with press advertising.

Results can be measured precisely, and the results used to guide future mailings or campaigns. And if direct marketing is carried out in a high quality and reputable way, consumers will see that your home improvement business is going to provide a high quality service.

Blue Mosaic Tiles Make A Swimming Pool Look More Attractive

To many people the idea of having a swimming pool in your home is the ultimate in luxury and something which is out of the reach of most people. Having a lovely swimming pool with blue glass mosaic tiles was the dream of a very good friend of mine and last year he finally managed to fulfil this wish and installed a good sized pool with blue random mosaic tiles.

He was adamant that he wanted blue mosaic tiles since blue mosaic tile makes a swimming pool look more attractive than other options. Lining a pool with blue mosaic floor tiles has long been regarded as the premium finish for swimming pools. Tiles are regarded highly due to their appearance and superior durability. On a practical level, they are easier to clean than cement based rendered surfaces such as pebblecrete used in concrete pools and require less maintenance

Aesthetically, they allow you to match or contrast your pool colour and/or pool’s surroundings. Blue mosaic tiles can also help to make the pool bluer by using a dark blue waterline tile with a light coloured interior. Furthermore, waterline tiles avoid having a dry, washed out look between the coping and the water that you can get with render finishes.

Fully tiling a pool is certainly regarded as the premium finish for concrete pools. Tiles are extremely durable as well as offering almost limitless design choices. They look fantastic, are easy to maintain and most importantly are gentle on your feet due to their silky smoothness. There are two main types of tiles commonly employed. These are glass mosaics and glazed ceramic mosaics.

Blue glass mosaic tiles are becoming increasingly popular for swimming pools, spas and water features. Glass mosaics offer a much wider colour choice than traditional ceramic mosaics and provide visual effects such as crystal, gold and pearl that simply isn’t available when using ceramic tiles. Their small size complements the modern finishes used in today’s homes. Many people wonder whether you notice the grout lines more with glass mosaics. Whilst there are more grout lines, you don’t notice them as much as with larger tiles. If you think of a checked shirt, you see large checks far easier than small checks.

Ceramic mosaics come in numerous size and colour combinations. They are often less expensive than glass. They also cost less to lay due to them usually being larger plus they do not require more expensive adhesives. The fact is that if you can afford to have a swimming pool installed in your home in the first place, then you can afford to have the better finishing’s too.

I have seen this pool which my friend has (and yes with more than just a touch of envy as I climbed in to the cool clean water!) and I have to admit that the use of blue random mosaic tiles on the walls and blue mosaic floor tiles was a good choice. The blue mosaic tile gives a Mediterranean effect which is pleasing to the senses.

Home Improvement Tips To Help Sell Your Home

If you are a total layperson as far as home improvement is concerned, then you should hire help or enlist friends if you’re tackling areas where it does make a difference how you get the job done. Simple home improvement projects like painting can be attempted by everyone as the worst you can do is a patchy job that can be painted over.

Have Realistic Time, Money and Expertise Expectations – If you want to replicate a room that you have seen on Trading Spaces or Design on a Dime, get the inspiration but keep your expectations in check.

The people behind the work in such shows are experts; professionals in their field with years of experience. They can do things faster and better than an average person and if things go wrong, they also know how to make them right. When planning home improvement projects, keep your expectations real as far as budget and time considerations go as well.

The designers on the show often get great discounts from others in the business as they need the promotion on popular television shows. Plus, they often accessorize rooms with flea market finds and things picked up at garage sales. You could strike gold too, but it doesn’t happen very often.

Home improvement shows boast of the latest faux paint techniques and the hottest colors for the season. However, the green you like for your master bedroom may not appeal to prospective homeowners. If you do have hot pink bedroom walls for your daughter, tone them down or make them neutral as well. This is because new owners may not have a daughter who will use that room and they may want to move in to something that requires minimum effort.

The designers on the show are experts themselves plus they have a lot of help from back up crew and the like so they can delegate tasks and get more done in less time.

What You Can Do On Your Own – There are things shown on home improvement shows that you can easily replicate like rearranging your furniture, de-cluttering and even painting so don’t give up a home improvement project just because you can’t compete with the pros. However, assess your strengths and keep a plan B in mind. For instance, while you are redoing your kitchen, factor in the cost of eating out for all the days that the floor is ripped out and the appliances unusable.

Go through the entire home and toss, donate or store anything you do not need immediately. This will free up walking space, wall space, counter space and the like and prospective owners will feel they are getting more footage for their dollar. If there are pieces you can not part with, hold them in a separate storage area not your garage or basement. Then if you still feel they are important, bring them back in your new home.

Dealing With Home Improvement Questions

Carrying out home renovations may be great for the whole family. In addition to making your house seem like a more enjoyable place, home improvements also raise the value of your home. If investment is what is on top of your mind, and you cannot purchase yet another house just yet, home improvement might be your ideal alternative. This is much cheaper than actually buying another house. In addition, this would have far more tangible value than putting your money on other things. After all, you would be able to see and experience all the renovations being carried out in your home.

