Comparing Building Services Providers For Your Project

No matter what type and size of building project you are planning for your home or business, the one thing you will need to do is find a professional building company that will do a great job. When it comes to something as important as building work, you need to make sure you find professionals that are up to scratch, will do a good job at a fair price, and will ensure excellent results.

We’ve all seen the programmes on television about various cowboy builders that not only do a shoddy job but sometimes leave customers’ properties in a downright dangerous state. This is why it is important to do your research and take the time to find the right building services provider for your project.

5 important qualities to look for in your building services provider

There are a number of important qualities to look for when searching for a suitable building services provider. This includes:

A company with plenty of experience: You should look for a company with plenty of experience, not only in terms of general building work but in the type of work you are having done. So, for example, if you are looking to have a home extension built, look for a company that has lots of experience in building extensions.

A building firm with a proven track record: Finding a building company with a proven track record can be invaluable both in terms of your peace of mind and the likely quality of the work carried out. Look for a company with a good reputation, reviews, testimonials, and a solid portfolio of past projects.

A builder with competitive prices: You need to make sure you get quality work at a fair price when dealing with building companies. You should therefore look for a company that is able to offer competitive pricing on building work. However, you also need to make sure that you take quality and reputation into consideration and do not focus only on cost.

Awards and industry affiliation: It is always worth checking to see whether the building firm you are considering using has won any past awards, as this can provide you with additional reassurance and peace of mind. In addition, check to see whether the company is a member of any industry groups and bodies, as this could mean that they are bound to the provision of certain standards when it comes to their workmanship.

Reliable service: If you want to make sure your building project is finished on time, you should find a company that offers reliable service. This means finding a provider that will show up on time, won’t be making excuses as to why the work cannot be finished in a timely manner, and won’t be sitting around doing nothing on your time.

Your Choices in Removing Water From Your Home and Building

Water Removal

Removing water after storms and floods are not the only kind of extractions addressed by water damage restoration companies and cleaning services. However, they are usually the most challenging removal issues. This is partly due to the fact that when you have major storms and floods, commercial buildings and homes can be affected differently.

Regardless of whether you experienced a major storm, hurricane, torrential rains, etc., the results can be the same – massive amounts of water. Let’s discuss the water removal needs after these disasters.

Water damaged or water filled basements are the most common problem to occur. Commercial or residential basements can have standing water several feet high, making it more like a pool than living or work space. Removing water from soaked carpet is the easy part, the removal of standing water is the real challenge!

The biggest concern when you have standing moisture in your basement is that the foundation can actually crack or cave in. The pressure of the water on the foundation is so great, that removing the water too fast can exacerbate this problem. Water removal specialists have the experience and the calculations to design a plan to perform water removal safely without creating structural issues.

Pumping out the water is another issue. Without the right equipment removing the water from the basement can be challenging. Surprisingly, many water damage clean up companies are not prepared to remove several feet of water from a basement. Instead of taking a few hours, it can take a day or two. Make sure that the company you hire has portable pumps and sub-pumps that can handle the amount of water removal for your specific situation. Also be sure that if you have lost electricity that the restoration company has portable generators. Not communicating the lack of power can create problems and prolong the water removal at your location.

In commercial buildings, elevator shafts are where the water will collect. As you can imagine, water removal in an elevator shaft creates its own unique issues. Elevator shafts, from years of use, have grease, grime and dirt that have accumulated. As well, there are electrical wires and equipment lying inside the shaft. The major issue that is forgotten by inexperienced water removal companies and building management is to shut off the power during water removal. Not shutting off power will create a situation where you can get an electrical shock that can result in death. Building maintenance should perform at Lock-Out Tag-Out (LOTO) before any work inside an elevator shaft begins. (Lock-Out Tag-Out is a safety procedure required by OSHA that locks off the power to any machinery or equipment while service or maintenance is being performed). Once the LOTO has been performed, the next issue facing the water removal specialists is the environmental contaminants included with the water. The proper way to remove water from an elevator shaft is to extract the water and then dispose of the water following the EPA recommendations as well as state and local laws. Not doing this, leaves the removal company and building management open to legal liability!

Work From Home and Build a Home Based Business

Advantages of Working from Home

Here are the Top 10 Benefits of running a Home Based Business:-

* Get off to a fast start- Starting most traditional businesses takes time as it involves finding premises, negotiating the lease, arranging utilities such as telephone and power, etc. You can start immediately when you work from home.

* Low start-up costs and low overheads- A home business costs very little to set up and you don’t have to worry about rent, rates and all the other expenses associated with business premises. The lower your expenses, the more profit you get to keep and the easier it is to manage your cashflow.

* Flexible working hours- To make money from home you still have to work hard, but you can usually work the hours that suit you, your family and your customers. This means you can set aside work time during the day or evening which will not interfere with family time. A home business run correctly should, after all, enable you to achieve a healthy work-life balance.

* More time- You eliminate the time it takes to commute to and from a place of work when you work from home. This could easily amount to 8-10 hours a week, and that’s equivalent of one whole working day saved!

* Tax advantages- Working from home allows you to offset certain household expenses against your profits, thus reducing your tax bill. You can claim a percentage of the rent/mortgage, utilities, insurance and home maintenance, subject to the amount of space in your home that you have designated as a working area. Check with your Accountant for full details.

