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Archive for the ‘Manage Project’ Category

New Site Your Contractor Really Wants You to Know About!

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

A new website is making residential remodeling contractors across the country very happy.

Remodel EinsteinTM  says they are fast becoming a resource for happy contractors: “Contractors have written us nice letters saying, ‘Finally, a website I can feel comfortable recommending to homeowners. I can’t wait to share it!”

Maybe it’s because Remodel EinsteinTM  shows homeowners the truth – remodeling is not an easy, concise process featuring, hunky remodelers, ‘instant’ home makeovers and unrealistic budgets often portrayed on reality home improvement TV shows.


Before homeowners are ready to get “matched” to a contractor they not only need to focus on the dream, they also need to focus on the thousands of decisions and details necessary to ensure their vision becomes a reality.  Homeowners love YouTube as much as the next person, but they don’t have time to sort through thousands of videos to find quality content that actually teaches them something. Sound familiar? That’s where Remodel EinsteinTM comes in.

Remodel EinsteinTM boosts homeowners’ remodeling IQs via online education that helps them get their projects done right, on time and on budget. The site inspires and educates homeowners by providing them with a reality check and the step-by-step guiding hand of experience so they can achieve remodeling success and avoid costly mistakes that can drain pocketbooks, strain relationships, and turn the American dream into a nightmare.  They offer homeowners access to easy-to-follow video lessons from remodeling experts.

And for a total hassle-free experience, each online course is available at your fingertips, on demand from your smartphone, tablet or desktop. That’s a far cry from browsing at a bookstore, attending a class at the local community college, or sifting through thousands of irrelevant websites and videos.

No wonder they’re so happy!

Just ask Remodel Einstein’s Founder, Monica D. Higgins, how happy some contractors can get: “Every homeowner deserves a successful remodel. So, it’s great having contractors sharing Remodel Einstein with their clients, as well as with other contractors. But, we’re mostly proud of helping homeowners realize the vision of their dream home without running into problems, delays and budget busting surprises.”

Worth a try!

Remodel Einstein’s Remodel SmartTM courses truly make a difference. The founder’s proven process and expert knowledge already has a handful of high-profile mentions under her belt and has been featured by/in: HGTV, eHow, This Old House Magazine, USA TODAY and more. Plus, she’s been eHow’s Home Improvement Expert.

Remodel EinsteinTM  has a special offer for new customers: Get your first course, Module 1 – Conceptualize for only $9.99 (a 50% savings!) with Promo Code FIRST25…100% risk free.

The company’s mission is to help you achieve remodeling success.  That’s why they invite you to try the first course for up to a full 30 days from the date you join Remodel EinsteinTM . If you don’t feel they’ve delivered on their promise within those 30 days, they’ll happily refund 100% of your money.

Click here to give Remodel EinsteinTM  a try and get this special 50% off offer!

IMPORTANT NOTE: They require your completed exercise files from all purchased modules before they process your refund. Why? Because they know that when you take action and complete the course work, you’ll get results. It’s that simple.

If you do the work and don’t get the value, then they don’t deserve your money. Just submit your completed homework within 30 days of purchase date, and they’ll happily refund you.

Renovation Etiquette

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

et·i·quette [et-i-kit, -ket] a code of behavior that delineates expectations for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class or group.

When I was a little girl my mother enrolled me in an etiquette course that helped several generations to grow up civilized.  The course was based on the book ‘White Gloves and Party Manners’ by Marjabelle Young Stewart & co-author Ann Buchwald (wife of Art Buchwald).  If only everyone had taken that course as a youngster…what a wonderful world it would be.

Here are my etiquette tips for remodeling in a civilized manner:

1. Telling the neighbors – Two weeks prior to starting construction, personally deliver a letter to your neighbors that would be affected by the dust generated from your renovation project so they can plan accordingly (i.e. not leave windows open during the day, secure pets, etc.).  If they are home, this is a wonderful opportunity to answer any questions they may have about your project.  In the event your renovation project must go through a variance or design review process requiring the support of your neighbors invite them to an open house where they will have the opportunity to preview your project in context and ask questions prior to the confirmed hearing date.  Additionally, make your neighbors aware of the hours construction is permitted and that your construction team will be observing them.  This thoughtfulness go a long way in creating goodwill.

2.  Dealing with parking – Parking restrictions should be respected by contractors and their crews.  The parking needs of neighbors should also be considered. For example, driveways should not be blocked.

