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More stories about Remodeling

  • Are Your Contracts Bulletproof?

    Effective July 1, 2009, the state of Pennsylvania will require a written contract for nearly every construction task in or around a residence — even minor repair work like repainting or reroofing.

  • New Rules for Lead-Safe Remodeling

    If you plan to work on pre-1978 houses, you’ll need certification by April 2010.

  • Window Seats and Safety Glass

    While trimming out a room during a remodeling job, the homeowner asked me to build a window seat. Does the window above the seat now have to be fitted with tempered safety glass?

  • Beating Wood Rot

    Use borate-based wood preservatives to stop decay and epoxy to repair the damage.

  • Block Foundations for Small Additions

    If your crew has the skill and you own the right equipment, it may make sense to lay your own masonry foundations.

  • Track Your Business With a Dashboard

    Even companies with good systems can get into trouble if they don’t manage their growth. To avoid this fate, Jim Kabel created a “dashboard” — a set of fundamental numbers that shows the monthly trends in their sales and production pipeline: leads, close rates, job profits, and customer...

  • Weathering the Downturn

    Small construction companies are relying on diverse strengths to survive in a dismal economic climate.

  • Surviving the Recession

    We’re in the midst of unprecedented uncertainty in the financial markets, and consumer confidence is the lowest it’s been in a long time. It seems that no one really knows what’s going to happen.

  • Defining Your Niche Can Help in Downtimes

    I specialize in custom decks. I switched to this niche last winter, when my backlog of general remodeling work dried up and I had no jobs on the horizon. The suburbs of New York City — where my business is located — were hit hard by the economic downturn; many GCs I knew were going out of business.

  • Sandler Sales Training: Is It Worth the Cost?

    For small contractors in today’s competitive market, sales skills can make the difference between struggling and prospering. Yet many contractors turn up their noses at formal sales training, viewing it as a waste of time and money. Are they right? Or is enrolling in a training program an effective...