The 2011 International Builders' Show-New products and services for your home improvement and new construction projects

Visiting the International Builders' Show (IBS) is like running a marathon: it’s an exhausting ordeal but the rewards are worth the effort. This year, the trade show featured more than 1,000 exhibitors, 170 educational sessions, and 47,000 visitors from around the world. Although attendance was down a bit from previous years, modest optimism prevailed in the ... More »

Wishing You a Happy, Healthy and Humorous New Year

Wit and wisdom are virtues I admire most in people. No matter what you’re working on, a good sense of humor is always a useful addition to your toolbox. Here are a few wise and witty gems I’d like to share with you.

During the holidays, I had a jolly laugh while reading an email passed on to me. This list of wordplays comes from the “Style Invitational” contest ... More »
© Kia Ricchi
Building a house is a process that's fraught with challenging decisions. From contractors to cabinetry, your choices define the finished house. Because your home is a reflection of you, good design decisions require that you know yourself:  Are you an edgy urbanite or country cool?

Artwork can be to a home what jewelry often is to fashion: the showpiece that ties ... More »
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With hurricane season in full swing, I am often asked to give presentations about how to find and properly contract with contractors for post-hurricane repairs. Sometimes I am invited by local government to participate in hurricane readiness events; other times senior citizens groups, as well as crime prevention organizations, contact me.

Because the aftermath of ... More »
It's no secret that tradeshows are fertile grounds for growth.  While attendees can learn about new products and services, vendors can learn about the needs and interests of the people they serve. Last week the Southeastern Building Conference (SEBC) returned to Orlando and homeowners, builders, and related trades people mingled.

With the BP calamity at hand, the ... More »
© Rusty Russ
Hurricane Season

Hope For The Best but Prepare For The Worst-Finding good contractors before you need them

Hurricanes are like houseguests from out of state—whether we like them or not, we can expect them to visit every year. Are you prepared? If not, local emergency managers, rescue workers, and government officials can help.

Last week, May 23-May 28, 2010, many of these primary responders attended the 24th Annual Governor’s Hurricane Conference in Ft. ... More »

The Scoop on the Scope-Have a plan before you start building

Have you ever noticed how unorganized projects take twice as long to complete and even then, the results are often unsatisfactory? This can occur when there is no clear objective or defined means of reaching it.

One of the most important things you can do to ensure the success of your construction project is to create a "scope of work”a document that describes the ... More »
financial assistance for home buyers

Buyer's Bonanza-Federal assistance programs that save you money

Because of low home prices and favorable interest rates, housing is more affordable than ever. Affordability is further increased when you take advantage of assistance programs that can help toward the purchase or renovation of a home.

The Federal Housing Tax Credit program provides incentive in the form of tax credits to both first-time and repeat home buyers. If you ... More »
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