PR May 2007

August 16, 2010

Features

Remodeling clients across the country are requesting maintenance-free, environmentally conscious decking products, and ways to improve the outdoors and the time they spend there. Manufacturers, builders and remodelers alike are stepping up to the plate by expanding their offerings. Here are five of the biggest trends in outdoor living today.

The common presumption when adding to an almost two-century-old historic Georgian home is that preserving design authenticity is key. But although maintaining authenticity was key in this Virginia sunroom addition, the exacting homeowners wanted casual living space that was modern and of its own time.

Remodeling a 1920s kitchen to expand the space and update appliances to accommodate the owners' love of cooking.

Orfield Design & Construction combined Arts and Crafts and art deco to save this home from its previous remodels.  By successfully blending the two styles, the company created an award-winning project.

Designing and building outdoor living areas for your clients triggers a quandary: What style should it be? The easy answer is to slap a wood or composite deck onto the back of the house. But your clients are likely to be more delighted with an outdoor living area that takes its design cues from the house itself.

I have been in business for 19 years, and I will tell you hiring is by far the hardest yet most important aspect of my job as president of my company. I have tried more approaches to hiring than I ever care to admit. In these past 19 years, I have found a few helpful areas to focus on that I would like to share:

If you have a Trade Secret you would like to share, e-mail Senior Editor Jonathan Sweet at jonathan.sweet@reedbusiness.com.

Products for building or remodeling a deck.

New product showcase plus flooring products and tools

Once you've been in the business for a while, a lot of your clients can be referrals. Does your marketing plan change to attract those referrals? Tom: Today's subject is "Marketing for Referrals." Jeff, in your terms, how would you define marketing in and of itself? Jeff: I would consider marketing as what our image is in our community.

There is an old saying, "numbers don't lie." This is true, but they can also be very confusing when it comes to your remodeling business' profit and loss statement. Why is that? Most financial programs are set up to accommodate IRS standards. What you and I need is a program that helps us run a more effective and efficient business — a business that pays us well and produces a double-digi...

This month's cover story makes me feel old. It's one thing to look in the mirror and see the wrinkles creeping across your face like cracks in an old plaster ceiling. It's another matter to discover that American business thought leaders are beginning to pay less and less attention to my generation — baby boomers — in favor of a younger, wealthier one — Generation X.

Auditing a home for energy-efficient upgrades

With their higher spending habits, the members of Generation X are poised to become the largest portion of the remodeling market by 2015. Remodelers can learn ways to reach this very different age group as baby boomers age and slow their spending.

With the topic of global warming now fixed in the national discourse, green building and remodeling has surged. Contractors, architects and clients are more likely than ever to ask: how can this project be energy efficient, resource-conservative, and healthy and comfortable, too? Those questions apply to outdoor living areas, too: how can we use green building principles to construct this deck?...

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