Home Improvement And Repair Projects Have Never Been More Popular And Easier To Accomplish

The popularity of HGTV (Home & Garden Television) has created a
thriving market in do-it-yourself home improvement and interior
decorating. All sectors of the home improvement industry have
benefited since HGTV started airing in 1975.

The real estate boom was followed by a home improvement boom.
People would buy a old house and want to redecorate the house
from floor to ceiling. People who had lived in their houses for
a while wanted new kitchen cabinets. The home improvement shows
were an impetus for a massive movement by homeowners to start a
remodeling revolution

The home improvements that people take on include makeovers from
the attic to the basement. They perform functional repairs like
fixing a leaky roof, replacing windows, and adding more room to the
house. Then there are the projects that are just for the
beautification of the home like updating kitchen, remodeling a
master bedroom.

Some people use home improvement as a creative outlet. They paint
and redesign just for the satisfaction of improving their living
space. HGTV has been a large contributor to the home improvement
revival.

HGTV reaches 89 million households every week and over 800,000
nightly prime time viewers. The format of the show has been copied
several times and spin offs like Trading
Spaces, Extreme Makeovers. Viewers sit for hours watching
“Design on a Dime” “Devine Design”, “Landscapers Challenge”.
The home improvement shows just keep coming.

HGTV provides instructions for thousands of home improvement projects.
They provide video clips for everything from garden projects to
constructing a bed. HGTV is the one-stop resource for finding anything
you need for expert help with “doing it yourself” projects.

HGTV makes home improvement look easy and fun. HGTV gives viewers
new ideas and inspires the week end warrior to do some type of home
improvement project. HGTV mission is “to provide ideas, information,
and inspiration for decorating and home improvement”.

The impact that HGTV has on home improvement can be measured in these
statistics.

  • Furniture sales grew by 75%, between Between 1995-2005
  • Sales of home furnishings increased 97% in this same period.
  • These items included soft goods as well, carpets, lamps, area rugs,
    linens, glassware

    People all over the country are decorating their homes to look like
    these superbly beautiful fantasy creations that they view on HGTV.
    If you are not a “do it yourselfer” you can just imagine the way your

    home might look when you go on tours of million dollar home all
    across the country. You see people who look like you making grand
    improvements to shacks that end up looking like your dream home.

    HGTV has had a dramatic impact on the home improvement industry
    because HGTV appeals to the age group of people who have the money
    to pay for major home improvement projects. The demographics of the
    typical HGTV is a female age 35-64 years old. Over 70% of HGTV
    viewers are females.
    That means that the female viewers are encouraging husband, fathers,
    brother to do the work so they can enjoy the benefits.
    The additional general consumer demographics for home improvement by
    female indicate:

  • They shop more often
  • Visit more stores
  • Spend more than the typical shopper
  • The target demographic for the Do It Yourself Website is:

  • Homeowners
  • Ages 25-54
  • Incomes of $60,000
  • Internet access
  • Propensity for home improvement
  • The home Improvement Research Institute studies show that both men
    and women are active participants in the planning of home improvement
    projects as well as the purchase of those products used for
    improvement.

    10 DIY Home Improvement Ideas

    DIY Home Improvement Idea #1

    Install handmade shelves. Rather than purchasing typical cookie-cutter shelves, consider visiting a local craft fair or woodworker for customized shelves. Everything from style, color, design and cutouts can be customized with handmade items. Shelves are ideal for storing tools in the garage or knick-knacks in the family room.

    DIY Home Improvement Idea #2

    Replace vinyl flooring or install new tiles. These days, convenience is everything. It’s easier than ever to replace vinyl flooring or install tiles with simple self-adhesive backing for easy placement. This will literally give you a new floor surface within a few hours.

    DIY Home Improvement Idea #3

    Install carpet. Before making a purchase, be sure to measure the area that you need to carpet. If you need to cut carpet, it’s not a problem and special cutting tools can be purchased at any home improvement store. Simply roll it out and secure it to the floor for an easy DIY home improvement project.

    DIY Home Improvement Idea #4

    Install a ceiling fan. Not only will this add beauty to the room, but it will also help to circulate the air. Just be careful during the installation process and when climbing up or down a ladder.

    DIY Home Improvement Idea #5

    If you are a big fan of wallpaper, then you already know that it can start to peel from time to time. It’s inevitable. At some point, wallpaper will need replacing and it’s arguably one of the easiest home improvement projects that you can do. Wallpaper is sold at any home improvement store and can be cut to fit any room in your home. During installation, be sure to smooth the paper as you go in order to avoid bubbled areas.

    DIY Home Improvement Idea #6

    If you like the idea of sitting out on the porch or deck and watching fireflies light up in the night, consider adding an outside addition to your home. Plans can be purchased online or at some home improvement stores, along with the materials needed to complete the job.

    DIY Home Improvement Idea #7

    Painting your home, either inside or out, is a very popular way of improving it’s overall appearance. Always be sure to read the instructions and use paint in a well-ventilated area.

