Communicating With Your General Contractor

Managing Numerous Properties Takes Skill, Organization, And Prioritizing What Is Important

Posted by on Nov 11, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Managing Numerous Properties Takes Skill, Organization, And Prioritizing What Is Important

When building a real estate empire, it’s important to manage the properties you own with some skill. While it’s possible to hire a management company to make the process easier, some investors choose to make managing their properties their full time job. If you are one of the investors who is ready to quit their day job and focus only on managing your properties, knowing how to manage properties successfully is essential. Prioritize Finding the Perfect Renters When looking for qualified tenants, it’s essential to do more than simply market to the masses. If you are looking for a specific type of renter, then you have to be more strategic in how you market your property to potential residents. Even when you don’t have any openings, it will help your business to stay on the minds of people who might be searching for apartments in a specific area. When people think of you first when they have a friend or family member that needs an apartment, you are less likely to have empty units. Look for Trends in the Day to Day Management of Your Business While you will likely have staff that handles calls, reviews rental applications and organizes any maintenance or yard services that work on your properties, you still need to keep an eye out for trends. When you notice that there have been a number of calls regarding one type of repair, or the lawns of your properties look disheveled on a regular basis, it’s time to step in and rectify the situation. Stay on Top of Your Business Finances Your bottom line depends on a number of factors. If units aren’t filled quickly enough, if repairs are more costly than expected, or you aren’t getting the rent you thought you would for each unit, your bottom line can suffer. If you leave the money management up to staff, there could be problems that you are not aware of until it is too late. While you may want to have staff that handles collecting rent and paying bills for your properties, it’s important to check in on a consistent basis when it comes to the finances of your property. Let Your Employees Know What You Expect When you hire employees to help you manage your properties, be clear right from the beginning about what you expect from them as employees. The clearer you are at the start, the better  trained your employees will be on your expectations. For more information, contact institutions like Cambridge...

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How to Design the Lighting in Your Kitchen

Posted by on Nov 3, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How to Design the Lighting in Your Kitchen

Whether you realize it or not, lighting plays a huge role in your everyday life. Light can darken or brighten a color, a face, a room, even accentuate beautiful works of art. Home lighting often goes unnoticed until you enter a home with proper, beautiful lighting. So before you decide to post a selfie stirring spaghetti, it’s best to take a quick look at a few tips on how to take your kitchen from dull to beautiful. Recessed lighting – Sometimes referred to as “can lights”, recessed lighting consists of lights that are recessed into the kitchen ceiling. They not only look sleek, they can go anywhere and, when placed around the perimeter of the room, can help you avoid shadows around islands and cabinets. Perfect for when you’re trying to read a recipe or measuring cup. Be practical in your placement; if the hood over your stove has a light, you probably don’t need another right there. Under the cabinet lighting – Not too long ago, lighting under kitchen cabinets was considered a luxury reserved for only high-end homes. Now, it’s become a must-have in a new kitchen or a remodel. LED is the popular choice and especially strips of LED lights under the cabinet. Be sure to place them in the front section of the cabinet for optimum lighting of the countertops. Strips are also hidden from view, another attractive aspect. Even better, set them on a dimmer and control the brightness. Pendant lighting – This references the lights that are hung from the ceiling with a cord and they are most often seen over an island or sink. They are often very stylish and can range from ornate to simple and colorful. You’ll want to keep the pendants high enough so you can look across them without obstruction and stay within the theme of your kitchen style. Use one with a shade for task lighting, such as over the sink. Kitchens are the heart of the family home. You make your meals there, you talk there, you sneak in there, you fight in there, and yes, you take selfies in there. Lighting is vital to the feel and enjoyment of the room. It is part of the functionality of the room, and placing the lights in the wrong areas will cause shadows and keep you from using certain countertops. Find a lighting scheme that fits your style and watch your kitchen totally transform. If you need help putting in new lights, or are looking for a remodel, consider contact local remodeling specialists, such as Qualtire Plumbing &...

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Three Attractive Window Treatment Options For Energy Efficiency

Posted by on Oct 26, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Attractive Window Treatment Options For Energy Efficiency

