farm buildings for sale-1There are a couple of choices when you are considering a new building project. Most people choose between traditional conventional construction or a Turn-key pre-engineered steel building provided by a dealer.

Option number one is traditional conventional construction which is also known as design/build. This is also the “old school” method of getting a new building completed. Structural steel is utilized. First, you would hire an architect to design your new structure, paying them hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to come up with an acceptable building design. Then you would need to find a General Contractor who will bid your total project and possibly guarantee the price for a period of time. You and your General Contractor would agree on a tentative completion schedule that will include cost overruns and potential time delays. This has been the traditional process in building structures. It is also the most expensive choice. Compare this with the assembly of the first automobiles. Cars were originally designed one at a time and were extremely costly to produce. Henry Ford created the assembly line and cut car production costs in half.

You have an alternative to traditional conventional construction by considering pre-engineered all-steel construction. This process accomplishes the same cost-saving objective for buildings that Henry Ford provided for automobiles. Building dimensions in this choice are standardized and structural designs and calculations are pre-determined and formulated. This eliminates the need for expensive individual building engineering costs. You will save money and time with this option. Building assembly and finish is quicker and easier with pre-engineered components that are pre-punched, pre-drilled, and pre-welded at a factory prior to shipment to your job site. You get a solid, long-lasting facility for a fraction of the cost of traditional construction methods and a building that will be assembled quickly.

build a garage-2The other option available to purchase a steel building is by ordering that building as a full service, turn-key project from a steel building dealer. A building dealer is usually a General Contractor who can complete your entire project, much like the agreements with traditional building construction. In this instance, you pay for services that you may be able to handle by yourself or with the help of other qualified individuals. A General Contractor will charge you fees for initial design discussions, managing any of his selected sub-contractors, and, as needed, for engaging the services of a supplemental architect (especially for interior layouts such as plumbing, electric, lighting, etc.). They get paid to manage your project. Often they will specify and obtain the materials required for the project (including the base building packages) marking them up significantly for additional profit. You have little control other than agreeing to a finished price with this arrangement as it is with traditional conventional construction. The advantage is the lower per square foot cost of the all-steel finished project versus traditional conventional construction.

home-remodelHome remodeling can be a big step in improving both your environment and the value of your home. It can increase the monetary value of your home as well as your enjoyment of it.

Many people choose to remodel their homes for their comfort but it is also a popular option if you are planning to sell your home and wish to increase the market value.

Remodeling your house can sometimes be an overwhelming task if you aren’t quite sure where to start. We will outline some tips here to point you in the right direction.

Begin Home Remodeling With a Budget
A home remodeling project should always begin with one primary concern which is your home remodeling budget. Before you begin, it is very important to decide how much you can afford to spend. The next step would be to decide how you plan to finance the project. Home remodeling can wind up being quite an undertaking for a home owner, but having a budget will at least give you some guidelines to help maintain costs. It has been my experience both as a builder and consumer that unexpected costs often arise and you must be prepared financially and emotionally for these possible setbacks.

Where to Start
The kitchen and bathroom are the two main areas of the house that often reveal the age of a home more than the regular living spaces do. Consequently, these are the most popular areas of houses to remodel and for good reasons. It increases the value and overall appeal of the home whether you are remodeling for your own comfort or to sell your home. The kitchen has become a focal point for entertaining and the trend has been for people to spend more time in the kitchen. Many studies have been conducted and most people prefer to move into a house that requires minimal fixing up. This is an important point to consider if you are planning to sell your house in the near future.

Kitchen Remodeling
Although kitchen remodeling often makes the most dramatic impact on the overall look of your house it often involves the most decisions because of all the various elements involved. Because it usually requires wiring and plumbing work, it may not be an ideal do-it-yourself project, unless you have substantial knowledge and experience. Kitchen remodeling can be a complex series of steps, from choosing cabinetry and flooring to finding the right appliances that will fit your lifestyle and budget.

Bathroom Remodeling
Bathrooms are another popular home remodeling project, but like kitchens, they usually involve decisions on new cabinetry, fixtures, and flooring. Bathrooms are usually easier to estimate, providing you aren’t getting into complicated changes that affect the water pipes or sewage lines. Bathroom remodeling or kitchen remodeling can add to your home’s comfort and enjoyment, as well as raise the value of the house.

