Rebuilding Together Sacramento Rocks!

Construction of a new home by Hiline Builders Inc.

Working with Rebuilding Together Sacramento

Rebuilding Together Sacramento’s “April Rebuilding Dreams” Day

We’re very happy to help out once again to provide some much needed home maintenance and home modifications for people in need. Read more of this post

Lead Based Paint- To Test or Not To Test

I‘ve been hearing alot of debate lately about whether it is in Contractor’s, and Homeowner’s, best interest to forego lead based paint testing when remodeling a home built prior to 1978.
For those of you not familiar with the EPA’s new lead based paint requirements here’s a brief summary-
As of October 2010, the EPA requires all contractors who work on homes built prior to 1978 to become certified lead based paint renovators. This requires them to enroll in an 8 hour course that teaches us how to contain all areas where demolition is being done and how to dispose of construction demolition materials. Following completion and passing of the course an application is sent in to the EPA for approval Read more of this post

Housing Bust may prove to be a breeding ground for Unqualified Remodelers.

Survey’s in. Home starts are down and new home permits are at an ALL TIME LOW.
Many Home Builders are going to become Remodeling Contractors to supplement the workload. This will make Contractor selection for residential remodels a bit more challenging.
Although I have worked with and around many Home Builders turned Remodelers who were very qualified, I have also worked with and around many who were clueless when it came to things like how to blend in old siding, stucco, drywall, with new without obvious defects. There is a huge difference in starting from a clean slate and retrofitting new to old seamlessly. Read more of this post

Construction Costs On the Rise.

For those of you who have been holding off on your prospective remodels waiting for Contractor’s pricing to bottom out, you may have already missed the boat.
Although Contractor’s and Subs LABOR pricing has indeed hit rock bottom and will likely remain there for awhile, the rising price of construction materials across the board will at least offset the discounted labor and will continue to rise through the summer months. Rising fuel costs and the upcoming product demand for rebuilding Japan after the horrible earthquake/tsunami disaster will drive prices even higher. Read more of this post

Nice Surprise!

Sacramento Kitchen Remodel

40's Craftsman in East Sacramento

Sometimes you get lucky and stumble on some nice surprises during the course of a remodel. This particular kitchen remodel presented an unexpected treat. When we exposed the existing ceiling framing, we found that the ceiling had been dropped to 8 feet for some unknown reason and, for a very minimal expense, we were able to remove the dropped ceiling which left the client with a 9 foot ceiling height which, in my opinion, was one of the best enhancements of the remodel. Read more of this post

Preparing for Your Remodel

I always expend a little extra dialog with my prospective remodel clients to try to get a good feel for whether they are truly prepared for the endeavor which they are about to undertake. Over the years I’ve seen some pretty dramatic reactions by people who thought they were ready and when the work began they were completely overwhelmed and unprepared.
Sometimes I think people expect us to come to their homes and very quietly wave a magic wand and presto, the job is complete. Read more of this post

Cost Plus Contract vs. Fixed Price Contracts. Weigh In.

I was just reading some comments from a group of Construction Business Owners on the topic of Time & Materials, (T&M Contracts) vs. the more common Fixed Cost Construction Contracts.
I’ll be very interested in hearing your comments on the concept both from the Contractor’s and the Consumer’s perspective.
For those of you who aren’t clear on the how this works, here’s a general description although there are some variations. Read more of this post

Where do we go from here- A Remodeler’s Perspective

One thing is for sure, “Only the Strong will Survive”
As the reality sets in for remodeling pros that this economy isn’t going to come back around any time soon, we begin to realize that the old ways of doing business just aren’t going to work anymore. And those who are unwilling or unable to make the necessary adjustments have already begun to fade away.

Yes, it’s true folks, housing foreclosures are still on the rise Read more of this post

Housing Index Update

With recent news that the nation’s home values may very well continue to drop over the next several months, it’s no wonder most homeowners have concluded that they may as well get comfortable where they’re at least for the time being.
On the positive side, at least for some production home builders, some areas have actually seen prices increase on new homes. Existing homes however may continue to see a decline in value due to the continuing market deluge of foreclosures with no foreseeable end in sight.
“We should expect house prices to continue to fall, with nationwide prices dropping another 15 to 20 percent to complete the process of deflating the bubble,” wrote Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, in the New York Times.
“It’s pretty clear the housing market has already double dipped,” says David Blitzer of S&P.
Patrick Newport of IHS Global Insight observed that existing home prices in several metro markets had actually triple dipped during the recession.
It has to make you wonder why the policy makers didn’t shift their focus early on to making housing more affordable during the housing bubble rather than allow prices to inflate beyond the average home buyers means and the turn a blind eye to lenders who offer mortgages that were virtually unpayable to many buyers.
The benefits of making housing more affordable to the average buyer would have an enormous impact on our economy. Not burying homebuyers in debt beyond their means frees up much needed cash that could benefit the economy by being spent in various other sectors.
There’s no doubt that when the dust settles and the reality hits that “you might as well make the best of where you’re at for now”, that at least the remodeling industry is due to see an upswing.

Prayer for the Homeless

Last night I dreamed I was homeless and all I had to my name was a sleeping bag and a pillow. As I ran across a very busy street I dropped my pillow but I had to keep running as the cars were coming at me very fast. When I reached the other side I turned and watched in horror as a car ran over my pillow. All that remained was a rectangular pile of dust.
As I stood there staring at this pile I was very sad because I knew how much I would miss that pillow on those cold dark lonely nights.


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