Year: 2020

Written by Mike West One of the worse things that can cramp your lifestyle is living with an outdated bathroom. Yet these antiquated bathrooms can be dramatically refinished to bring you into the 21st century! Some homeowners would like a bathroom that is utilitarian, while others may want a master bathroom to pamper themselves in. What do you want?

Your budget and your answer will help determine the best way to renovate. Do you want to expand your bathrooms footprint? Are you going to utilize the existing space to help save on costs? Are you thinking of adding a room addition to help accommodate your new bath? These are a few options to consider which vary greatly in cost.

The most common remodel is utilizing the space already given, this is also the least expensive. The next option is to move around your rough plumbing to change the layout of your fixtures, beware however because this can drastically increase the overall price tag. You have to be aware of local building codes as certain items need minimum clearances, if thinking about this option.

If your budget doesn’t allow for a room addition, think about commadeering an unused bedroom. You can remove walls if the bedroom is the next room over, if not you’ll need to move all of the rough plumbing. Turning this extra bedroom into a luxurious modern style bathroom will have a great affect on your home’s resale value.

The first step in a bathroom remodel is evaluating your current situation:

Do you need a new toilet, tub/shower, or sink? An older wall haning toilet can be replaced with a low water consumption style one. You can save money on your tub by having it reglazed if it is in good condition. If it needs replace however, consider updating to a whirlpool tub.

Is your sink free standing? If it is, consider replacing it with a vanity that allows for additional storage. There are many styles and species to choose from that will provide a nice look for your bathrooom.

Does your sink have separate hot and cold valves? If this is inconvienent to you, switch to a single lever that can give a better mix of temperatures.

Does your tub have a shower? If not, one can easily be installed for a minimum cost.

You might want to consider how your remodel will effect your golden years. Think of reinforcing the walls, widen the doors, and add some grab bars to better assist anyone with a disability.

If you need to replace your outdated medicine cabinet, consider a recessed cabinet that will assist your bathroom in feeling more spacious. Even consider one with interior lighting.

If your tile is chipped, cracked, or grungy, consider replacing it instead of trying to match it. This is more cost effective and will help raise the resale value.

If your bathroom still has a wooden window, chances are humidity has taken its effect on it. There are many metal and vinyl windows that are much more energy efficient, and more maintenance free. Deco glass block is an alternative that allows for privacy with out sacrificing natural light.

Older bathrooms didn’t come with vent fans. Now is the time to add one, and whisper quiet motors are becoming more and more popular.

Do you have enough electrical outlets? Lets be honest, our dependency on usage of electronics has more than doubled since most of our homes were built. Chances are you’ll need a few extra outlets. Make sure they are ground fault circuit interrupter outlets though (GFCI). They protect you and your home should any water come near them.

Bathroom remodeling is a fun and exciting adventure. Make sure you are taking advantage of all of the new products out there that save you money and add value to your home.

Home Improvement Contractor in Elizabethtown and Lancaster

As home improvement contractors, we provide a variety of services to our customers. Since we have been operating as home improvement contractors for several years, we have the skills and experience to do a professional job no matter what type of project you are considering.

One of the jobs that we do regularly is roof repair or complete roof replacement. This is one of our primary services. Some home improvement contractors won’t take on a roofing project, but we love doing roofs. We can install any type of roof: asphalt shingles, wood, metal, slate, or tile. They each have pros and cons, so we can discuss the options with you and see what is best for your situation and budget.

We also install siding for your house. As you might know, there are a few different types of siding from which to choose. Not all home improvement contractors handle all types of siding. Aluminum siding is fireproof and does not crack. However, it does dent, so you have to be careful when using a ladder. Vinyl siding is made from plastic and comes in many different colors, so you never have to worry about it rotting or the paint starting to flake. However, after years of exposure to the Pennsylvania sun, vinyl does have a tendency to crack and the color fades after a while. Other options include wood clapboard and stucco. We are happy to go over each of them with you.

Replacement windows is another popular project for which people often contact home improvement contractors. We love doing windows! If the windows in your home are older, you might find that they don’t move up and down very easily. Or on cold days, you might feel a draft of cold air leaking in around the edge of the window. You might even have windows that have been shut for years and won’t open due to paint being applied to the windowsill and the frame. You are going to love new windows in your house! A new set of windows are not only easier to use and clean, they are more energy efficient in keeping the cool air inside in the summer time, and the warm air inside in the winter. You will see the difference in your utility bills. So they are a great investment, and they make your home look great too.