If you are looking for ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home, window treatments can be a great investment. These can be inside or outside your home and give you a lot more than just energy efficiency. You can choose from things like curtains and plantation shutters to improve energy efficiency and the look of your home. Here are some ideas to give your home attractive window treatments with energy-saving benefits: 1. Adding Shutters To The Exterior Or Interior Of Your Home The exterior of your home can be a great place to add shutters. These can be traditional plantation style shutters, or they can be more modern roll-up styles. The exterior shutters can also give your home storm protection. If you want to have a nice look for the interior of your home, you may want to consider plantation shutters for areas like kitchens and living rooms. These will be easier to operate from the inside of your home and can be made of many materials, such as wood and vinyl. 2. Using Thermal Blinds To Add Insulation To Thin Glass There are also thermal blinds available, which are designed to improve the energy efficiency of windows without replacing them. These are double-sided types of blinds that help to insulate windows. Thermal blinds can be a great addition to your home if you have drafts from thin glass. You can even use these types of blinds to help improve the energy benefits of modern windows that you have installed in your home. 3. Blocking Sunlight And Improving Insulation With Thick Curtains If you want more of a classic look in your home, curtains can be another great addition to help improve the energy efficiency of windows. Curtains can help to add insulation to windows, as well as help block direct sunlight. This can help keep the heat in your home during the winter months, as well as help reduce heat gain during the summer months. Another benefit to curtains is that they can be used with many of the other window treatments, such as thermal blinds. If you do not like the look of blinds, but want the benefits, you can cover them with thick curtains that have a design that meets your tastes. These are some ideas to give your home window treatments that do more than look good. If you are ready to have some of these treatments installed on your windows, contact a window and door installation service to get the help you need with your windows. Click here for additional...

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7 Types Of Drywall For The Perfect Wall Finish

Posted by on Oct 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 7 Types Of Drywall For The Perfect Wall Finish

Thanks to ease of installation, low cost and natural strength, drywall has replaced plaster as the primary material for residential walls and ceilings in the U.S. While many people are familiar with standard drywall — which consists of a gypsum core coated with heavy paper — some may be unaware of just how many variations of this product are available. Subtle changes to drywall materials and construction during manufacturing results in products that may look very similar, but actually offer very different benefits. Understanding the different types of drywall on the market can help you choose the right product for your project and create a finish that will endure. Moisture-Resistant Drywall Moisture-resistant drywall, also known as green board for its characteristic green coloring, is designed for kitchens, bathrooms and other areas that may be subject to moisture or humidity. This material features wax-coated paper to repel water, and some varieties also have silicone or oils added to the core to resist moisture. Keep in mind that this product is not waterproof, but it does offer greater resistance to moisture than standard drywall. Plaster Board If you like the look of traditional plaster, or you plan to use specialty finishes like Venetian plaster, swap standard drywall for plaster board. Also known as blue board for its blue coloring, this product uses special paper for an ultra-smooth finish that bonds well with plaster compounds. Fire-Resistant Drywall Fire-resistant drywall, also known as Type X, features a denser core with glass fibers mixed in to make the wall more resistant to heat and flames. It essentially takes the fire rating of a way from a standard 30 minutes to a full hour, which means more time to escape and less property damage in the event of a fire. This product is often required by building codes when drywalling stairwells, garages and certain other areas. Impact-Resistant Drywall Many schools and hospitals skip standard drywall in favor of impact-resistant board, also known as high-abuse board. This product is lined or coated with fiberglass mesh to increase the strength of the board, which helps reduce dents, holes and other signs of damage. Sound Board While no drywall product is truly soundproof, sound board — or sound-resistant drywall — helps to reduce sound transfer between rooms or floors. This product alternates layers of gypsum with layers of plastic, specialty glue or other materials. These layers absorb sound while also stiffening the board to reduce vibration. Cement Board While green board is a great choice for moisture-prone areas, it won’t hold up against frequent water exposure. To construct walls behind tiles, such as in the shower, stick to cement board. This product is made of cement, not gypsum, and uses glass fibers for added strength and moisture-resistance.  Phase-Change Drywall Phase-change drywall, also known as heat-absorption drywall, is one of the newest innovations in the drywall market. This product contains tiny chemical capsules that absorb heat by day, then slowly release it throughout the night. When used in passive solar design, this product can help to reduce the demand for air conditioning and heat, saving money on operating costs while reducing the impact on the environment. For more information about drywall choices, talk to a drywall company such as Zip...

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3 Questions to Consider before Speaking with an Awnings Dealer

Posted by on Oct 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Questions to Consider before Speaking with an Awnings Dealer

