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Starting And Operating Your Own Home Remodeling Business

Introduction

All businesses models which are perennial pertain to the three most basic needs of mankind and they are food, clothes and shelter. If you have plans to start a business, and they relate to any of these fundamental human needs, the business is bound to have universal access to the market. Though the need is unique geographically, a little bit of knowledge and understanding of the demographics of a region will get any one started in this. Home decoration or house remodeling, being an integral part of most family budgets once in every few years, is one such avenue. The market is right for the same, with the business is recession proof. During economically sound times the onus is on making better homes with more luxurious interiors and better outlook. The opposite happens during averse times, when people tend to put more thought on their budgets and generally think twice before getting into indulgence. If you are someone with a creative bend of mind, and like to do interior decoration, this is the right business for you. The idea of starting this business would come to you naturally if you are inclined towards providing your clients with a beautiful place they can call home.

As in any business, to get started you will need some basic guidelines. No matter how skilled you are in your art, there is a way to go about your business and start it off with the smoothest possible road map. The deals you make going forward will also be far easier if you were to follow a definite plan when starting with such a business. This article will exactly fit in as that guide that will get you started in the home remodeling business, taking you from a newcomer in the industry to a complete business having its own channels of marketing and implementation. This article will chalk out a perfect guideline using which you will be interact with your clients in more streamlined manner. In other words if the home work is done proper, there is nothing that will stop you from getting your clients glued to your business once they have seen how well you have modularized the whole process. This article is just that right choice that you have made while starting for your business.

If you have no prior experience in the market complications of this business there will be initial hiccups, but the first million will be your toughest one, and one these are solved, you are on your way. A business management experience comes as a good premium while starting off, but is not a must.

Just like any other business to operate you need to register as a merchant in the Department of Revenue of your state. To the clients the only way to know that you they are dealing with a legal business house is this certificate. You will find this certificate stuck in most of the offices of business houses across your town. This registration is also necessary for the states to collect the taxes from the business that are operating within the state.

You can then use this to run the business like any other, and choose to provide, services and products or any of the two. This article will guide you through the processes and let you find out better about the steps to follow. Other than these the article also has comprehensive list of the following:

  • Home remodeling check list, keep it handy going forward
  • Estimation techniques for the paybacks
  • Home improvement library, having a huge list of items for you to choose
  • Other helpful tools to estimate all your finances
  • List of contractors for home modeling

Another important part that the article deals with is how you go about doing your staffing. Being a novice in this area you will require a lot of guidance in going about this very important part of starting off. Any one without the right set of people will not be able to take the business to the next level unless proper staff is employed. A good comparison for the pay standard across the industry will keep you in the negotiators position. The data is completely based on statistical reports from the government labor offices and surveys. All in all, this is the right article to choose from if you are thinking about starting this business. All those dreams about owning a business and making it big, are no longer so far away.

Where do you start?

The journey will be a tough one and one needs to have the grit to take it to the next level. Business is always about getting things done and there is no such thing as taking a day off when the client is waiting for you to deliver. You may have to change the way you deal with people. A certain amount of negotiating skills and straightforwardness in dealing with your clients will help you go a long way.

A minimum investment will be required to start off the business. The initial capital that you start off is your seed money and since you can expect to get good returns in this business, since the house and its decoration is something that most people will spend most of their earnings and savings. The details of which will come later in the article. You will have to prepare mentally to cut down on other expenses if required. There is a chance of failure in every business, but if carefully analyzed it will be of no wonder that mistakes inevitably take the toll on the final outcome. If you follow the guidelines mentioned in this article, it will keep you prepared for all such situations. There will be unforeseen circumstances like natural causes and the overall economy which one cannot fight, but with careful spending and sensible staff management, it will become easier to handle all such situations.

The whole deal is to be ready at heart and the will to make it big. Most people who fail to deliver have at some point of time, left the passion that they initially showed. The competition is stiff but the returns are good. If you are new to business it will be a little difficult to cope up with the new changes like managing staff and the expenses. These will have to become second nature to you, to achieve success in the long term. The initial capital that you start off is your seed money and since you can expect to get good returns in this business, since the house and its decoration is something that most people will spend most of their earnings and savings.

This article can only point out to you the qualities that are must to survive in this competitive business. If you are used to handling stress this will come as no stress buster. Most successful businessmen who enjoy their success in the ripe years have confessed that they have gone through tough years on the road and they never gave up. Extraordinary circumstances have been fought off with same zeal, since it is their dream to achieve so. Every one wants to earn money and it does not come easy. So if you have a dream to make it big, stress management is an art that you have to pick up. There are a number of ways to do so. Within the limited scope provided by the article, some good pointers are meditation, cutting out on other activities that eat away your time.

Another important quality that you will have to pick up is time management; once you know how much time you have and what you have planned for, and how much of it you will be able to achieve, the rest of it is cakewalk. A lot of people complain about the lack of time, but this is the same twenty four hours that any other successful person has. This extra bit of time that you will get out of the savings you make will end up reaping you huge benefits.

The attitude makes a lot of difference to your business. In this business you will have to deal with people who expect you to give them complete attention. They are investing money in you and expect that the best be given out to them. It is a matter of art and business when it comes to home remodeling and you have to give that little extra to please your customers. A good attitude will also bring in a lot of difference in the way you behave with your staff and handle the problems in the business.