Another task that we can handle for you is checking your insulation. While doing an insulation evaluation may not seem like something that home improvement contractors would handle, it’s actually a rather important issue to consider. With the proper insulation installed, the heated air in your attic doesn’t get through to your living area so your air conditioning system doesn’t have to work as hard. Like new windows, this increase energy efficiency results in decreased utility bills and that goes a long way toward paying for the insulation over time.

We also do very specialized work on gutters. This is sometimes done in relation to our roofing projects; however, if you are having a problem with water “ponding” or otherwise not draining properly, give us a call. We are quite experienced with designing specialty drainage systems that will work to solve your unusual or unique water problem(s). You won’t find other home improvement contractors that are able to provide that type of specialized service; most will just try to patch up the leak. We believe in treating the problem, not just the symptom.

If you have any questions or problems related to home improvement that are not mentioned here, we encourage you to call us. Chances are we have experience in what you are trying to do. We can come out and discuss your situation and give you a free estimate.

We are home improvement contractors in Pennsylvania: Elizabethtown, Hershey, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Mechanicsburg, Hanover, Red Lion, Manchester, and York.

You probably know that employees make or break a business. In most businesses, recruiting and keeping good employees determines the business’ success. In the process of building a solid staff inevitably skilled employees threaten to quit or actually do quit. It is these skilled employees we are examining here. The employees you fire for incompetence, bad work ethic, poor performance are not the focus here: you simply get rid of a bad employee and do not rehire them.

But skilled employees that deliver value, sometimes great value, are another matter. The correct business decision becomes more vague and difficult. Sometimes it is very appropriate to rehire an employee; for example, returning from school or from a job where they improved their skills. In the points that follow remember the topic is situational — what you should do depends on the situation and circumstances you face. The issues here are about employees that deliver value but also deliver problems:

1)If an employee quits, make certain you get a ‘quit form’. Even if you don’t have this form in your company’s word processor you can get a handwritten statement.

2)Make certain you get name, date and last day. Otherwise the employee can state they did not quit, had asked for a leave of absence, etc., and demand their old job back. You will likely get their old problems back too. Notice is not required by law unless it is stipulated in a contract. (Beware of employees that have a history of not giving notice.)

3) After an employee leaves and you have taken care of paychecks, vacation pay, credit cards, pagers, etc., make an immediate determination if you want to rehire them again. Time often distorts perception so you will not want to make a knee-jerk decision when the time comes. Assume they will walk in the next day and want their old job back. Do not be caught off guard!

4)If any person, including an ex-employee, wants to apply for a position with your company you cannot deny them that right. This is a constitutional right protected by every court in the land. Deny them the chance to apply and you will soon hear from their lawyer. Allowing them the chance to reapply and rehiringthem are two very different things. Have an ex-employee fill out an application like anyone else. Tell them you will review the application. You must keep all applications on file for one year.

5)Many skilled workers have ‘attitudes’ or in some way do not fit in with the rest of the team. You cannot deny employment solely based on attitude since attitude cannot be accurately defined. Be very careful of what you do and don’t say. Assess the situation. If the value does not far outweigh the problems then do not reconsider them for rehire. Simply state that the application is on file for future consideration.

6)Do not believe that people can make miraculous improvements. Maybe that happens in Hollywood or the tabloids but it seldom does in the real world. If a drunken ex-employee tells you they have been sober for 6 weeks congratulate them but do not believe they are cured. Humans are very slow to change — especially the big changes.

7)Consider a rehire if they might be appropriate part-time or on-call. This way the business can use their skills only when needed and avoid high fixed labor costs.

8)Consider a conditional rehire. You can set the conditions. For example, you must be here every day at 8:00 or do not bother coming in. Get them to agree to the conditions. Just make certain other equal job classifications have the same requirements or the conditions can be construed as discrimination.

9)Pay, benefits, etc should align with the policies in your personnel manual. You are not required to bridge benefits unless your manual requires it. In my personal view employees that jump ship for greener pastures should ‘re-earn’ their benefits. This makes other employees think twice as well. If there are no consequences for leaving and returning it is your own company’s fault.

10)Consult your attorney if you are not sure what to do. Remember that attorneys are very good at legalities and but often not so good at management. There are obviously no set rules for an employee rehire but by focusing on the issues you can help or at least not hurt your business. I have seen employees leave and come back with great success. I have also seen a problem employee leave, be rehired and ultimately cause more damage. If you ever use your good judgment and good decision-making skills, use them when rehiring a skilled employee!