3. Feeding/Offering drinks to the construction guys – Every one likes being valued.  Periodically buying lunch, snacks or drinks for your construction team goes a long way in keeping them happy.  Happy constriction teams make for happy homeowners.

4. Getting toilets to ensure workers are not peeing in the foundation – So you’re not obsessing about whether the workers are going to keep your bathroom as clean as you would, make sure the contractor’s bid includes providing a porta-potty on site for the workers and that it is drained, cleaned, disinfected, and deodorized on a regular basis.

5.  What to do when a neighbor complains to you/the city – You should always determine what the issue is and do your best to accommodate the neighbor, as appropriate.  If the complaint is of concern to the city, the city will tell you what needs to be done to rectify the situation.

6.  When you can’t come to terms with your foreman, etc. – Keep in mind that while your foreman may be accustomed to resolving issues related to construction and technical expertise he/she may not be accustomed to resolving customer service issues.  In either case, escalate your issue to the hiring contractor who will be more likely to listen and understand your needs and work with you to resolve the issue.


Anatomy of a Remodel – Continous Oversight and Management

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

YIKES!  I just realized that I never got around to posting the last piece of the Anatomy of a Remodel puzzle.

So, what does it mean for you to manage a remodeling project? Well, for one thing, it means doing so before construction begins …once you’ve made the decision to remodel.  On going daily project management and budget oversight makes sure your project is completed on time and on budget.

Keep in mind that whatever your vision, your vision will drive every aspect of your remodel. Think of your vision like the sun and every aspect of your remodel as the rays. Here are some rays to consider:


Space planning

Team of remodeling pros to make it happen

Home improvement contract

Paint colors (yes, paint colors)


Each of these rays need to be managed so you avoid a remodeling ‘sunburn’.

What’s A Construction Manager and What Do They Do?

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

The next time you drive by a new office building that’s going up, think about all the pieces of that puzzle that have to come together and all the people involved with that project:  The owner, developer, financing groups… then the architects, designers & engineers… Don’t forget the maze of city zoning and other government regulation.  Only after all of this is completed do the contractors and tradesmen come into the picture.  And all of this has to be coordinated to meet strict timelines and unforgiving budgets.

For the owners of that building, time IS money. They are making sure, through the whole process, that not a dime of their money is being wasted, that the schedule is adhered to, that everyone is doing their job.  That’s why they have a construction manager (aka project manager) from day one to oversee all of the details.

That’s what I do… I’m a construction manager…only for homeowners like you.

A construction manager acts as the owner’s representative, in other words, the owner’s eyes and ears.  Construction managers are invaluable to the success of a remodeling project because supervision of a remodeling project is key.  Even if you have carefully prepared plans coupled with keen attention to detail during construction, using a construction manager from the start of your project (i.e. pre-design) through completion will ultimately help ensure your remodeling project gets done right, on time and on budget. 

Permits or No Permits?…That is the question.

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

Have you ever seen a home for sale with a room that was not permitted?  Most likely the sellers attempted to complete an addition in the name of ‘saving money’ without obtaining the requisite permits, inspections and documentation.

What they didn’t know is that they would most likely end up paying more money in the long run in order to have the city sign off on the room. By not obtaining the requisite permits, inspections and documentation the sellers cheated themselves out of the increased value to their home, because in the city’s eyes if an addition is not permitted the space does not exist.

It does not make sense to spend money on a ‘phantom room’.  So, if you are going to remodel, do it right to avoid problems down the line by obtaining the requisite permits, inspections and documentation.

The safety of building occupants is the primary reason for having building codes and permits are the way cities help ensure construction on your home complies with those building codes and are safe.  Building permits are typically required for any home improvement, repair, alteration, construction or demolition project.  Check your local building ordinances for details about building code requirements in your city.

Note that there are some instances in which adjusting your plans so permits are not required makes sense. For example, in the city where I live the following are exempt from building permits:

•Fences not over 6 feet high
•Retaining walls which are not over 4 feet in height, measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall

So, when I had my back yard re-landscaped, I purposely decided to have a garden wall built (i.e. < 4 ft in height) to take advantage of the exemption.

Whatever remodeling project you decide to pursue, make sure your contractor pulls permits, if required. If a contractor asks you to pull your own permits, find a different contractor.  Why? Because a contractor is more qualified and better prepared than most homeowners to navigate the permitting process and respond to building department questions which in turn saves you time, money and stress.