* Family help- There’s often the opportunity of help from family members when you need it, if you’re running your business from home. This also means you get to spend more time with the ones you love.

* Better working environment- If you’re able to designate a permanent working area in your home, such as by converting a spare room into an office, you can create a pleasing yet practical layout and decor. If you organize your workspace exactly as you want it, this should make you more productive.

* No distractions- When you work from home, you avoid all the noise and distractions associated with a typical busy workplace. This means you can usually get more done in a day without interruption, as long as you make it clear to family members that you are not to be disturbed during work time.

* Reduced stress- In business, stress is often greater where there is more risk. Setting up a home based business is extremely low risk as set-up costs and overheads are so small, you’re not signing any long term leases, and even the stress of the regular daily commute is eliminated.

* Don’t give up your day job- The great thing about running a home business is that you can put as much or as little time into it as you like, always being mindful that the more time you do spend on it, the quicker it should grow into a successful and rewarding enterprise. So it’s easy to start on a part-time basis while you’re still in employment, knowing that you have the choice of going full-time when you feel it’s justified.

Choosing a Home Based Business

Have you ever asked yourself the question “How can I make money working from home?” Well, there are many ways to make money at home, but one of the business models best suited to running a home based business is Network Marketing.

With Network Marketing, you are your own boss, there are very low start-up costs, and you can work flexible hours. Spend time choosing a Network Marketing company that suits you, and your work should be easy and fun. You’ll have the benefit of selling a proven product or service using a tried and tested business presentation, and should receive all the training and support you need in order to be successful.

When you work for yourself, there are only so many hours in the day that you can be productive and, for this reason, your income is limited by what you can earn from your own sales. But by using the leverage of Network Marketing, and building a team around you by introducing other like-minded individuals to the business, you begin to generate a passive income from the efforts of your team members. Now it starts to get exciting, as you realise that you can be earning money when you take time off to go on holiday, or even when you’re asleep. Working with the right Network Marketing Company (and Sponsor) and running your business ethically and professionally will surely put you on the road to financial freedom.

Tips For Building Your First Home and Finding the Right Home Builder

Most of us have the dream of one day owning our very own home – one that we’ve designed; where everything is planned and built to our specifications (just the way we like it!). Making that dream home a reality is an exciting prospect where perfection no doubt rests at the forefront of our expectations. Choosing the right builder will prove vital in ensuring that your residential desires are met with hassle-free execution. This article’s purpose is to provide the right knowledge and understanding necessary in building your first home and picking a home builder with confidence!

Legal advice is advised

Before signing anything, talk to a real-estate lawyer (preferably one who has a solid reputation in new homes and home building) and ask questions. Chances are, if you are building a home for the first time, there will be unknowns and grey areas which you may not fully understand. It’s better to ask stupid questions than to not ask them at all. Be sure to get your head around your rights as well as your liabilities and commitments. Most of all remember that engaging a lawyer in your home building matters may seem like an expense you can afford to bypass, but the cost is very little compared to legal disputes and over-looked commitments and complications which may arise during the home building process. The risk outweighs the savings.

Research builder reputations

Get the goss on the home builders you are considering! Most building companies will obviously sound really great, their sales reps will use all the right words, the website will show vibrant pictures and display a bunch of great testimonials, and the houses they have built probably do look pretty good from the street. But the only way to get the truth is to find out what people are saying about them (in an open non-biased environment). Use search engines to search for reviews and home buyers’ opinions and advice on home building companies. Talk to neighbours, relatives, even your lawyer – they may be able to research any law suits filed against particular companies.

Also, check their licenses and ask for credentials. You want to be 100% sure they are legally allowed provide construction services and provide them in a professional manner. Look for builders who are part of building associations and organisations.

Planning and design

It is important to be thorough and not rush when planning the style and layout of your new home. First time home builders tend to be excited and potentially overlook the finer details. To make educated decisions on the features of your new home, it can be worthwhile attending open house days and builder display homes. This way you can make notes on the features that particularly align with your tastes. You may even notice thing you’d never originally thought of.

Consider steel frame houses. Steel frame can be great as it obviously offers protection from termite damage, insurance is generally lower and steel frame houses are able resist extreme forces of nature such as hurricanes, cyclones and earth quakes. The disadvantages of steel frame are that some builders are not familiar with it, special tools are required meaning costs may be higher and it can cause heat to be lost from the home making it less energy efficient.

Where should I start looking for a home builders?

Friends and family are always a good place to start as you can rely on them for honest information. The Internet is also a great place to start looking as there are many sites that list reputable home builders but be sure to do your homework on any companies you are considering!

Surviving the building process

So you put time and careful planning into your design, you engaged a lawyer to minimise your risk and you’ve signed on the dotted line with a reputable and professional building company? It is time for the builders to start doing what they do best… (building!) Now of course the designs you chose have been taken into consideration when the builders provided you with a base quote and chances are they will be able to build the house right on budget! Great success. However, it is nearly inevitable that you would like modifications and adjustments to the original plan as you see the project progressing (yes it is recommended that you regularly check in with the builder throughout the entire process to make sure everything is spot on). Any modifications will more than likely come at extra cost and it is important to keep record of all additional expenses (which are normal when building a home) to ensure there are no nasty surprises at the end of construction. Budgeting for ‘x’ amount of modifications is always a great idea before initiating construction. Remember to not be shy when asking for modifications – it will be your home, so make sure it’s perfect!