Recent Blog Posts

20-Year-Old Decks: Repair or Replace?

The rails jiggle, the nails are popping, and Dad just limped in with a splinter. Softwood decks can last a long time, depending on how well they’re built, but it’s not uncommon for decks of cedar, pine, or redwood to hold up for 10 to 20 years, at which point they begin to disintegrate in ways that range from unsightly and inconvenient to downright dangerous.

Must-Haves for a Comprehensive Contract

Unless you have someone on staff who can do a Vulcan mind-meld with your customer, odds are you and your potential client will clash about something you thought you had agreed on. When that happens, you’re almost certain to refer to the contract, so the better it is, the greater the likelihood that you’ll avoid problems later. Dennis Dixon, a builder and consultant based in Flagstaff, Ariz.

Four Ways to Keep Workers from Wrecking Your Company

One of the most devastating things that can happen to a business owner is being disappointed by a trusted employee. What does this look like? Here’s one scenario: A person whom the employer feels good about is hired. The usual steps are taken to verify that the employee is what the employer is looking for. The employee seems successful, often for a long time. Then something changes. It could be in the employee’s personal life.

Don't Want to Take Small Jobs? You Should. Here's How to Do Them While Keeping the Big Projects

Many remodeling companies and custom home builders have a niche. Some companies love the big jobs. Some prefer more modest work. The one thing that most companies don’t like to deal with are the service jobs, the tiny jobs, that good clients call with. If you don’t want to deal with service jobs, then don’t do the meat-and-potato projects. Your clients look to you and your company to provide them with solutions to their problems. The fact is you should be happy they feel that way about your company!

Should Radios Be Banned on the Jobsite?

A recent survey polled 730 builders and found more than 80% of them had no policy prohibiting workers from enjoying their favorite tunes while on the job. Among the 18% that do ban radios, some cited basic safety as a reason while other said radios interfered with communication and made it harder to complete jobs on time. "Music for the most part is a major distraction at a job site," one respondent wrote.

How to Approach a Project Started By Another Contractor

Sometimes homeowners will contact you about a particular project that is half way completed. Usually the owner is unhappy with the work their current designer or contractor is doing and will ask you to take over and complete the project. In order to start construction again, most firms will evaluate the existing conditions, request any additional permits, purchase materials if needed, and then begin construction.