There will be times when after a lot of attempts and hard work from your side you may not be able to provide the best solution to the customer. It is in those times that you need to keep the positive frame of mind. Very few are lucky to not face this kind of pressure in the beginning of their careers. There will be times when an opportunity will be lost either in the negotiations or due to competition. You will simply have to take the valuable lessons and learn to make the changes in the way you approach the next client.

Skill and thorough knowledge is a must and this need not be emphasized again that since it is nice home that people entrust you to make, it is also a relationship that you will want to carry forward. A good house made by you gives you good publicity instantly.

The feeling should come naturally to the client that home remodeling is something that you love to do and that they have definitely made a right choice in coming to you.

There is no reference or benchmark to the knowledge that you need in this business. To succeed in any business one has to know all the avenues to monetize the business and make it profitable. There will be points where you will have to deal with new material or designs, but you have to take the new challenge with enthusiasm and passion. This is difficult business to survive and you can find out that all successful businesses in this the home remodeling arena have taken up small tasks to keep the operational costs going and some times just to keep afloat. You have to be mentally prepared to face such a situation where you may have to run the business, with the savings or profits of the previous months. Since there is no guarantee to any constant source of clients since home remodeling is something that any client will want to do on a regular basis.

To beat the market sometimes you may have to under-bid to get hold of good neighborhoods to get easy publicity. After all, a good house stands out amongst the others. Initially few businesses have been able to break even in quick time and at times it may look impossible to ever achieve the profits, but with sincere work, you will reach a point where your profits will soar day in day out.

To start off here are some of the basic concepts that one should not lose sight of:

No matter how big the client or how big the project is, never take up something that you will not be able to complete. In the initial days when you don’t have any prior projects to show as a proof of you capabilities, the only examples that you can provide is your goodwill that you want to provide a good beautiful house to the customer and that your thoughts are streamlined for the best of their interest. You have to show that you are fully qualified to take up the project with your knowledge and understanding on what needs to be done. After all, no one starts with a bagful of projects and it will difficult to make those client understand, who prefer experienced engineers.

In the beginning don’t venture out to do something that you have little knowledge about. The basic assumption being that since you are reading this article and are serious about taking the business ahead, you have idea about how to go about remodeling peoples houses. Since it is a business that you are taking forward the room to make mistakes are very small.

Constant feedback is a must. There will be times where you will have a better idea or something that you think would suit the customer. Point it out to him in a gentle manner or try to push the idea to him slowly by showing him images. This should always happen with you asking for their feedback on a constant basis. You will have chart out the way the client wants some things to be left unchanged. There will always be people who will give you constant feedback and some that will expect you to be smart and there you may have to step up and take more and more timely feed back as and when possible.

Other than these basic points, you will have to slowly start building a good team. There will be a work force required and you may have to become a good manager in such cases. Plumbers, electricians, woodworkers, carpenters, painters and all other skilled labor come at a price and you have to set the initial prices in such a way that you can break even and as the prices soar you may be able to afford them with your business running. It will be wiser to get them under sub-contracts as you will not be able to hire them on a full-time basis until you are having work on a daily basis. This will also give you a good view of the quality of workers available and with time you will be able to choose the best to get your contracts with. Running a business is always about knowing what is best for you and getting to know such people who can get things done. Once you have made a good name for yourself, there will contractors who will want to get associated with you.

Are you the right kind of person to be a home redecorator?

All that is written above is applicable only to the person who is capable of being a home redecorator or remodeler. We have not yet discussed whether you are the right person to do so. Not everything is cut out for all. There are some trades where you will be better and some where you will be not. Nevertheless you will always succeed in the business or job that you are good at and any other thing will only fall short of inclusive success where you may not be a happy with the work or the success that you are achieving.

It has been seen that if you are someone with a knack to re order old furniture and make some constructive use of it, or if you can change the way a room looks just by replacing some of the stuff with some thing new, you are perfectly suited for this business. Typically people who are associated with the carpentry business or people involved in furniture are better suited to take up this choice. Over the years after seeing hundreds of homes and offices they get a good idea of how to arrange the same furniture in a more tasteful way.

The typical wages for the home remodeling business has been surveyed and found out to be $50 an hour and the business is all staged to go up further in the coming years. With the recession in hand and with no signs of going away any sooner, people are preferring to remodel their houses rather than buy or take out a loan for a new one. It makes sense to change the way your house looks to get the feel of a new house.

Another definite skill that you must have is that of organization. Only a good organizer will be able to survive in this business.

Introduction to the kind of work that you will face

Let us see the common tasks that people in this business usually face in this business.

  • Most house owners will want some minor modifications like the cabinets, the simple furniture or the small home office
  • Many look forward to getting the broken parts mended, like the creaky wooden articles, mainly doors and windows.
  • There will renovating work for garages or other rooms in the house, like the kitchen or the bathrooms
  • Changing the modeling of the whole house
  • Additional room for the new baby to come, or a change in the kids rooms once they grow up
  • Energy-efficient structuring.