Choosing the most appropriate awning for your home can be challenging, given that there are multiple options to choose from and that this type of shade can provide sun protection both inside and outside of the home. However, the most important aspects to consider are the material used to cover the awning and whether or not you want your awning to stay in one place all year long. In addition, some homeowners have chosen to install stationary awnings over doors and windows that need that protection year round or to use one or two portable units to move around the house as the need arises. What Material Would Be Best for Your Home? It will be helpful to consult with your awnings dealer about choosing the most appropriate materials for the device. For example, you may think of awnings always having a fabric cover, but if your area is prone to heavy snowfall or high winds, the extra strength that comes from aluminum coverings on a standard aluminum frame is a good idea. Conversely, if the primary purpose of an awning will be to provide shade during long, hot summers, polyester or cotton may be the most appropriate material for your needs, since unnecessary metal may transfer more heat to the area under it. Why Consider a Stationary Awning? Once installed, a stationary awning is a permanent addition to your home. As a result, it is often heavier and sturdier than its removable counterpart, and its design is known to collect snow and other cold precipitation. As a result, you will note that its increased size and durability can make it hard to install. That means that with few exceptions, it is a good idea to plan for professionals to install it. In addition, you should also be sure that the size, material, and precise placement of the awning is exactly what you need, since removing and reinstalling it is not typical. How Can a Portable Awning Benefit You? A portable awning is often the best choice when you want one or two units that can be moved around your home as your physical activities or the position of the sun changes. These awnings are lightweight and freestanding, so few people need any help getting them ready to use. Their reduced weight and ease of movement is a trade off, however, for the lack of support portable awnings provide. They will not do well when expected to stand up to excessive wet or freezing precipitation, and therefore may be better used during the summer. In conclusion, it is not necessary to use either portable or stationary awnings exclusively. They both have several attributes and can make your yard a more comfortable and attractive place to spend time. Find an awnings dealer like to start your...

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How To Patch And Texture Drywall

Posted by on Oct 14, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Patch And Texture Drywall

Many home builders will sell new houses with the basement unfinished. This is because different homeowners have different ways of using their basement. If you want to make your basement comfortable and converting it into livable rooms, the first thing you should do is finish the walls. In most cases, the basement will have drywall installed, but the screw holes and taped seams will not be patched or textured. This article will explain the things you need to prepare the drywall before you paint it. Using Drywall Mud For spreading the drywall mud, you need a hawk and trowel. A drywall hawk is just a large flat aluminum plate with a handle on the underside. It basically serves as a holding tray for your mud. You fill the hawk up with mud and then use the trowel to spread the mud onto the wall. So, in one hand you have the hawk, and in the other you will have the trowel. The mud is easy to work with because it does not dry too quickly. You want to cover all of the seams between the drywall boards. Most likely, the seams will already be taped. You want to make sure the mud covers the tape texture, so it is invisible. The small screws holes are easier to fill and cover. Of course, try to spread the mud as thinly as possible, while still covering everything. Hand Trowel Texture If you want a hand troweled texture, you will use the same tools to apply it. The beauty of hand troweling is that there is no right or wrong way to do it. You can get creative and try a repeating pattern. However, it usually looks better when the textures is just random. Spray Texturing Many people prefer the look of spray textures. These textures are easier to apply, but they do require an extra step. First, you need to wait for all the mud to dry. Then, using texture spray cans, you simply spray it on. The spray texture goes in thinly so it does not take too long. Once your wall is textured, it will basically be ready for priming and painting. This is another great project that you can do on your own time. Have fun with your basement when it comes the texture and paint job. You can make it functional yet fun at the same time. For professional help with your drywall, contact a company such as Hopley Builders...

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Tips To Lowering Utility Costs Over The Summer

Posted by on Oct 9, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips To Lowering Utility Costs Over The Summer

Managing a business requires making sure you keep your costs at a minimum and increase your profits. One of the costs that you will incur, and one that can get away from you quickly, is the utility bill. There are several factors that go into your utility bill, but your air conditioner will be one of the main ones during the summer. Here are a few tips in reducing your overall utility costs in the summer. Take an Assessment Before you look at more energy efficient air conditioners, or hire a company to come in and give you an energy audit, take an assessment of your company. You will want to look at what lights are left on all of the time, and if you have any lights that could be changed to motion sensitive or timers. In addition, look the temperatures that your building is set at. Something to ask yourself is whether you need to have the same temperature all day long, or if you can get away with adjusting the temperature to save money when employees are not around. Have an Audit Done You do not want to have a monetary audit run on your business, but you do want to have an energy audit company assess your business. They can help you determine if you are using energy efficiently, as well as help establish ideal practices. Some of the things they can help you change include learning when peak times are for utility companies and exterior temperatures. They will be able to help you trim extra energy expense; including learning which devices can be switched out for energy efficient models. Turn it Off When you are not in the building, you want to make sure that your equipment is turned off and your commercial air conditioner is not being taxed. This means turning the temperature up to a higher level, but you still need to make sure that your building stays cool enough to keep your equipment working properly. Some of the equipment that can be turned off includes vending machines, printers, microwaves, computers, and scanners. If you cannot turn the computers off, consider putting them into hibernation mode to conserve power. Program When Possible One of the easiest ways to keep your energy use at a minimum is using programmable thermostats and outlets. Programmable thermostats allow you to have specific times for the temperatures to be higher, as well as turning off air to areas of the building that are not in use. Programmable timers allow you to have power turned off to specific outlets so you will not have to worry about reminding employees to do it. These are only a few tips in keeping your utility bill at a lower cost. There are many other ways to become energy efficient, including having skylights put in or having blinds open during the...

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