Getting home improvement loans is quite a simple thing really. You can use the property as collateral as you go in for a secured loan to forward you the money for the renovations. If you are not keen to put your property at risk, you could go in for an unsecured loan. But remember, an unsecured loan usually charges higher rates than a secured one. If you still have mortgage repayments to make, you could release the equity value of you home and avail of a home equity loan. This would be a very good way of using the equity which would otherwise just lie around.

However, just getting the loan will not help you with your home improvements. You have to also search for a contractor. Now, unless you know of people who have recently carried out major home improvements, getting a great contractor may not be as easy as pie. But with a little persistence, you should succeed in finding a contractor that is efficient, qualified, and affordable. Make sure that you do a little homework before you talk to him though. That way, you shall be better placed to explain how exactly you would like the improvements to be carried out.

Also, see to it that you do not choose the first contractor that you come across. Even if his credentials seem sound, make sure you run a background check first. In case your contractor is the type who tends to not pay his workers and suppliers, you certainly won’t want to be stuck with huge bills that you have already paid for. Also make sure that you check to see if he has insurance. If not, you might end up being liable for any injuries that might happen during the renovations. Thus, before you even start home improvements in your home, study the markets very well. Only then will you manage to sniff out the best bargains.

What You Need To Know About Home Improvement Loan Rates

If you’re looking to flip a house, home improvement loan rates need to be on the top of your mind. If your loan rates are really high, they will cut into your profit margin and leave you with less money for your time, effort and capital. Considering that if your flipping a house you’re doing it exclusively to make money, a high rate can be a bit of a problem. The best way to get a low rate home improvement loan is to have good credit. If you don’t currently have good credit, you should probably start working on improving it. Pay off old debts as soon as you can and make sure you’re keeping up with the bills that you already have. A good credit score means that you’re trustworthy with money, and as your score improves it becomes less risky to lend you home improvement cash.

Besides home improvement loan rates, if you’re trying to flip a house you should be on the lookout for a good contractor. Good contractors are hard to find, so if you happen upon one who does a good job, comes in at or under budget and completes the tasks in a timely manner, make sure you hang onto him. Bad contractors can cost you a lot of money and drag out the flipping process, meaning that you won’t be able to make as much money over the course of the year.

Before you even need to worry about home improvement loan rates and contractors, however, you need to get in touch with a real estate agent who knows what she is doing. She can help point you towards a good lender (and sometimes even recommend a contractor!), saving you time and money. She can also help you to scout out potential homes to invest in, as well as tell you which modifications will increase the value of the home the most.

Home Improvement Rules To Follow

Even though home improvement is pretty straightforward most of the time, it is important to carefully follow instructions in order to successfully complete a home improvement task. Many home improvement jobs take a lot of time to complete. This will be time well spent, since each home improvement or repair you make will increase your home’s value. Home improvement is clear-cut, but takes patience and requires that you follow instructions to the detail.

It is imperative that you closely follow the instructions when repairing or remodeling. Written instructions will provide you with the steps to correctly complete the project and avoid problems. And make sure to keep any receipts for materials and tools you buy incase you need to return or exchange the merchandise.

The first rule of home improvement is to learn as much as you can before starting a project. For example, if you are planning on hanging drywall in a room in your home, you need to know exactly what materials you will need, in addition to the steps used to complete the job. You will also need to know what about wallpaper, tiles, paint, or other materials to finish a wall job.

Most any home improvement job will increase the value of your home. That is why it is important to be very methodical when you start a home improvement project; you should take notes, create files, and plan every step of the job.

Budgeting and planning are two other important steps in any home improvement project. If you do not have a plan, you will likely spend more money than you need to, buy the wrong materials, take longer to complete the project, and make errors along the way.

Depending on the type of home improvement project you are planning, it could be rather straightforward. However, some home improvement projects are easier than others. Ease of completion does not equal less cost, however.

For wall improvement projects, paint, panel and tile are sometimes easier than wallpapering. Tiles come in multiple choices, including self-adhesive, or peel and stick. However, if you have damage to your walls, such as holes, you will require spackle and a few other materials to patch the area before finishing the walls.

When repairing or remodeling a basement, the same rules apply and then some. Michigan and Kentucky basements are known to be the worst for home improvement, mostly because those areas are highly prone to flooding. Improvement or repair projects in basements often require special considerations for insulation, and can often cost more money and require a little more time to complete a job. Basements in newer home tend to have fewer problems, thanks to advances in construction.

Making improvements or repairs in a bathroom requires a whole unique set of tools and knowledge. Dealing with plumbing and electrical issues are the trickiest parts of home improvement, because they often require a certain level of expertise, and even professionals have been known to make mistakes. That is why educating yourself before beginning a home improvement or repair project is imperative.

A big rule to follow in home improvement is to clear whatever area you are working in completely before beginning the job. This will prevent accidents and things from getting damaged or destroyed. It is also imperative that you use safety equipment, such as dust masks, gloves, and goggles when doing any kind of home improvement or repair project.