One more important point being a novice will be the amount that you are to bid for, since it will be difficult to calculate up-front the price that will evenly balance out your expenses and the price that the client is willing to put up with. You need to strike a good balance, and prior experiences will help you in adding up the costs and coming with a correct figure.

Be ready with the following:

Although this article is a guide to the whole process of starting the whole business from the scratch, there are some things that need ground-work and you need to be prepared to do them. This is the homework that will make things much easier for you with time.

Let us differentiate them as:

Material aspects

Things like what tools will just suit the best for you going ahead. With a plan in mind, you will be ready for the work that you will take up. Vehicles that will help in carrying all that you need to take to the client's place. Also get some contacts of well known carriers in such cases. Once the business expands, you can always choose to have a vehicle of your own. Though it comes with the extra botheration of maintenance and a regular hired or paid driver.

Marketing aspects

Contacts are vital for this business, start locally and then spread it in a zone to zone to basis. Sometimes an all out expression could lead to more clients that you can handle that will not be feasible for you to manage.

Both the printing and visual media are to be utilized. Give a good healthy profile. You can hire small agencies that do such work.

One important aspect is the use of the new-age model, the Internet. Seemingly becoming a strong monster in terms of communication, the Internet is the easiest and the fastest way in getting your business marketed.

There is nothing like word-of-mouth when it comes to sensitive work like home renovation. Increase your contacts, and maintain healthy relationship with all the businessmen and organizations that will directly or indirectly assist in this business. Typically all home owners associations give you direct access to many prospective clients looking forward to getting their house remodeled.

A list of contractors and sub-contractors should always be maintained and a seasoned judgment should only be taken after you have worked with them in person for any of the assignments. With hard work and proper dedication put in, there is nothing that will stop you from succeeding in this business.

Getting started

The first and most important thing that you will need to get started is an office. No matter what business you do, if there is a face-to-face interaction involved, you need to have a proper business-like environment where you can take a business deal forward. There a number of things that you need to take care of while choosing a office.

Let us look at the factors that are under your control. One very important aspect will be the budget that you have in mind. There will be a number of initial costs like expenditures on buying better tools and if in your case you are buying a vehicle for easy transport then that will add on. Once you have sorted out these, you need to keep money aside for the office. A professional look to the office and a complete setup to help you in your paper work is a must. Take a good look at the other offices in your area. You need not look out only for offices of home remodeling businesses. Try and look out for a good color combination and solid furniture is always preferable as it adds to the value of the business being done on that table.

Commercial setups have different tax slabs and other expenditures and you may have to look that up. Though many still consider home as a place which is to be kept separate from your office life, today with increasing costs of commercial spaces many prefer to do the work right from home. The end word in this kind of setup is that no matter what you do the family life should not disturb the office life and the same applies the other way around. There are some people who will consider it as a make-do or a less serious proposal, but it sure cuts out a lot of parking related issues and saves a lot of money.

Being in the home remodeling business it also does make sense in carrying the business from a home setup. If you can provide or keep some new models of furniture set or woodwork, it is always nice to be able to showcase them in a the home setup . Clients can get an easy first hand feel about how the thing finally adds up.

Whether the business is setup in your home or you take up an office for the same, there are still a few things that are required to be able to call it an office ready to take up serious business. An office phone where you or your staff can be reached during the business hours is the first such thing. If you are searching for a new number, apply for a convenient phone number and that does not double a home phone. That really keeps personal life interferences to a minimum. Minimal furniture will be essential.

There should ideally be a desk setup for the direct staff who need to do the paper work. For you to carry off the deal, you need a business desk with placeholders for business cards. Pen holders, pins, and other office stationery should be maintained in such order that they are easily located without much of a headache.

Filing cabinets will initially go empty, but a good many number of manuals which are clearly visible to the customer with a catalogue of the various metal work, glass work and furniture will always come handy. You will obviously be adding files for all customers with time and there will be a need for more such cabinets in future. Provisioning for it in the early days if does not add on to your space requirements will do you no harm.

Even if you are planning to put up the office right in your home, the professional look to it is something that cannot be compromised. There will always be clients who always do their first visit only as a way to judge and assess you. Good maintenance and a clean exterior is a must for such cases and that will also put you in the drivers seat in many conditions where you will more comfortable doing business right from your home. One important thing is that there should not be any family interference in there. This is to be applied or adhered to like a law. All businesses which reach success do so after a lot of hard work and years spent in disciplined operation.

Seeing your deals through

One important thing that will make or break a deal is the price that you are quoting. Finally the decision will be made by the customer. There are a large number of things that the customer will thoroughly look into before he makes the deal with you. Typically, after all the basic negotiations and general questioning are done, the question usually comes down to the price. Clients themselves choose to come to the point usually, since after all that you would have shown, the only thing that will be going on in their minds is whether or not they will be able to afford it.

You might need to keep some estimate sheets ready. One of the important things will be templates for most of the work that you do or the kind of work that you are expecting. Taking in to consideration almost all the things that will finally add up to your cost is a must to make this estimate sheet. Not only should you put the prices as the only factor in this case also, prefer to keep time and other manpower estimates as much as possible.

