within the law

What laws do you often have to work around?

Working in the home improvement industry requires a wide base of knowledge. You have to know how to handle your tools, how to talk to clients, and how to manage your finances and keep your company afloat. As if all that weren’t enough, the home improvement industry is also highly regulated, which means that keeping your work safe and within legal parameters also requires you to be a lawyer, capable of understanding what the codes mean for your clients’ projects. Working within legal restrictions can be challenging and frustrating. That’s why we turned to our experts, to find out how …


What’s the most ridiculous thing a client has done?

Most of the time, home owners who turn to professionals understand what the professional is there to do: ensure that the job is finished correctly, safely, and on budget. Sometimes, though, you come across a home owner who thinks he or she knows best how the job should be done, and just won’t listen to common sense. It seems like all home improvement professionals have stories about this kind of client, which is why last week we asked our experts to share their favorite ridiculous customer stories. We noticed when reading these stories that they tended to fit into three …


What’s the most dangerous part of your job?

Most home owners don’t think of home improvement as being particularly dangerous. Sure, you have to watch where you step on a construction site, but the work itself is pretty straight-forward and easy to learn, right? Not according to our experts. Last week, we asked our home maintenance professionals what the most dangerous parts of their jobs are, and their answers were often surprising. Here are just a few of the hidden risks involved in three major categories of home improvement. All of them are excellent reminders of why you should hire professionals and not try to DIY all of …

energy efficient cash

How can homeowners save on energy-efficient upgrades?

Last year, as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, $258 million in rebates were doled out to consumers who purchased Energy Star rated appliances. As a federally funded program, these rebates are no longer available. However, financial incentives are still available all across the country. State, county and city initiatives are encouraging citizens–with rebates, cash-back programs and steep discounts–to reduce their energy usage by upgrading to more efficient appliances. For consumers who are already thinking about making the green switch, these offers only sweeten the deal. Types of Equipment By far, the most common items for which rebates …


What should homeowners consider when buying a toilet?

In a perfect world, a toilet would be an appliance you never had to think about. It would simply do its job and not look so hideous as to distract people while in the bathroom. Unfortunately, there are constantly-running, always-leaking, 80s-beige-colored, water-guzzling monstrosities everywhere. If it’s time to upgrade your toilet, make sure your next one isn’t a repeat failure. Dimensions Your toilet’s dimensions should take space and comfort into account. For smaller bathrooms, look for toilets that have traditional round bowls. If space permits, an elongated bowl provides more comfort because the seat is larger. Seat height is another …

customer service

Decline In Customer Service: A Sign of the Times?

It is no secret that our economy has seen better days. I can’t even begin to comprehend the amount of people who have lost jobs, homes, cars, and their families over the past few years due to the mere fact of…..MONEY. It makes our world go round. So much so that we are forced to have it. We don’t want it, we need it. We take pride in earning it and spending it. This love for money, however, creates a double edged sword… Those earning it probably feel that the job they are working doesn’t provide enough of it. This …

Water wasting

How Much Water is your Home Wasting?

From cooking to cleaning and manufacturing to shipping, humans consume excessive amounts of the earth’s most precious resource. Since only 1% of the earth’s water is available for human consumption, we need to reduce the amount of water we use. Excessive water consumption occurs in our homes everyday. Curious to know how much water your own home is wasting? With the help of our Blog-Off experts, we’ve compiled information on US residential water consumption. Our Home professionals are answering our latest question right now! Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get all the latest updates and …

plumbing design

Incorporating Plumbing and Electrical Work into Design

Welcome to eLocal’s inaugural Blog-Off article! If you missed reading about what the Blog-Off is and our mission to unite the home improvement industry, you can read more about it in our Blog-Off series announcement. For this first Blog-Off article, we asked the experts when in the design process homeowners should make plumbing and electrical decisions. If you are considering or starting a remodel, this is a must-read!