Great Blue Heron searching for building material at the free home improvement store by the bank 🙂
Tagged: , Cook County , GBH , Great Blue Heron , Rookery , Spring 2015 … Read More
What child who has grown up watching Sesame Street would forget the song “People In Your Neighborhood”? It is one of the songs in the children show which introduced to children different kinds of professional offering their services to the community. It is probably through this Sesame Street segment and song that some children developed their dreams and what they want to become in the future. The carpenter is one of those professionals featured in the show, but there’s more than being featured in a kiddy show that would attract young people to pursue a career in carpentry.
Becoming a carpenter is an exciting job with new opportunities coming on a daily basis. A carpenter would not know what kind of projects he will be doing. In comparison with other jobs, a carpenter may consider each day as adventurous instead of timid or a pressure.
This carpentry career leaves one with a feeling of different fulfillment. If you are a carpenter who built a home, it will surely feel good knowing that the owner of the house is safe, sound and satisfied with your creation. This career involves applying your workmanship, creativity and strength to make beautiful structures that help other people.
At an early age, the passion for this career may already start to bud, perhaps triggered by a program like Sesame Street. With toys like Lego and building blocks the child would be seen creating structures resembling houses and buildings. As the child grows to adolescence and young adulthood, he will be seen building more feasible structures like bird houses, ramps, tables or chairs. Some people who have passion in carpentry is sometimes shied off once they know that carpenter may only earn small amount in the beginning. Yet if your heart is really in this building profession, you would be wise to pursue it. Not many people are aware but a great and professional carpenter who did amazing homes and buildings can actually earn more than six figured amount of money. A carpenter may earn about $30 an hour but this can increase as your quality of work improves.
To enrich your interest in carpentry you can attend programs in vocational and carpentry school. Though you will need less amount enrolling for a carpentry program than in enrolling for college degrees, the level of excitement is just the same. There are now online courses offered to aspiring carpenters as long distance learning modes. This is great for people who are working but wish to pursue a carpentry career at the same time. After completing the course you can apply for a position in an established carpentry firm or work independently. If in case you wish to work freelance, you need to really work hard to achieve the best carpentry result. If your clients were happy and satisfied with what you have done, they will recommend you to other people they know and thus increase your earning potential. Remember that along with high quality of work, you also … Read More
Most building contractors in Utah are quoting $20-$100 per square foot as the “range” for finishing a basement in Utah!
With the real average price being closer to $25-$45 a square foot, for the average home.
Why is it that price and is everyone charging that?
There is a “Utah Basement Finishing Company” (www.Finishedfor14.com) out there that specializes in finishing basements, that’s all they do! In fact what’s really cool is that they have developed a system that guarantees a finished basement (with top quality, expert craftmanship of course) for an unheard amount of only $14 a square foot! And, they are not “skimping” on materials or worksmanship!
The secret is in their “system”. They have developed a process of design, construction and finishing that allows them to offer an unbeatable price and still provide a professional job done!
Yes there are variables in every situation and there are unforseen things lurking behind walls, etc. They have figured all of that out!
Don’t let the “finished for 14” concept worry you or let you believe that you will be getting anything short of the best quality, attention to detail and a job finished on time.
The best way to judge any company or job is to ask for referrals to jobs they may have done for others and see what they think. Look at their work, talk to their existing customers.
Some may scoff at the idea that anyone could finish a basement in Utah for only $14 a square foot, but remember the secret is in the system. Every other contractor and builder in Utah could charge the same……….but they either haven’t figured out a system or they may be overlooking (and over charging) something.
The following are some of the things you should insist on (up front in writing) when getting your basement finished in utah, regardless of the price!
1. Framing: Make sure they furnish framing materials (#2 or better) and labor necessary to complete the construction of all parts relating to your project.