Typical format for such estimate sheets will also act as a good marketing medium for you. For many inquisitive customers, it will go back with them and the more hands it swaps, the better for you. Try and keep a typical picture of a house and the estimate on the other side. Try and keep the picture on the right side of the pamphlet or the folio that you will be presenting to the client.

Keep typical estimates in a good buffer range so that in case of unforeseen delays and price rises that are things beyond your control, you still have the price buffer to help you out. Even if this money will come as a savings later, you can always choose to use them during a dry patch later. They also come in handy to add on a free gift to the client later. These kind of small gestures go a long way in starting and maintaining a good relationship.

Another important point that one should not miss in the estimate sheet is the insurance costs. With rising number of incidents of natural disasters and calamities across the world, home owners globally have this rising fear of losing their homes that way. Mention the insurance coverage, and if you could do some extra homework, do a little bit of extra research wherever possible. Nothing like getting the support right at home like asking your wife to be a partner in such cases and learn the tips and tricks of the policies that are on offer in such cases.

Also keep your estimate as a ready tool for other advertisements. For example if the customer with whom you are dealing at present may not be interested in modeling his garage. Keep all the items that you work on in an iterative list and keep it on the other side of the estimate sheet. Also a list of all the phone numbers and email ids, where they can get in touch with you.

What to keep in mind going forward

It will come as no wonder to you that your clients will want that little extra from you when it comes to their homes. There will be a lot of scrutiny on their part and you may have to deal with all sorts of doubts. Most of them will be about your experience. In the beginning take a good stance and a good poise. Be truthful and honest. They should not sense a vibe of non-confidence in your stance or answers. Likewise there should be some amount of quizzing that you will have to do to touch the right nerves in such cases.

You will have to find out the exact thing that the client wants. He could simply be trying to redo his home for better plumbing. There will be people who might be more inclined towards an artistic view of it. They will be looking for more of traditional furniture. Then there will be some who just want a color makeover. There will be some who want to remodel the kitchen, and some will want a bigger bathroom space. From garden sheds to front yard there will be any thing that the client could be wanting. It always makes sense in showing him an additional appendage that you think will simply do wonders to the overall exterior. The client considers you as an expert in this field and there is no harm in showing off your knowledge here. But you have to dig out the real reason for the remodeling before you start with your our opinions. If the budget constraints are heavy on the client it really would be a good tip to show him the cheaper options.

Underbidding is something that many remodelers approach, but that is not a right attitude to have. There is nothing wrong in making a profit in a business. If you are underbidding you are putting yourself in a weaker position for the rest of your relationship with the person who is willing to get work done from you. He or she will look forward for your unrealistic prices and then no matter how good the final thing is, you will not be able to reach the set expectations.

You may also have to think out of the box and think from the angle at which the client is thinking, For things such as the bedroom or the bathroom the client expects complete control and there you will have to be extra sensitive. Find out exactly what he or she needs and proceed accordingly. You have to be creative in other words in such situations. There are ways to make large and spacious rooms look warm and inviting rather than all consuming. There are color combinations that perfectly make a dark room more lightened and thus reduces the negative connotations to the least. There are ways to add day light to the natural light of a room so that in no circumstance one has to think of artificial lighting. There are ways to rearrange the furniture in a way that they don’t look all encompassing and don’t create any narrow passageway within the clients rooms. In all such cases, a little bit of imagination and your own skills will go a long way.

You will find it difficult in the beginning, if there are things that you think will not be suitable for a particular setup, but finally it is the client who will stay in the house and you can only do your bit. There will be subtle ways of telling your point of view always.

Try marketing your testimonials, like customer feedback, or any other photos taken on-site with your clients just to add to the confidence of the client in such cases. All in all, the summary of the whole thing can put as:

  • never take up any unrealistic project
  • set up correct estimates for the whole project before hand. Also provide visual and textual ways to communicate the same to the user
  • don’t have any notion in your head about anything that you take for granted. Always ask the client. It is their homes and they really know what they want

The team

Now that all the initial setups are done. Let us discuss the most important part of this venture, the TEAM. TEAM is an acronym meaning, ‘Together Each Achieves More’

Being in this business, just like any full fledged business, you will be needing a good team. There should be reliable and able craftsmen. There should be trust and a sense of duty and punctuality. This is the team to manage which you will need all your skills. There will be contractors and sub-contractors. There may not be any emergency situations in this business and taking odd hours might not be the order of the day, but at times, you will have to gather them all and take things forward.

All will have to step forward, from the engineers, to the surveyors, to the other skilled labor like the electrician, the carpenters, the plumbers and the painters. They will have to make commitments and deliver on them. Not all your work will be orthogonal to each other, and there will be times when one will be waiting on the other and thus a little delay in any of the jobs will delay your whole pipeline by some considerable time.

At times there will be conflicts and you might have to handle them since you are the chief employer for them. Being a manager does not always mean keeping a long face and taking notes all the time. You will find it easier to get things done when you are more careful with your team. A little bit of extra attention will not hurt you any.

Now that all the basic steps are traversed and you are going to move in to serious work, it is time that you know and organize the kind of work that you will have to provide as a business. The first most important thing that you will have more demand for from the client is restoration.