The Value of Remodeling
It has been my experience that dollar for dollar, a well remodeled kitchen or bathroom will often yield two to three times the increase in value relative to what was spent on the project. These two areas of the house in particular seem to reflect the increase in value more than other areas. That is why I usually recommend your remodeling dollars should be spent first. Even if you are not planning to sell your home anytime soon, you will most certainly reap the benefits from additional comfort, energy savings and a general sense of pride.


Capital City Public Charter School Triple Pane Windows Capital City Public Charter School reaches LEED Gold Standard and becomes the first Charter School in US to use super energy efficient triple pane windows. School is currently saving close to $50,000 annually because of improved energy performance. Significantly improved indoor air quality and more comfortable learning spaces are also due to implementation of triple pane high performance windows.

Originally, organizations involved in the project intended to install traditional double-glazed aluminum windows in the Columbia Heights based project in Washington, D.C. The project had to reach LEED Gold Standards and become certified Green School. General Contractor MCN Build and Architectural Design firm Shinberg. Levinas partnered up with Intus Windows to help with renovation of Capital City Public Charter School.

Considering Capital City Public Charter School’s constrained budget, windows replacement portion had to be done with minimum resources. “Understanding the value of triple pane energy efficient windows and remembering my previous experiences about high performance building products, I didn’t think these windows could fit our budget,” said COO of Capital City Public Charter School. After pricing Intus Windows products myth about overpriced triple pane energy efficient windows was denied. The u-PVC Eforte assemblies had the best balance in terms of price and performance.

The low solar heat gain coefficient of Intus Windows Eforte glazing combined with the low U-values, reduced heating and cooling demands significantly. According to the MCN Build, the cost of the Intus Windows uPVC Eforte system proved to be 30% less than the otherwise installed aluminum double-paned system; thus saving both the builder, and even more important, Capital City Public Charter school, as much as $300,000.00 dollars. Installed Intus Windows products further improved annual energy consumption of the school for years to come, totaling to $50,000.00 estimated savings per year.

The MCN Build’s decision to use Intus Windows’s triple pane energy efficient windows was not only fiscally beneficial, it also ended up saving the school thousands in energy costs over the lifetime of the building. As auditory comfort is often overlooked in commercial design, it is great to see this as an unintended but beneficial consequence. “This feature will ensure a quiet and productive classroom experience for a school buried in a loud and bustling community,” said Joseph Khoury from MCN Build. Triple pane Eforte windows feature superb sounds insulation properties, making them a perfect fit for urban environment buildings.

Renovating windows helped the Capital City Public Charter School not only to improve the indoor air quality, sound insulation, learning conditions but also helped to reduce heating and cooling energy consumption. “With a help of energy efficient triple pane windows we are experiencing much more productive and much more comfortable working and learning environment,” said COO of Capital City Public Charter School.

RemodelBudgetWhenever one thinks of remodeling or home improvement, the first things that comes to one’s mind is that it will cost a bundle. Fearing the costs involved, many times the home improvement plans are shelved for an indefinite period of time. However, you are not really saving any money by postponing this task; you are rather helping in increasing the cost of the remodeling with every day you delay.

Home remodeling loans are used for improving existing homes, not for building a new structure. Home improvement loans can provide the money required to fix up or remodel your home. These types of loans are usually short-term with an interest rate that is dependent upon the particular lending institution and you’re your personal credit rating, amount of your home mortgage and your home’s appraisal value.

Get All the Financing Details
Today there are many financial institutions which provide home remodeling financing suitable for any budget and income plan. You can obtain loans for any purpose related to home improvement, be it wiring, interior painting, exterior painting, plumbing, remodeling and so on. You may choose to do the project yourself or hire some experts to do so for you. Either way, it is possible for you to get home remodeling financing at affordable rates of interest and comfortable repayment terms and conditions.

However, it is important before you enter into any contract on home remodeling financing to be sure that you have read carefully the whole contract and that you have not missed any small print statements. Many people have lost or were on the verge of losing their homes for such omissions. When you sign on the dotted line accepting the home remodeling financing be sure you know all the terms.