2. HVAC: Make sure they Install heat runs and cold air returns according to industry standards and practices
3. Electrical: Install wiring, outlets, lighting, smoke alarm, switches, covers, and plates according to your plans.
4. Insulation: Standard R-13 insulation to be installed in exterior walls per industry standards and practices.
5. Sheetrock: Insist on 1/2 sheetrock on walls and ceilings per plans. Be sure they will tape, double, flush and finish smooth per industry standards and practices.
6. Finish Carpentry: Look for them to provide and install doors, casing, and baseboard. Also includes standard space saver closets and linen closets where applicable.
7. Paint: Provide material and labor for single-tone paint. Color to be selected by homeowner-(one coat primer-one coat finish)
8. Misc Hardware: Provide and install door knobs, door stops, closet rods, electrical trim.
9. Clean-up: Be sure to ask about and have the contractor be responsible for all construction related clean up, and debris disposal. Have them isolate work areas … Read More
Anytime you introduce change in an organization, challenges can arise. Business Process Improvement (BPI) is no different. Whenever a process changes, you can expect push back from someone! So, what are the different challenges you might face and how can you overcome them?
1. Prioritizing the work: When multiple opportunities exist, you may find it hard to identify the biggest opportunity. On NBC’s The Biggest Loser, you can easily see who has the biggest problem! You can accomplish the same thing with business processes by building a Process Prioritization Matrix.
Merge your list, or inventory, of processes and prioritization criteria into a single spreadsheet, using the rows to list the business processes and using the columns to list the criteria. If you do not have criteria established to help you prioritize, identify some by thinking about the impact, current state, and value of the existing processes as a starting point. Begin your improvement efforts with the highest scoring process.
2. Avoiding scope creep: Once you begin working on a single business process, you can easily veer away from the original focus of the work. Have you ever started a project at home and then you find that one thing leads to another? This happens all the time in BPI work because new ideas, demands, and needs surface as you get into the work, and the temptation is to continually expand the scope of a BPI effort.
Before you begin working on improving a business process, establish a foundation for your work. Similar to building a house, where the foundation carries the weight of the entire structure, the process “blueprint” will help you to avoid scope creep. While you can do this in various ways, I find it helpful to create a one-page document that includes, at a minimum:
3. Getting people engaged: In the perfect world, you have sponsorship for BPI, but this does not always exist. Colleagues may not see “what’s in it for me,” or you may not have a culture of improvement in your organization.
Employees have to “own” process improvement to achieve sustained success because that is where the POWER of business process improvement lies! Until everyone in an organization sees BPI as part of their normal day-to-day responsibilities, process improvement will always come and go.
While managers clearly have a role (they are employees too), their responsibility lies in creating the right environment for process improvement. The problem with this idea though is that many managers got to where they are today because of their ability to deliver results as individual contributors.
All managers should list BPI on their annual performance plan and have part of their year-end review focused on their achievements in this area. They cannot view BPI as an “event” that they can check off though – it … Read More
Once upon time, in a quiet village, stood a small bungalow, which suffered from neglect because its owners didn’t have any money to maintain it properly. A sign "for sale" had been standing in the front garden for a very long time, but nobody was interested since the bungalow was of very modern design, which was a sharp contrast to the rest of the historic village. Day after day the wood rotted away and nature slowly took over the garden, until only a complete make-over could help the bungalow to survive…
Tagged: , Home Improvement , bungalow … Read More
Your client, Home Products Universal (HPU), distributes home improvement products to independent retailers throughout the country. Its management wants to explore the possibility of opening its own home improvement centers. Accordingly, it commissions a consulting firm to conduct a feasibility study, which ultimately persuades HPU to expand into retail sales. The consulting firm bills HPU $150,000, which HPU deducts on its current year tax return. The IRS disputes the deduction, contending that, because the cost relates to entering a new business, it should be capitalized. HPU’s management, on the other hand, firmly believes that, because the cost relates to expanding HPU’s existing business, it should be deducted. In contemplating legal action against the IRS, HPU’s management considers the state of judicial precedent: The federal court for HPU’s district has ruled that the cost of expanding from distribution into retail sales should be capitalized. The appellate court for HPU’s circuit has stated in dictum that, although in some circumstances switching from product distribution to product sales entails entering a new trade or business, improving customer access to one’s existing products generally does not. The Federal Circuit Court has ruled that wholesale distribution and retail sales, even of the same product, constitute distinct businesses. In a case involving a taxpayer from another circuit, the Tax Court has ruled that such costs invariably should be capitalized. HPU’s Chief Financial Officer approaches you with the question, “In which judicial forum should HPU file a lawsuit against the IRS: (1) U.S. district court, (2) the Tax Court, or (3) the U.S. Court of Federal Claims?” What do you tell her?