Home Restoration and methods

This article will guide you through some of the basic methods that are followed and asked by clients specifically when it comes to home restoration. Most people want their homes to be restored due to a large number of reasons, most of which will linger around the sentimental value that they adhere to the old house.

Most of them would have spent their childhoods in a house and come back to it after years of family life in the busy city, and now all they want is the peace of mind. They have earned enough all their lives and now want the dusk of their lives to be as close to their beginning as possible.

Many couples in the elderly years come back to the first house where they started it all, and they attach a lot of emotions to it. But being neglected or rented or useless for so many years, these houses lose their sheen and they are no longer good enough for human settlement.

Some people also want to auction off their old houses and restoring them makes more sense to make more bids in the auction. There will always be some houses where restoration is a must as they were built a long time ago and it did not follow the minimum safety regulations of the current times. Most cases like this will need fire proof paints or in earthquake-prone regions they will need a complete restoration at times. More often you will have to do work on the exteriors and normal restoration rather than full fledged home restoration.

The fundamental thing that you have to keep in mind is that restoration is the process in which you don’t add on to the existing structure of the building, which in a concrete structure will be the beams and the pillar skeleton. In grander buildings, you will find that the external shell or the walls will have to remain untouched by you and the major work will be the external show and restoration and not any basic changes to this shell.

Let us look at the kind of work that you will mainly need to do in such cases:

Cleanup

Most grand old buildings are made up of material that will show some fading with time but in general do not have much damage on them. With proper cleaning and work on them you can get the old shine back. Most buildings which stand gracefully are so due to careful restoration work on part of the building committee which was diligent enough to get this done by an expert home remodeler like you.

Many of these buildings will have many rooms which are not essentially useless but due to the passage of time have lost a lot of their shine. There will be times when you need to know the material used and the kind of care that is required for them.

Maintenance work

For most old buildings, there will be some amount of basic damage to the outside material, as they suffer the vagaries of nature all the time and that might lead to a genuine need for replacement of the outside material. Table-molded brick work, or stone chips, are ideal solutions in such cases.

Erosion is a natural process and with passage of time this is inevitable in tall structures that have to face the sun and wind and moisture every day. You will have to do proper treatment in such cases.

Complete rework

Complete rebuilding is not the correct sentence to be used here, but at times there will be some parts that will be irreplaceably damaged and there will be nothing short of a complete re-planning. Typical scenarios that exists in buildings that have witnessed accidents like fire where a part of the building was totally collapsed or the internal structure was totally damaged by the fire.

In case of earthquake and other natural situations like a cyclone or a flood, there will be parts of the building that will require complete restoration and there the challenge will be to make the complete building look as good as the rest of the original structure, and there a good choice of building knowledge is a must.

There are cases in some buildings where there are multiple tenants and in multiple lease agreements on the different floors; there might a different choice by a part-owner and the same on the other side. These situations will require prior preparation from your side. For most such legacy buildings another challenge is the safety features and the new technological requirements.

There was a time before mobile communications where all such buildings were surrounded in a mesh of wires and it was a great deal of work for the workers to streamline all such new renovations accordingly. Fire safety being another must that you will have to look at. Legal limitations and work or such legacy buildings will require some homework.

In no way is this work similar to heritage conservation, though. In your business you will be approached by societies who are looking forward to conserve some heritage building and there the job will be of entirely different hue. The main impetus in such kind of jobs will be keeping the original structure intact and getting as close to the original design and materials as possible. Many government offices will be set up in such buildings making the need to put the new requirements like the heating infrastructure set in such buildings. Also, more research will have to be done on the materials chosen and the kind of woodwork that will perfectly blend in such cases. Though such work will be of limited nature, the contacts and the advertisement this does goes a long way for you. Such restoration work is needed in many buildings made in the yesteryears and carried to this day by good restoration from time to time. Such buildings have been marked as important heritage buildings and thus their complete rebuilding is not allowed.

Some of the basic restoration methods that needs to be discussed here are:

Water proofing

This is one of the first techniques that any home restorer will have to take up.

There will be times where you will find that the building that you are working on has material or colors that are susceptible to the rain and with current day pollution and soot stains in industrial areas. It makes sense in making the exterior as much waterproof as possible .

Caulking and Sealing

This is the process of getting all your ceramic tiles to last longer. There is nothing like seeing your tiles last for years and also keep the flooring material below intact without damage as much as possible. Silicon grouting is common in such cases for the tubs and other bathroom ceramics.

You need to a good cleaner for the job. Once that is done, get the grout ready. The grout is in plain words, soft cement and absorb water. So you have to seal it later. Try and use the silicon grout as mentioned above. Caulks are available in various colors and you need not worry that the finishing will not suit to your bathroom. A general place where such caulking will be required will be the bath tub.

Easy availability for the caulking material will be the tile supplier itself.

Epoxy flooring

A revolutionary new technique in floor restoration that has come up in the recent years is the epoxy flooring. Epoxy is a polymer that is available in the market in the liquid form but is very strong after is becomes chemically hardened. They are electrically insulating in nature and thus add to the safety of the building where they are applied.

Epoxy polymers are also great in terms of heat resistance and due to these mechanical properties are gaining immense popularity nowadays. Final finish is great and there is a growing demand for it in the markets. It will be a good start if you could more information on this and have a contractor hired for this purpose.

