How to Start a Profitable Home Improvement Referral Service

Home improvement referral services are cropping up from New York to California. They are taking the time to do the legwork to find reputable and reliable contractors and these businesses are reaping profits from good work.

It really doesn’t take much to start. A home improvement referral service business takes only a little money and not more time than a regular 40 hour a week job. They can actually start making money within the first year of business.

The first thing to consider is what types of home improvement businesses your will refer. This can include gutter cleaning and replacement, remodeling, building additions, fencing, lawn maintenance, and many others. Remember, all though you may like to paint a client may not like it or have the time. Therefore, no business should be overlooked.

Once you have an idea of the types of contractors for your referral service business, you will need to call the local, county, and state government offices. Get the regulations and requirements regarding licensing, bonding, business registry, and insurance for each type of contractor. This is the first step to building your list. Any contractor that does not meet government regulations should not be on your referral list.

By knowing these requirements and using them, your home improvement referral business will gain credibility with your clients. They will know that if the contractor doesn’t meet these requirements, they will not be on your list. It makes the client feel more sure the job will be completed professionally and correctly.

Another way to ensure creditability of your referral service business is to only look at contractors that are recommended by their past happy customers. But this is not the end of the screening process. Recommendations are not enough.

Once a contractor is recommended to your home improvement referral business, you need to check out his or her service. Talk to them, explaining your referral service business. Many contractors will give you the needed information happily. Ask to see their licenses, bonding information, and insurance to ensure they are current and up to date. Ask for a list of services they provide and the cost for these services. Finally ask for references you may speak to.

Now you have gotten your contractor referral list started. While working on creating this list, you should have started thinking about a name for your referral service business, advertising, office area, office equipment, and ordered a phone line for the business. You may want to use a computer right away, but an index card or file system could work just as well and for a fraction of the cost, until your company grows. Keep in mind that as your company grows, the office space, office equipment, and referral list system will probably need to become computerized to save time and money.

Since your referral business is going to begin locally, check with local newspapers and periodicals to see if they would be interested in doing an article about your business. Make some flyers and ask local hardware stores if you could leave some there to advertise your service. You may also want to send letters to realtors announcing your business, they can be great advertisers for you.

Make your services free to the people calling into your business looking for referrals. Many home improvement referral businesses charge the contractor anywhere from 6% to 15% depending on the size of the project. You put the customers in touch with the contractor, and upon completion of the project, the contractor pays you a fee.

Advertise that no contractors pay you to get onto your referral list. If clients or contractors ask how they get on the list, explain to them the only way for a contractor to get on the list is for a customer to recommend them. You may want to explain the whole screening process to let the person know the exact qualifications the contractors need to have before being accepted.

A referral service business can expand easily and rapidly. Once your business starts to grow, create a business plan to set goals. Decide how much you want to expand and consider starting franchises in other locations or expanding the list to include contractors that were not included originally. This is your home improvement referral service business and you can take it wherever you want.

Drywall Repair – How to Make an Extra $300, $600 and More Per Week Specializing in Drywall Repair

If you have been a house painter for very long you have undoubtedly come into some form of drywall repair on every interior painting job. As a matter of fact, if you don’t get good at mastering drywall repair, your painting jobs will not be as professional as they could be.

In this article I want to reveal how small drywall repair jobs can mean big profits for you. I am talking about making $350 to $500 on average for just 7 – 10 hours of work. Each job is different of course and may turn out to be just a $200 repair or maybe a $1,500 repair.

The fact is that when it comes to drywall repair people always call someone to do the work. As a house painter I know that most people think they know how to paint and the keyword here is “think”. But when it comes to things like drywall repair they go running home to momma.

And this is why you can make good money doing small repair jobs like plumbers and electricians do. The things that most people are unskilled to do themselves are simple and easy for us that decide to specialize in them.

Some people have the money but lack the time and would rather have someone else do the work anyway. 99% of the time though, people just don’t know the trade. Drywall repair is a secret art. As for the ones that attempt to repair their own drywall themselves, the job always turns out lousy.

Where is the target market for getting business? The answer is residential, light commercial, rental properties, etc. As a house painter you can be limited to a higher end market if you wish to earn professional painters wages. But no so with drywall repair. Your market can be low end to high end simply because of the tremendous profits in smaller jobs that most people can afford.

Most of the time you get calls from people when they have water damage. Sometimes it is from reckless teens roughhousing. I had one job where bees ate a hole in the ceiling. I would say that 95% of drywall repair is from water damage and half of that can be from bad plumbing, a leaky shower that needs to be re-grouted, etc. A leaky roof is usually the other reason.

Sometimes you can get jobs hanging and taping small projects like a garage or part of a basement. You don’t have to take on these bigger projects though. Many times people want to sell their house so they are motivated to fix their walls or ceilings finally.

You may ask yourself, if drywall repairs are so simple how can I get good at doing them? First, You need to learn how to duplicate a few common textures, which is easy once you figure out which tool was used to make it. You will also get repairs for common drywall holes of all sizes, which includes plaster (thin set and lathe). And you will need to know how to repair loose tape seams.

And believe it or not, that’s about all there is to successful drywall repair. These techniques are hidden to the public but easy for you and I. If you ever have seen what homeowners try to do to repair their own drywall you will know instantly that this is an easy profitable business.

Here is the amazing part. Most drywall repairs that I see look awful. Yet the homeowner seems happy with it. The job looks like someone came in and slopped a little mud on the ceiling and left. Yet the repair guy ran off with something like $200 and the homeowner for some odd reason usually thinks the job was done O.K. I have seen this too often.

On a serious note though, doing good professional looking work at affordable prices will give you tons of referrals and repeat business. If you can learn the basics of proper drywall repair and even do a little touch up painting afterward you will do just fine. You can indeed earn $30 – $70 per hour due to the nature of the work.

How can I get business? Shopper guides, classified ads in places like Craig’s List, local online ads, small Yellow Pages ads, word-of-mouth, etc. Why should I start a small drywall repair business? Is there a big future in it? Yes for two reasons. First, self-employment is becoming the new work force and secondly, home repair will always be with us.

Who can do this type of work? Anyone who loves to restore things can do well. People who are gifted at home repairs, house painters, drywall, etc. Anyone who learns a few secrets to successful drywall repair.

Bi-Level Foundation Repair

For a homeowner, finding out that you have foundation damage can be the worse news anybody can give you. This type of damage to your home is the single most expensive type of repair you will go through. It is also one that you will not have a choice but to go out and hire a professional contractor who specializes in foundation repair.

Potential Cost:

The cost of the repair will depend on the extent on the damage to the foundation, the location of the damage within the foundation, and the type of materials that are necessary to fix the problem. The cost could be as little as $800 to as high as $30,000 to fix the problem. Getting estimates from at least three different contractors are necessary for you to be able to gauge how much it will truly cost. However, you should not solely rely on the cost of the work to be done when choosing the contractor you will hire. You should also consider the type of materials they will use, as well as their reputation among locals. If they use higher quality materials, as well as a very good feedback rating from past customers, you should go with that contractor.

Issues from Bi-Level Foundations:

Foundations that are bi-level tend to carry heavier loads than others. This is why damage to these foundations tends to be more severe. Another thing is that water damage is generally more evident with these types of foundations. This is because the water can easily get into the basement area, which can cause the seals, and the foundation itself to give away.

As soon as you notice water leaks in your basement you should immediately have your structure inspected for possible foundation damage. Early detection can potentially save you thousands of dollars due to the fact that since the damage is not that severe yet, they will be able to easily fix the problem.