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How to Start Your Own Home Maintenance & Repair Business

Are you the kind of person that can do anything around a house? If you don’t have a problem with tasks like mending leaky faucets, painting a wall, fixing sticky doors, nailing down sagging shingles, or repairing broken cabinets, you can start and run a successful home maintenance business. Starting such a business means you will be the person that neighbours call whenever they need help with such home maintenance tasks. Some of these tasks do not require special skills or expertise.

Perhaps, the financial aspect of this business should prompt you to start it. That’s because Americans are spending millions of dollars on home repairs and maintenance in a year. The major advantage of a home maintenance business is that you don’t have to start a brick-and-mortar office. You can also start it with a shoestring budget. And, you will be doing different things. Doing some home maintenance tasks will even save your neighbours the stress and expenses that come with them. Eventually, they will value your assistance the same way they might value a Winnipeg towing service or a reliable tow truck driver in the neighbourhood. But, how do you start this business? Here are the steps to follow.

Invest in the Right Equipment

Homeowners and apartment occupants want to be sure that their homes will always be in safe hands. To do a good job with every appointment, make sure that you have the right equipment. Essentially, you should invest in the equipment that a handyman needs to complete any job. These include hammers, pliers, screwdrivers, grip vises, cordless saw, ladder, paint rollers and brushes, wrenches, stepstool, and flashlights. In addition to equipment, you should acquire a contractor’s license. This will enable you to prove to homeowners that you have a reliable contractor. The local commerce department or contractor’s board can issue you with this license. Additionally, acquire the right insurance and be a bonded handyman. You should also get a pager to help customers reach you and a pickup truck to ensure easy house calls.

Research the Market

Your target market comprises homeowners. However, your home maintenance business can target managers or owners of condominium complexes and small apartments. These may not have professionals to perform important maintenance tasks on their properties. Even real estate agents and small shopkeepers may need help with the maintenance of vacant properties. Therefore, start by researching the market to know your target customers or clients. Once you have done that, deliver fliers that tell potential customers about your business and services. You can tuck the fliers under the doormats or make them into the door hangers.

You can also place an ad in the local newspaper. Even Yellow Pages and social media can help in spreading the word about your business. Hand-delivering brochures or fliers that explain your business and services to small business customers can also help. Although you might not get takers during the first visit, you will eventually seal deals after several appearances.

Final Thought

Starting a home maintenance business doesn’t have to be difficult as long as you have what it takes to fix damages in a house. You just need to research the market extensively, invest in the right equipment, and acquire the right insurance and licensing. It’s also crucial to provide excellent customer service to get positive feedback. That’s how your business will continue to grow as you get referrals from happy customers.

Going Solar (energy) – Pros & Cons

If you’re one to research and list the pros and cons to anything before you make a decision, you will appreciate these solar energy pros and cons to help you decide if you should put solar power on your home. The question always comes down to whether the pros outweigh the cons or vice versa, and if there is a work around for any of the cons.

No one can argue that the energy supplied by the sun is abundant and free. The sun is a renewable, sustainable source, and the use of it does not reduce its ability to provide unlimited free power. The power produced by and collected from the sun can be stored indefinitely.

The sun provides clean energy. It does not pollute air, water, or anything. It produces no by-products and outside of using the electricity it produces, you would not know it was even being collected and/or stored short of seeing the evidence of panels and batteries. The sun actually has a cleansing effect on many things and is part of sustaining life.

Solar panels, which are used to capture the energy from the sun can be installed on most rooftops, eliminating the need to use ground space, and the cost for their purchase has been going down. They are quiet and easy to maintain. Unless they are attached to a mechanical sun tracking mechanism, they are virtually silent and only need to be cleaned periodically. Photovoltaic cells have a long warranty period, often 25 years, and as demand increases, so does the technology, making them even more efficient with time.

Perhaps the greatest disadvantage to solar energy is the initial cash outlay for installation. Residential solar systems, while decreasing in price over the years, are not cheap. They have to be considered an investment.

There are physical cons for solar energy as well. Some areas may have a heavy smog or pollution problem which can limit the effectiveness of solar panels. Some areas have weather that is less conducive to solar panel use due to being overcast, raining or foggy for longer periods of time. Obviously there are a few locations, like Alaska, where the sun is not seen for days at a time. All of these things can have a negative impact on collecting solar energy.

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The Homeowners Basic Toolbox – Tools Every Home Should Have

The best portable toolbox designs not only make it possible to keep repair and project equipment on hand, but are easy to transport as well. In addition to the materials that a unit is constructed from, it is important for buyers to consider the storage options that it will provide as well as the methods for transporting the unit. Making certain to select an option that accommodates the full range of your needs for your most common projects will ensure that your toolbox is a continually valuable asset.

Compartments

Having an ample number of inner compartments is necessary for maintaining a desirable level of organization. Shoppers should choose units based upon the number of tools and other project necessities that they commonly use. For those who routinely employ the use of smaller tools and equipment, it is imperative to select a design that is capable of keeping these items separate and securely stored. For instance, if you routinely travel with a variety of different screw sizes on hand, you should look for an option that offers a number of smaller compartments that provide secure storage for these minute items.

Depending upon the materials that are used in the construction of the box, you can find either pouch-type compartments or those that are fully enclosed such as compartments constructed from either plastic or metal. Toolboxes featuring pouch-type storage are frequently constructed with treated leather and are an ideal selection for carrying small to medium-sized tools. These designs additionally provide their users with a number of exterior pouches, which in many instances will double the available storage space. When selecting this design with the intention of transporting items such as screw, nails, upholstery tacks and other like products, you will likely have to invest in additional storage units that can securely hold these items when placed inside of the leather pouches.

Features For Transporting The Unit

While the toolbox itself may be lightweight, once it has been filled with all of the essential tools and supplies for a project it is likely to become heavy to lift and cumbersome to carry. There are a number of variations that have been made to the traditional toolbox designs in order to allow for easier transport. These include rear wheels, sliding handles, and cross-shoulder straps.

A sliding handle toolbox functions much like a wheeling suitcase. When preparing to move the box you simply pull the handle out and lock it into an upright position. The box is then tipped onto its rear wheels and can be pulled to any desired destination. When choosing such an option, however, it is important that the buyer make certain that the materials and structure of the unit have been chosen to accommodate for tipping. For example, plastic toolboxes of this design may have ample room for storage, but some may not be built to successfully transport the amount of weight that the unit contains when full. If over-weighted on one side these units can veer to the right or left and even cause breakage in the pull-out, plastic handle.

Another option in portable tool boxes that are designed for easy transport are units that feature a shoulder strap. Bearing the weight of the unit in this fashion often makes it easier for the individual to tow more items, however, these tend to be more labour intensive than selections that feature rear wheels and sliding handles.

Designs with cross-shoulder carrying straps are usually manufactured using durable leather that is treated. Typically much smaller than traditional units, these have soft-sided pockets that expand for carrying a number of hand-held tools such as pliers, screw drivers and compact wrench sets. With careful organization, these shoulder bags can carry a relatively extensive selection of tools and other items such as electrical tape and zip ties, making it possible to transport all of your project needs using one unit.