Carbon Graphite restoration techniques

This topic is beyond the scope of the article and the author will discuss it only on a surface briefing. The most common way to handle the soft materials in such old buildings is replacement. For timbers this is the best possible solution.

Zinc and bronze sculpture restoration

This will need professional help and this adds on to you team mates. You can search for them in the local listings and also in the local google maps. This kind of work mostly involved getting the missing parts together, fusing broken angles, fixing a puncture and others.

Damages to such bronze sculptures is a delicate thing to start with and the better idea will be to be take up such work once the experience and the comfort levels are higher.

Flooring

Most buildings lose their original flooring with time. There are a large number of ways you can take care of this. Expert floor repairing agencies can be hired, but in the long run you need to learn the tips and tricks and get an experienced worker for your own team. This will help you in the long run, since flooring will go a long way with this business.

The challenge mainly depends on knowing what the material needs. For wooden flooring there are a large number of known techniques that people follow like the, single-part coating and double-part coatings. The technical details for the same are available in dossiers that give their intricate details.

A new technique that is now available in the market is the moisture curing urethanes that are chemicals that help in coating the wood to give it life and durability. Other than these the solvent bases epoxies have been already discussed.

Historic preservation

As mentioned in the heritage buildings paragraph, this is typically the more challenging part . These buildings go a long way in history and the local sentiments and there are a large number of eye monitoring you. A good result will definitely take your business a long way but the reverse is true too.

There are two kinds of restoration that you need to be careful about while doing this. They include static and dynamic restoration. Static restoration include all the such work as cleaning with the mechanical brushes and making the building waterproof and the external tampering that will add to the overall show of the building.

The other is the dynamic part where you take care of the structure itself, like taking whole parts and shifting from one side to the other. There will be a need for complete replacement at times where you may have to fight higher expectations.

Also, total relocation is another question which people ask as a possible solution.

Pressure grouting

Pressure grouting has been used a great technique in filing up cracks and all such crevices that show up in old buildings, and sometimes in cases of a wrong builder they could show up as early as the within a few years of building the house.

There are other names for it and it is known as permeate grouting.

Residential repairs

All the above techniques are all focusing around the external work and flooring. For many household cases the restoration techniques will be different, like internal. Most of the conditions will be like a busted pipeline or damage due to fire.

You will be handling regular home owners in such cases and the work will be easier in terms of the complexity as discussed earlier.

Structural Repair

This is complete work with concrete and original frame. Here you will need the help of the engineers in getting the new plans and most of your contractors will be required for the job.

This is the kind of restoration work where you will be showing all your expertise in this field. Typically includes basic changes to the structure of a house or fixes to the elevator system. Things like sewerage accesses etc. also fall under this category.

Water Intrusion

Typical of buildings which were made a good height but with filling up of the local water bodies, the building has come to a lower level. Also due to storage of water during the rainy season across the corner and ill-drained roofs are the main reason for the requirement of renovation in such buildings.

Typical solution for the same is molding. There are contractors who take up the contract for whole buildings which suffer from this issue and they fix it.

Roofing

Being a home remodeler, many a times you will be faced with this exact request. Roofing will be your main item in many houses, and you will have to understand the customer intent in such cases.

Now that most of the techniques that will be needed for restoring homes has been put to you, it is time that before you go ahead with the other parts of the article, you take some time and learn and re-check whether you are comfortable to go ahead with any of the above request if there is a need for so.

The above restoration techniques are not comprehensive and there are still many minor items that cannot be put in the same breath as the ones above and the author has chosen not itemize them together with the ones here.

All in all, there will be clients who will need a combination of the above and at times any of them might be your major focus, but you should keep in touch with the other sub-contractors too.

There are some basic steps to approach when you are going about this business

Organize all the basic information

You need to be familiar with all the basic raw materials that were used in the building and you should know what you are working upon. Many a time there will situations where many useful reusable items might have been thrown away or worked wrongly upon. You need to check out the limestone quality or the marble grade before you go about choosing the right restoration technique on them.

Safety features to be revisited at all times

In most buildings that you will start work, you will find that they have reached some stage of dilapidation and that is one of the main reasons for the restoration or the renovation work. It is will be surprising to find someone who is willing to spend on the work of renovation on a well-to-do home. This kind of house mainly need some work in case of some addition to the family or a upcoming wedding that is planned in the house itself.

There will be more demand for restoration work in older houses and thus increasing the safety concerns that you should have. There should be two levels that you should look after.

Child safety

There will be homes where there are kids and you have to careful with all that you do.

Elderly people at home

Though not a problem to explain to the adults but since they are not familiar with the safety concerns that you may be having, it is still advisable to have better safety measures in place for them.

For your workers

This goes beyond saying that the safety or your workers is of primary importance in any case. More elaborated details for the same below.

Child Safety

This needs complete co-operation from the family and the steps mentioned below will only work out is the family members are also involved. There will be times when your workers will have to be asked to be gentle with the kids and explain to them to stay off the places where the renovation work is taking place.

