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Recent Blog Posts

Deck as Living Room? Not Far Off

Gary Marsh, a much-published deck designer and builder in Northern California, still gets calls from people who want curves. When Marsh—trained as an artist, designer, draftsman, and builder—first launched his business, All Decked Out, curves were curiosities. That was 1979. Though design in California, where the biggest trees on the continent grow, has always made innovative use of wood, Marsh’s signature curves and organic shapes put his deck designs in another league. In his original mission statement, the contractor/designer announced that he was “striving to reshape the image of a deck. ” Platform Blues Fast-forward 38 years and the image of the deck has indeed been reshaped. Decks are not what they were, or at least they don’t have to be.

Five Tiny House Ideas That Work for Big Houses Too

There's something to be said for living small and clutter-free, but most people want the benefits of a tiny house lifestyle without actually having to cram into 250 square feet. Realtor. com's Jennifer Geddes presents five tiny house design tips and tricks that can easily be applied to a regular single family build. 1. Carve out storage in surprising placesTake a tip from tiny houses, where storage space is at a premium, and make use of every square inch. “My husband cut into the stairs to make shelving for our shoes,” says Julie Coraccio, a professional organizer at Reawaken Your Brilliance in Raleigh, NC.

When It Comes to Siding, Looks Are Everything

Beauty may be skin deep, but when it comes to siding, at least, looks are everything. Google search “siding curb appeal” and help yourself to the roughly 1.5 million links on that topic, many leading to real estate agents' pages eager to point this fact out. But here’s the paradox: The people who own the house are usually in the house, looking out, not outside the house looking in.

4 Ways to Exceed Expectations

Many years ago, I began thinking about the subject of exceeding expectations. I would field phone calls from upset clients or listen to team members’ frustrations and I found that most of the time the root of the problem lay in expectations that were set but not met. Because of this dynamic, I began to train, coach, and write about the topic. Over time, I developed the following simple guidelines to help create, and then exceed, expectations.

How to Write a Small-Job Proposal

Some things to keep in mind when preparing a small job “proposal. ” Keep It Simple While Being CompleteI agree that you don’t want to overwhelm the client with too much detail. However, you want to protect yourself and your company from being regarded by the client as not giving them enough detail. Address the EssentialsA good proposal and estimate addresses these questions: What is the problem to be fixed?

Sales Strategies For Custom Builders

The strengths of a home builder’s skill set typically include being adept at assessing risk, entitling land, securing permits, negotiating with finance people, and, of course, managing construction. But selling tends to be the weak link. Sales consultant and author Jeff Shore says that the advice he first gives his builder clients who are looking to improve in this area is to decide what you are.