Home Products Universal (HPU) is a distributor of home improvement products to retailers nationwide. The management of HPU wants to explore the possibility of opening its own retail centers. HPU hired a consulting firm to study the feasibility of expanding into retail sales. The consulting firm billed HPU $150,000 for services rendered. HPU deducted the charge on its current year tax return. The IRS disputed the deduction saying that since the cost is related to entering into a new business, the cost should be capitalized. HPU’s management contends that since the cost is related to HPU expanding its existing business, the cost should be deducted. The management HPU has considered legal action against the IRS. The Federal Court in HPU’s district has ruled that if a company expands from distribution into retail sales that the cost of the expansion should be capitalized. The Appellate Court ruled that in certain circumstances switching from product distribution to product sales is considered entering into a new trade. In a separate case involving a taxpayer from another circuit, the Tax Court ruled that the cost of expansion should be capitalized. In considering legal action against the IRS, HPU’s Chief Financial Officer has raised the question of which judicial forum the lawsuit should be filed: the U.S. District Court, the Tax Court, or the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
The appropriate forum for filing the lawsuit against the IRS would … Read More
Are you tired of the look of your current bathroom layout and feel that it needs a total upgrade? If so you are one of the many people who don’t particularly like the way their bathroom looks. The bathroom is probably the most overlooked room in your home because most people do not feel that the amount of time they spend there warrants the expenditure of money or energy on undertaking a renovation project.
This is in fact quite wrong as a recent study indicates that women will, on average, spend the equivalent of 2 years and 9 months of their lives standing in front of their bathroom mirror fixing their make up and ensuring that they look ‘just right’ before venturing out of the house.
In reality the bathroom home improvement is easily the best place to start you renovation work as you can accomplish quite a transformation with a little imagination, a splash of flair and, of course, a few basic building skills. If you are interested in upgrading your bathroom, but really don’t know where to start, do some research so you can consider the options that are open to you.
The ease of undertaking a bathroom renovation is due to the fact that the average bathroom is quite small in size and therefore a fairly modest remodeling program will have some marked results. Most bathroom renovation ideas are often centered on a replacement of wall and floor tiles as well as the inclusion of new fixtures and fittings. Don’t be put off attempting the project if one of your bathroom renovation ideas includes enlarging the space. The chances are that extending the area of you bathroom will not be too difficult as it could be as simple as removing an adjacent closet or a dividing wall. You will be amazed at how even a relatively small increase of the bathroom area can have a remarkable effect on the look and feel of the room.
Summon Up The Courage And Implement Your Bathroom Renovation Ideas!
Don’t be put off by the big jobs – stripping down the entire bathroom may look like a complicated job but, in all reality, it is quite simple and requires little more than some hard labor by you (and maybe a friend or two). If you are ever going to introduce some good bathroom renovation ideas then you have to get out of your comfort zone and learn some of the skills needed to undertake the work.
If you really are a novice when it comes to renovation work, then it may be in your best interest to engage a professional builder for some aspects of the job. This way you can observe how he approaches the job and you should also be able to throw a few relevant questions his way. Take time and study how to operate the particular power tools needed on the job. Quite often you can download from the internet some quite well presented instructional guides which … Read More