Get accustomed to the idea that your home is getting some changes and you need to be extra careful for the coming days. This needs some basic habits to be changed. When the kitchen is getting changed, the usual breakfast tables may be relocated and the children who are used to waking up in the mornings and come directly to the kitchen will have to be reminded time and again not to do so. There will be some changes to the habits where they are used to using their own bathrooms, they might have to adjust for a few days with the others in the family.

When the kitchen is getting modified, there will be a temporary kitchen in another part of the building where the children may have been used to play around, and they have to be constantly reminded of the same.

HVAC, also known as the heating, ventilating and air conditioning units will have to carefully monitored and careless work could relate to serious accidents in such cases. In case of caulking when the bath tubs are kept full with water, small kids will have to be kept away from them.

Usually visual signs and plastic sheeting or painted notice boards will come in handy during these times. The parents can always do their bids and you will have to take them in confidence in such cases and let them know in advance that they need to be cautious all the time. Putting physical barriers will be a good solution and that will definitely keep the part of the house that you are working in with hazardous tools away from the reach of such children. Lock the doors if there is a way in and also in case of stair cases that will need some remodeling you need to be cautious in those cases too.

Most of the power tools that are used by the carpenters and the plumbers today look similar to the guns that the children play around with and it's no wonder they fancy these things. This goes true for the elder kids in the family. Make it a point that at the end of the day don’t leave any of the tools around in the house, stray here and there. For this, if required, take five minutes off the work at the end of the day and collect all your tools to one place; that way the next day you will not have to search for them. This will help the parents in telling their kids to cordon off one area and not to move to those regions. Also remove the cords of the tools which are directly connected to a power point, and for battery-operated ones, remove the batteries if you are leaving them behind. For kids they are vulnerable to all these tools very easily.

Also it has to be made a point that your workers are careful while carrying large pieces of wood or cabinets shelves from one place to the other. Curious kids running here and there in the house could causes accidents.

Adults in the family

That is one of the things that many take for granted but there are things where one has to remember that the family members are not experts in matter of home restoration and building and they are susceptible to the hazards during such periods.

One of the important things to be noted is the dust and air that surrounds the work area is not good for all ages. There will be rampant cases of allergies and asthma in kids during the renovation work. The dust and the particulates that will be floating in the air during such renovation work will cause damage to the other parts of the buildings too. Sealing all the HVAC units is a preferred solution in such cases and you will have to do it as mandatory item in your checklist. Protecting the air that circulates in side the house is a must and this will reduce the extent of discomfort that the family will be going through. Vacuum all the horizontal surfaces, like the floors, the carpets, the ceilings, and the tables and all such surfaces where dust could be accumulated. HEPA-filtered vacuuming is a proven choice in such cases and you might want to do that as many times as possible. One such vacuuming session in the end of the day is a must for you. Drywalling is also another of the techniques in such cases. Keeping the tools in control goes beyond saying, even in the case of adults in the family.

The best thing that many home remodelers think and apply is to call up a meeting with all the member os the family, so that even if you rely that your word goes through if you tell it to one of the family member, it is always better to call up a meeting and tell each and every one about the hazards.

Waste bins, or the trash left from the work could be dangerous and every one should be reminded to stay away from them as much as possible. There will be times where you will have to take care that they are disposed of timely. Primers and chemical adhesives and paints leave behind a lot of toxic waste and a little poisoning from them either through air, or water or direct contact could lead to some serious health ailment.

Most paints come with a high percentage of volatile organic compounds, but with the current changes in the safety standards and regulates, many paint companies are bringing out newer paints with low VOC. You can always choose to buy them and use them in your case. There will be paints with no VOC in today's environment- friendly initiatives and ask for those as much as possible.

Though expenditure will go up a bit with all these initiatives but being environment friendly has been found to give better returns in the long run. There will be eco-friendly alternatives in terms of paints, the varnish and all formaldehyde-based products. Also keep in mind to do so in closed rooms or the volatile compounds are easily mitigated to the air around and could cause some complaints from the neighbors as well.

Safety of your own workers

It goes beyond any saying that you will have to invest some time and money to look after the safety of the workers who you will be employing in this business. Always remember they will be good at their own work and expect that a good work environment is provided to them, where they can make the best use oft heir time. They will have to be trained in all the safety procedures in a routine basis, and all such training in the end comes back to you in terms of smooth work year after year without any complaints. Once you follow these basic steps correctly, be assured that success in this business will be then steps away from you. Since your employees are the people who will be directly working on or near the building that will be restored, they will be coming directly in touch with all the dangers of such work. You need to be extra careful about them and get your preparations ready in such cases.

One of the most stringent and careful works that needs a lot of knowledge of the material and surfaces will be cleaning. You will need to contract proprietary cleaners for such purposes. Initially this might look like extra expenditure on your plate but the cleaning process needs a lot of preparation on the part of the contractor and you might not be able to take the whole process up on your own in the beginning. Starting from the materials that are used for cleaning to the house that you are working on, a lot of homework or research needs to done at first. Getting cut or hurt with the chemical bleaches leaves a stain or mark for a long time. At times you will find that in old stuffed rooms, where paint has come off or due to the decomposition process a lot of toxic gas was accumulated over the years .They tend to escape whenever they get a small duct or vent around, and you might be opening up one such fissure in the house. The cleaning people will have to wear the correct clothing for such cases and you need to be careful about the same. It is always better to test your cleaner before you hand over the work to them, and it makes sense to ask them to give sample of the cleaning they do in a three by three area.