Dealing with your general contractor while remodeling, things you should know!

Written by Mike West Planning to remodel sometime soon? If you said yes, then read along for some helpful hints on working closely and successfully with your remodeling contractor.

Know I know you believe that you are an easy, and understanding individual with whom everyone can get along with. However, if this is your first time remodeling, you could very well be surprised what might take place.

Having Realistic Expectations

When a homeowner takes on a remodeling project, they dream about how wonderful the final product is going to turn out. Many forget to think about the noise, dust, small inconveniences, and scheduling delays that are bound to occur on many remodeling projects. These things happen, and there is little to nothing most of us can do about them. Clients need to be realistic and accept the remodeling fact that small inconveniences happen.

To help eliminate many of these problems, it is important to establish a good client-contractor relationship right from the get go. This depends on many things:

1. Communication…communication…communication! This is by far one of the most important aspects of the remodeling experience. Tell us what your realistic expectations are so we can talk about them.

2. Your needs, wants, and desires are very important to us. However, if you don’t give us a realistic budget to work with then no one will be happy. More often then not, homeowners have these larger then life ideas for their remodel, but have to be brought back down to planet earth to stay within their budget. It is alo important to remember the contractor has to make money. Homeowners do the material list themselves and can’t understand why the price is so much more. This is our livelihood and it is how we provide for our families. Like in most professions, there is a profit margin to factor in.

3. A proposed schedule is important to discuss. If we fall behind on our timeline, don’t hesitate to ask why.

4. Each remodeling stage may have a different duration for various reasons. Demo and framing are two of the stages that you can see large amounts of progress in a smaller time frame. Installing tedious but important items such as electrical wires and plumbing are not as readily noticed by the homeowner. When these smaller tasks are being completed it may seem like no work is being accomplished. Don’t worry! You may not feel like we are working all the time, trust me….we are!

5. Remember your role during the remodeling process. Picking out selections, finalizing the design, this is where you are the most important to the process. However, once construction has commenced, allow us the freedom to do what we do best, remodel! Please feel free to speak up though, if you feel like something isn’t right, or you have a question. Just don’t try to play contractor during the process. That’s our job!

6. Try to limit the amount of changes you make to the scope of work. It almost always affects the schedule, which in turn will affect you. If you do have changes to make, so be it! Just complete the change order and make payment up front, and all is well.

Remember, maintaining a good client-contractor relationship is pivotal in a successful remodel. Having good communication is a two way street. You would want others to respect your profession, we ask that you do the same. Our years of expertise have led us to where we are today, which is leaving you with a wonderful experience and an outstanding final product!

There are many professionals who might be using different kinds of programs in order to handle their financial tasks. This helps them improve the quality of the task and they can easily manage the work in no time. Regardless of the size of the employees within the organization, the company adopts different programs to operate smoothly without any mistake in the financial documents. You can make use of the budgeting and financial software to overcome any mistakes.

There are numerous businesses even today that run the risk of losing the investment just because they are unable to handle all the cash-ins and cash-outs. It is important to introduce an effective budgeting and the financial software that can help the business gain back the position and contribute in the profitability. With the use of the software program you can help the company manage the payroll and also allow it to prepare the payment invoices which will ensure that the wage payment is done on time.

The financial software also has the ability to cope up with the process payments for the people who are working within the company and as well as for those who are not employed. Business budget software can allow the company to reach to the total financial organizations automatically by setting the state tax percentages, payment periods that will later on get approved by the company. It is true that the software has the power to go beyond the management. The program is basically released on the market today in order to improve the current financial performance.

With the use of the financial software, the management team within the organization along with the owner can make a firm decision which can ultimately contribute to the profitability of the business. When the software in use properly along with the consistency then the software can also help the business run smoothly. When you make use of the software you are eligible to receive reports on a regular basis. The management accounts are easily misunderstood, which can increase the workload and affects the money.

With the help of the software you can identify the adverse trend according to which you can take the necessary action in order to correct the situation which can make in the efficient manner. The financial software can give you a better overview of the costs and the profit, margins, sales and other financial aspects of the business. Even if the company is small, and you want to get rid of the manual reporting methods, then you can adopt the software.

You can leave better scope for interpretation while making use of the computer system and the business financial software. You can focus on the accuracy of the data and save your valuable time which can be invested in other valuable task. The finance officers who are in charge of creating the budget statements in order to give a better overview on the expenses of the company can also make use of the software to make the task in a quicker way.