Home improvement loans are basically a refinancing option that allows you to cash out the equity in your home for home improvement purposes. Home improvement loans are available for both single family and multi family structures. These types of loans can also be used to consolidate high interest credit bills or to finance a vacation in addition to the renovations.

What Are The FHA Insured Loans?
One of the easiest ways to get home remodeling financing is by opting for a FHA or Federal Housing Administration title I loan. In this type of financing the loan is insured against any probable loss and hence the lenders are not taking any risk. This is extremely helpful if you have a history of bad credit. The FHA loans can be availed for any type of improvement, be it remodeling or appliances that make life easier at home, such as refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers, solar batteries, kitchen cabinets, spacious bathrooms, large bedrooms, and so on.

These loans can also be used to make the house more compatible for physically challenged person of your family. All this can be done yourself with do-it-yourself kits, or with the help of professionals who can do all the work for you for fees. Either way, you will very soon find out that remodeling a house does not have to be a traumatic experience.

When to Apply For Your Home Improvement Financing
Once you approve an acceptable bid from a contractor, you may now seek home remodeling financing from a lender. Appraising your home value before remodeling your home helps you determine whether you would benefit from home remodeling loans or home remodeling financing.

How Much Payment Can You Afford to Invest?
You must first determine what are your fixed monthly expenses: monthly housing expenses (loan payments, taxes, insurance) estimated monthly payment for you home remodeling financing other monthly installment loan payments monthly revolving credit line payments such as your credit cards real estate loan payments on non-income producing property alimony and child support payments any tax or legal assessments.

Many lenders use you Debt-to-Income Ratio as a guide in determining the amount of loan you can afford. You can estimate this number yourself by taking all of your monthly bills and dividing that amount by your total monthly income. That number should be less than 0.35 which equates to 35%. Many other determining factors are used by mortgage lenders in estimating your creditworthiness, such as your income, length of employment and the type of work you do.

Your ability to repay the home improvement loan is contingent on your employment position and the income you produce as a result. The lender will most approve secure your financing based on the equity appraisal value of your existing home in relation to your mortgage balance or equity.

Do Your Home Financing Research First
In conclusion, I strongly recommend you carefully research all the details of your financing options and speak to your tax advisor and see what tax benefits are available for your particular financing options. You could be sorry down the road if you rush into any project of this magnitude.

siding-and-roofingChoosing a good contractor is important because a bad one will waste your money, while a good one will be worth every penny. There are a few reasons good contractors make a good income. Good contractors almost always started as workmen of one kind or another – carpenter, plumber, electrician, etc. Firsthand, they know how it is to be in such a trade. By sight, they know whether a job was completed good or poorly.

Contractors know how to hire good employees. They can manage sub-contractors and workmen fairly and firmly. That’s the kind of contractor you’re looking for. To find one, start with common sense guidelines.

Ask people for references. This is no time to be shy, since hiring a contractor is costly. Automatic, unfounded suspicion will poison any business relationship at the outset, but good contractors aren’t sensitive about providing names and phone numbers for satisfied former clients. They know that referrals are the lifeblood of their business. Once you have them, check them. Prepare a list questions to ask the previous clients of the contractor, such as the size or complexity of previous projects.

Ask about the initial budget and schedule and whether they were met. It sounds intrusive, but most people will share that information gladly. They too know that a good contractor is golden. For at least some smaller projects, it’s not necessary to hire a licensed contractor. Unlicensed contractors can be people who are skilled and professional, and just prefer not to work ‘under the radar’. But the odds are against you in that case, especially if the person is a stranger.

Ask for the license number and use it, along with the business and contractor’s names to check the Better Business Bureau and other local business groups. Find out if there are any complaints for your contractor in the city or local agencies.

Most contractors are honest and some of those still find themselves subject to legal action. Clients, too, can be dishonest and ask for something they’ve no right to. But, proceed with caution. Get any details you can. Many details of pending actions are kept confidential by law. Interview the contractor as you would any employee.

You must treat them like the professional that they are. The most important thing to judge, though, is character. Look for someone with straight answers, straight questions, and someone who looks you in the eye. If the contractor complains or makes excuses about other jobs, this can be a warning sign.

Most contractors accept responsibility for all phases of the job, and most importantly, the outcome.


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