Reading the literature that is on the bottles is a good exercise and you should keep yourself updated about their shelf life and their proper usage procedures. All this knowledge goes a long way in helping you select the right kind of cleaner in the future too.

Residue, fumes and other waste that needs to be cleaned away from the surfaces will have to be done carefully. Sometimes due to the pressure of the water in the residue dirt or the fumes will get circulated in the other parts of the building. Pressure should not be applied on new flooring in such cases and it causes harm to the other parts of the masonry too. There will be cases where you will have to cover the nearby articles or other furniture that has not be removed with plastic sheets.

There will be some detergents and cleaning material that will have higher concentration than should be used in the material. Try using a dilution agent as much as possible in such cases. Try and find out the pH adjustment levels for the flooring material that you are working on and also get pH meter in such cases.

In many cases it has been seen that good old masonry has been damaged due to the wrong usage of the cleaner or the use of wrong cleaner all together. Product literature helps a lot in such cases. In cases where a wrong cleaner has been used or the work has been botched up, rubbing vigorously to remove the affects will never work out. Overlapping helps in some cases and you need to be careful in such cases. Also, don’t let the cleaner dry in, this causes a large number stains in the final outcome. Stay away from using any cleaner on a windy or a warm day.

Appropriate temperatures have been found out to be 40 – 45 degrees and you may want to preheat the room or the work place before you get to work. If the temperatures have reached freezing conditions it will be better not to do any cleaning work that day. There are a large number of cleaner liquids that depend on the chemical reactions to take place for them to work the best. In lower temperature the whole process is slowed down and that causes a lot of damage.

Making up the core team

Now that most of the basics and fundamentals of home building are at the tip of your hands, you need to settle down and think who are the people without whom you don’t make any progress in any of you projects. Who are the ones who can be sub contracted or hired for reasonable price when ever you need. This core team will be your future partners in success. As partner I don’t mean that you make them shareholder in your business but in the long run your success totally depends on this core team.

The most important thing that you need to expect from them is that they work in tandem and no work only in their area of expertise or core specialization. They need to consider the time and effort of the others and how they can help the whole team so the results are better. Their efforts will have to be in sync with your intentions which is to provide for the best for your clients. You need to motivate them time and again and need to make them revisit their goals in your organization. Though little in the beginning but small efforts like instigating some core values will cause you to have better control over the team.

One of the main members that you will be needing is the project manager. Some one whom you can rely over to manage the whole project while you may not be in site or busy dealing with the new or important clients. Remember, this will help your concentrate off micro management and you will be able to decentralize your whole processes with time.

This might sound a little too early to think in the same way right now, but all successful people always had little goals that they targeted and climbed their way through the ladder with those small steps.

When you are dealing with a project, you need to find out a few basic things in the beginning. When you are dealing with an old house the first thing you should be doing is finding out more about the house from the local sources. A local library is a good start, sometimes talking with the people around and taking as many photographs as possible. Hiring surveyors and engineers is a must. Get the most out of your crew that you have made by giving them work straight away. You should find out whether extensive work is require for the building or alignment needs to be changed. Once these decisions are made, get your project manager to find out from all the sub-contractors on the amount and quality of the products your require.

Put out the data and have a meeting with the project leader and all the other contractors, and when you are have decided on the time frame that you have in mind, you finalize the price estimates, you need to set a meeting with your client. Always take you contractors with you in such cases, since there will be some questions that you alone will not be able to handle all the time.

The most important fundamentals of renovation

Having business in the back burner always, will keep you running behind the profits and marketing all the time. But there will be some strict guidelines and principles that you must keep in mind. This might look or sound difficult to apply but never take them as things that slow you down. Always consider them as things that make you stronger.

Preservation of the house is your first motto. No matter what you do, you will need to be involved in activities that finally attempt at making the home livable again, giving an old dilapidated house a few years or more, or preserving the heritage of a town. There will be times where you will be telling like customer to strip down the basic structure of the house and that idea may not go through. That is because all that the client might be wanting is to get what he had initially. Realizing that is like doing half the job.

Client is the king. This should the directing principle in your case no matter what you do. If you have finally made something very beautiful but has no use to the client or this was what he did not want you will be in a lot of soup, financially and professionally. Realize this, that each person his or her own choice and when it comes to their own house they will not prefer any one else opinion. They will be attach sentimental value attached to it and expect you to respect it. You will have to spend more time with the client and figure it out and in no condition have your own will in cases or irrecoverable changes or restructuring.

Conclusion

Before you go about starting for your business, there is one thing that should never leave your mind. If you are passionate about the project in hand and are not looking at mindless profits there will be nothing that can stop you or be a barrier in between you and your success. Please keep this in mind all the time and have faith in your self.

The business is all about good marketing, and if you are doing your work on time and you hire the right people there will be little that could go wrong. There will be situations that might be not in your hands and it will be good always to make amendments to your operating system to accommodate them.


Categories: Lifestyle


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