Evaluating Your Bathroom Before Remodeling

Bathroom is the last frontier of personal privacy. In our constantly connected word, where communication is so advanced we rarely have a moment to ourselves, most people still hesitate to disturb someone in the bathroom. That simple truth is one of the main reasons so many homeowners long to create spa-like atmospheres in their bathrooms: behind the closed door lies peace and quiet.

Remodeling a bathroom is generally considered a wise investment. A recent cost-versus-value survey indicates that a remodeled upscale bathroom delivers at least a 77 percent return on your investment. In other words, if you sold your house within a year of completing the project, you’d get approximately 77 cents out of every dollar you invested in it. The return is even greater if you’re adding a master bath to a home that didn’t have one or a second bathroom to a home with only one full bath.

Before beginning a bathroom remodeling project, the first step is to evaluate the current room. Here are some questions to ask yourself. The answers will guide your decision as well as the planning process if you decide to go ahead with the project.

- Is the room large enough?

- Does it include fixtures that appeal to you?

- Are the current fixtures safe? For example, does the shower have a non-slip floor and regulated controls? Are the bathtub controls within reach from outside the tub?

- Is there enough storage?

- Are the furnishings, including the cabinets, attractive and in good condition?

- Is the lighting and ventilation adequate? Attractive? Comfortable?

- Do you enjoy spending time there?

If you answer no to more than three or four of these questions, it probably makes sense to remodel the room. Take note of the elements you are satisfied with and those you think need improvement when planning your new bathroom.

Generating Local Leads With and Without a Website

Generating local leads does not require one to have a website, necessarily. It can be a benefit to have a web presence, but how do you wade through all the competition and capture the attention of the reader or seeker of your product/service? This article will provide some strategies that help you define the issue.

One of the issues with websites is the owner’s desire to educate the seeker about every aspect of their business. Often, the home page is packed full of all kinds of related but cluttering information. The viewer can become overwhelmed by information overload and click off to find another simpler site. There are those who are information hounds and it is good to have links from your home page to other pages with all the information one would like to educate the consumer on.

Local service leads and local contractor leads are generally being sought by companies wanting to do business in their local area. Local customers are usually seeking someone in their area to do services for them because of a loyalty to hometown businesses and a sense of community. The idea of having a local company perform work is usually more comforting to the consumer so that in the event some additional work or warranty work is needed, the company is close by and can take care of the issue quickly. Another reason is because a local company doing the required work provides a perception of better prices than calling someone from across town. The cost of fuel is beginning to become a major factor in costs of doing business.

How does one go about attracting local business most economically? One method is to hire a company that will do a several thousand dollar SEO job on your existing website. This can be a good move and if you have unlimited funding you can continue to employ that service to keep your website high in the search engines through continuing climbing rates of cost per click advertising, changing strategies specifically for your site because of Google’s constantly changing algorithms, and just the sheer brute strength of building backlinks and placing banner ads, at an additional cost with local business websites. There are hundreds of companies charging thousands of dollars to initiate campaigns for your website with ongoing maintenance fees of $500.00 per month or more.

Another method is to go with a company that furnishes you with contractor leads, service leads, or other types of business specific leads. Companies that fall into this category include Service Magic, Reliable Remodeler, and a host of other services which have built huge structures of websites to capture people looking for services, contractors, and home maintenance work. Prices range from $25 to $150 per lead depending on the type of lead or “exclusivity” of the leads.

Allow for a word of caution here. Most of these companies are not really providing an exclusive lead. The claim is that the lead is shared only with three to ten or more competitors in your area. Don’t count on it! There are so many companies performing this kind of service that many are selling and reselling the leads to each other. There is an aftermarket for leads several weeks old that get sold at cheaper and cheaper prices. The problem is that by the time you receive the customer information they are often already in the midst of the project with another company, or they are exasperated from having a dozen companies calling them trying to get their business. Many of these leads are costing the lead providers up to $25.00 through pay per click advertising or affiliate advertising. A recent research of cost per click leads for motorized scooters indicated a $50 per click cost. How many times and at what cost must this information be sold to recover the investment?

The best method is to work with a local company that develops local leads through their local expertise and familiarity with the community. This method works equally well for businesses that have no website as well as those with a web presence. There are so many small things that make a huge difference on developing legitimate local inquiries that are lost to huge conglomerates trying to create leads in Palo Alto, California from Alexandria, VA. Look for the company actually located in your town or area. They are typically more focused and can actually provide you with exclusive leads. Their livelihood depends on providing what they promise. Here are some things to look for in a company that will actually provide what they claim.

  • Website or webpage dedicated to developing leads
  • Program specifically targeted to provide exclusive leads to you only
  • A lead capture form that immediately forwards the lead to your email
  • On Page telephone number different from your business number that forwards to yours
  • On Page Address that is different from your business (Important for best Optimization)
  • A link to your website from the lead capture page (Helps improve your website page rank)
  • Intelligent subject related content on their leads pages

Developing the best leads for your service or product can be a pleasurable and profitable experience if you know what to look for and what to avoid. Go local for choosing a company to provide the best home improvement and maintenance leads.

Home Improvement – Best Basement Ideas

Are you living in a house you love, but wish you had more space for your spiritual devotions where you can retreat to your books and your reading when the kids are having a nap? Do you have a dark, dingy, dungeon-like basement, but it is just about big enough to swing a cat in? Are you unsure of what to build because you don’t have the expertise? The first thing you have to do is define the space. Read the following to get you started.

• Be brave and say what the space should be for. Maybe you can’t articulate it in words, but say it by expressing what you want the space for. Don’t go for superficiality, and take time making your decision. The right decision could have glorious results. The wrong decision could be a waste of your money if it doesn’t measure up to your requirements.

• Use your small basement as a hospitality room. As it is not large you have to think carefully how you will furnish it. It is not a grand dwelling, but also not an unreasonable size; you can still create something wonderful.

• If you want to convert it to a guest room for your mother’s yearly visit, you can dress up this simple room with an earthen pot and green shrubby plants and an array of framed photographs on the small dresser. Don’t use this space for a large clumsy refrigerator. A bed, a dresser, an earthen pot and the grand children’s photographs is just right.

• If you love music and movies you can convert this basement space to a home theater or entertainment room where the whole family can entertain themselves. Children who spend time with their parents having fun, have healthy attitudes and are much more likely to be easier to deal with. Have a plasma tv on the wall, and two comfortable couches. Leave this space open and without doors.

• If you are Muslim or Hindu or Buddhist, you may wish to retreat to a prayer room where you are away from the noise of the family to do your devotions. It may be nothing more than sitting quietly, thinking, or meditating.

• A hobby room is also an idea, where kids can play Scrabble or chess, or do jigsaw puzzles, or any other board game they wish to play.

• If you like sewing and making clothes for the kids, this is an ideal room for your sewing machine and a trestle table where you can cut patterns. If you are sewing and designing dresses for people, you will have a little place downstairs where they can come for their fittings.

• A home office or a study room is a great idea if you have a small business and need to do your work on a computer and write invoices and make calls. This is also a place where a child can come to find peace and quiet to concentrate on his studies. Arrange green and blue-purple color lights which improve mental concentration without causing eye strain.