Monday, June 22, 2009

Introducing a Construction Consultant Familar with Home Remodeling Nightmares

This past year I've pretty much devoted my time to putting together the Home Remodeling Bootcamp For Homeowners in an effort to really get consumers involved in doing as much homework and research in the areas that will ultimately determine the success or failure of their project. The last 9 years of counseling the "walking wounded" that have ended up on my site asking for help with their horrible situations really motivated me to create the Bootcamp. There were some common themes throughout all their stories that, had they known about in advance, would have saved them from a construction nightmare. And the same holds true for my own nightmare 10 years ago. If I knew then what I know now, well, I guess the site would never have been created. With that said, it was my intent - and still is - that my experience and those of others could help homeowners avoid the pitfalls that we experienced

One of the points I bring out not only on my website but in the Bootcamp as well is finding a reputable Construction Consultant or Home Inspector that you can bring in at specific milestones of your project. This is a third party who can advise you on any challenges or questions you may have going with your contractor and renovation project. You can read more about that in detail on my site as well as in the Home Remodeling Bootcamp For Homeowners introduction page.

On the subject of Construction Consultants, I was contacted by a consultant out of New Jersey about a year and a half ago who found my website and wanted to introduce himself and let me know that he was very much in agreement with my views even though we come to it from different experiences. His name is Mark Trapani and the owner of Contracting Smart. And so we started a dialog and began exchanging information and ideas on what we could do within our own respective businesses to help consumers make better choices in contractors as well as educate them on the risks and realities of renovating an existing structure. Not to mention key components needed in the contract, spec sheet and complete transparency for all parties. Mark also is vested in educating contractors and architects in the business of contracting and how they can contribute to a better outcome with their clients.

We're now talking about developing a joint venture together and I'll be sharing more about that here on my blog. Until then...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Launching the Home Remodeling Boot Camp For Homeowners

OK - so it's been nearly a year since I've blogged on the Remodeling Lessons Learned blog but it's been in the interest of creating a new feature for the site. True too, construction has been hit hard in the slowing economy and the resulting job losses have been great. I've spoken with a number of contractors the last 12 months who are really hurting and those with employees that had been with them during the fat times had to be let go. Fewer folks are renovating or building new homes and banks aren't lending. Grim to say the least.

But with that said there are those folks who out of necessity - fire, floods, water damage - that will be looking to remodel, repair, or reconstruct their homes as the economy begins to show glimmers of coming back around, albeit slowly. And that is actually beginning to happen.

In my neighborhood there are a number of homes undergoing renovations and on recent walks two new remodeling projects have popped up this week. Sure, it's not like the frenzy we've all witnessed in the previous 8 to 9 years of building and remodeling created in part by the banks' "loose lending" and refinancing during those years but it shows that people are beginning to show some confidence in spending their hard earned money.

But I want to get back to what I mentioned earlier in this blog post regarding the new feature I've been working on the past 12 months. And that is is "Home Remodeling Bootcamp For Homeowners" which is comprised of 12 core lessons that takes the homeowner through specific informational steps, downloads and links to relevant sites to help them understand the potential risks in construction projects, how to protect themselves, what to include in their contracts, what they need to consider including in their specifications sheet and the importance in doing so and much more.

I'll be touching on each of those core lessons in the Home Remodeling Bootcamp For Homeowners on this blog as well as what prompted me to create the Bootcamp in the first place. And I'll also talk about a new working relationship I've been forming with a Construction Consultant / Engineer / Contractor whose view of the construction industry as a whole is similar to mine. You'll learn more about him and his work in future blogs.

But for now, welcome back. And that goes for me as well ;-).