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Pro Advice

polluted air

How can homeowners improve air quality in their homes?

You could have a chronic problem in your home and not even know about it. Poor indoor air quality. This pollution can cause significant health concerns for you and your family. The potential for air pollution lives in about every room of your home. Outdoor pollutants can enter your home and join forces with indoor irritants. These irritants can include mold, household dust, allergens from pet dander, and fumes from gas appliances. Water heaters, ovens, stoves, furnaces, fireplaces, ranges, and space heaters all release gas and particulates into the air. Poor air quality can cause symptoms like coughing, tightening of …

building codes

How should homeowners handle building codes?

Above all, building permits are meant to keep people safe. No city officials want their residents living in a house with a disintegrating foundation, or where the electrical system is a sparking, fire-starting disaster waiting to happen. But many homeowners find that those efforts to keep them safe often only serve to frustrate them. If you’re planning a new home improvement project, make sure you get the lowdown on how to comply with your area’s building codes and construction laws. Responsibility Responsibility is a tricky issue when it comes to building codes. Many homeowners who hire contractors feel that it …

Winterize

Winterize Your Home

Getting your home ready for winter is important no matter where you live, whether you need to prepare for heavy rains and wind storms or freezing temperatures and feet of snow. Keeping your home safe and comfortable for your family is made easier by paying attention to key features that are susceptible to winter weather changes. When the storms and foul weather of winter arrive, you’ll want to know that your home is prepped to meet any challenge.   Winterizing Your Home When the storms and foul weather of winter arrive, you’ll want to know that your home is prepped …

winterize article

How do you winterize a home?

Last week, we asked our panel of home improvement experts about the best projects to prepare your home for the coming winter. We got a fantastic response that highlights winterization projects for the coldest regions of the country, but also for more temperate regions that may not get frozen but can definitely benefit from some cold season preparation. We’ve compiled as short list of our favorite tips below. Because we got such a good response, we’ve decided to make a winterization project infographic due for release late next week, so stay tuned! Protecting Pipes Freezing pipes are a nightmare for …

home improvement

What are the worst home improvement products?

Eighty years ago, most people would have no problem grabbing a truck full of asbestos and throwing it up as insulation in their home. Nowadays, hearing a home has even a trace of asbestos will send potential buyers running for the hills. While that’s an extreme case, it does illustrate that not all home improvement products are created equal, or equally safe. When you hit the hardware store, you want to make sure that your purchases are easy to use, safe, and functional. In a world where you could easily purchase 30 variations of a light bulb, choosing the best—and …

home restoration

Q & A with Repair and Restoration Specialist Bill Begal

Hurricane Isaac left much of Louisiana a sopping wet mess. As businesses and homeowners return to their properties to find flooded basements and storage rooms, all they want is to clean up as fast as possible. Recovering from a massive tropical storm is a time- and labor-intensive process. Removing water, finding lost belongings and repairing damaged structures are the most obvious tasks, but that’s just the beginning. Getting professional help is the best way for homeowners to get back on their feet, but when all of your neighbors need the same help, finding resources is difficult. In these times of …

green certification

What is the value of green certifications?

In today’s home improvement and construction market, the word green seems to mean everything and nothing at the same time. Nearly all products, repairs, upgrades and new projects are attempting to take advantage of the green industry. While the industry’s intentions are good, the market is so saturated that homeowners are often left in the fog about what green changes are worth their money. While helping the environment is a noble pursuit, it doesn’t always turn people to action. However, if those green changes come with some big savings, then people will line up to sign up. One of the …

managing projects

Managing Home Improvement Projects

To celebrate the last day of National Home Remodeling month, we’re shedding some light on hiring home improvement teams. We want to help homeowners get a clear picture of their options when it comes to managing more complicated home remodels, designs and renovations. If your next big project involves more than one professional, you may want to consider hiring someone to manage your team. When it comes to team management, you have three basic options: a general contractor, a construction manager or a DIY approach, acting as your own team manager. Construction Manager A construction manager can come in many …

Social media

Social Media for the Home Improvement Industry

What started as a way to keep in touch with friends and family has turned into the biggest force in online marketing. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have become absolute necessities for businesses hoping to compete for attention on the web, and the home improvement industry is no exception. Plumbers are tweeting about the latest crazy new toilet, electricians are charging their Facebook pages with photos of light installations and roofers are uploading dramatic hail damage videos. Experts across the country are finding new ways to connect with customers, and so are we. This month, eLocal’s creative …

recession

Recession Survival For Home Improvement Professionals

According to recent surveys by the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI), Principia, and other analysts, the home improvement industry is starting to grow once again, hopefully for good this time. Over the last 6 years, professionals have watched as clients have closed their doors and their wallets to new renovation projects. Our home improvement experts managed to survive the recession by adjusting their strategies and finding creative solutions. Securing New Leads No matter what the economy is doing, professionals need to strike a balance between completing jobs for revenue and building new leads through marketing and networking. When the recession …