    DIY Home Improvement Idea #8

    One of the more sensible DIY home improvement projects includes the installation of a dusk to dawn lighting system outside of the home. This type of lighting will automatically turn on if there is any movement outside of your home and is ideal for anyone, whether you live out in the country or in a larger area.

    DIY Home Improvement Idea #9

    As winter time rolls around, many people begin to consider replacing their windows to ensure that they are protected from the elements. Many people think of windows as simply something to look through but, in fact, they are much more than that. Windows can actually help to keep warm air inside your home and the cold air out during those harsh winter months, which will make it more comfortable for your family and also your wallet where heating costs are concerned.

    DIY Home Improvement Idea #10

    Install wall paneling. If you don’t like the idea of painting or simply prefer the look of paneling, a visit to your local home improvement store could be the answer to your next DIY home improvement project. Wall paneling is sold in sheets, is pre-cut and ready for installation. All you need to do is place it in the desired location and secure it.

    The Need for National Guidelines and Testing in the Home Improvement Industry

    It is time for Washington to step up and put legislation in place that will force states to better regulate the home improvement industry. Up to now Washington has left the regulation of the home improvement industry up to state regulators, and for whatever reason(s) many states have fallen considerably short.

    There are still some states that do not even have contractor licensing in place for home improvements. For some of the states that do have licensing, the license requirements do not include that the applicant demonstrate the ability to do any type of home improvement work. (That is like saying I will issue you a license to cut hair but you don’t have to demonstrate that you know how to cut hair……… ouch!) Then why do states bother issuing licenses if there are no requirements to demonstrate competence? Revenue? Or could it be that they need more consumer complaints for Consumer Affairs and BBB to handle? The unfortunate consequences of this problem are that homeowners are the ones who are paying the price by receiving poor workmanship and a cascade of home improvement problems.

    Let’s be honest, the home improvement industry does not seem to attract the most reliable, honest and competent individuals. The lure of a quick buck and the relative ease to “qualify” to do home improvement work, brings many a “character” to your door. When I was a contractor I needed to hire people for a variety of field positions. Most of the people, who I interviewed and sometimes hired, seemed to have the same type of problems with past employers. These problems consisted of substance abuse issues, honesty issues, and reliability issues. The labor pool never seemed to have an over abundance of talent and employability to pick from.

    I remember always reading article after article that dealt with the significant manpower shortage in the home improvement industry. The bottom line of each article would always be the same, “If you can find an honest, reliable and competent person to work for you, pull out all the stops to keep them!!!! Do whatever you need to do to keep that person happy because you’ll never know if you will be lucky enough to find someone to take their place.” As an owner, it was a very constant and stressful problem to deal with. You were almost afraid to try and increase project production because you knew you would have to try and find someone to do the additional work. Finding employees was always an adventure, an adventure that I never looked forward to.

    For the last 10-15 years the number one problem in the home improvement industry is the lack of manpower. Many contractors are training and hiring minorities to try and solve this major problem.

    If you were to talk to your state authorities about what is being done to improve regulations and screening in the home improvement industry, they will probably tell you something is in the works or there is no money for more regulations (testing). I have been hearing this for 30 years. The county in which I live (Suffolk County, New York) still does not require any demonstration of home improvement ability to obtain a home improvement license. The fee has consistently gone up but the requirements have pretty much stayed the same. We are one of the highest taxed counties in the country, so I refuse to believe there is no money to develop and implement a better policing and screening process in the home improvement industry.

    The National Association of The Remodeling Industry (NARI) http://www.nari.org is the only national organization that offers certification of home improvement individuals. They have a number of different certifications that one could obtain. To obtain these certifications the applicant needs to demonstrate a variety of knowledge, ranging from good business practices to project knowledge. NARI’s main certification is called – Certified Remodeler (CR). This certification requires the applicant to prepare an extensive matrix or resume of their experience and knowledge as well as obtaining a certain score on an 8-hour exam. There are only approximately 1000 CR’s, out of the hundreds of thousands of home improvement contractors in this country. I earned this certification in 1994 and still proudly hold this certification today. I will admit that obtaining this certification is a time consuming process and does take considerable effort, but it was well worth it. What I also like about this certification is that it has to be renewed every year by demonstrating continued involvement and knowledge in the home improvement industry.

    Why then couldn’t Washington mandate some type of screening, nationwide, that all people interested in doing home improvements must be able to “pass” to obtain a license? This license could be used nationwide. Use a screening process that emulates what NARI does for its certifications. You could make the screening as simple as a comprehensive test with multiple choice questions. A test that could be machine scored.

    I think an ideal situation for licensing would be to divide up home improvement licensing into sub-licenses. For example, if you were a bathroom contractor you would obtain a license for bathroom home improvements only. This would refine what licensees are qualified to do, rather then issuing one license that could wrongly give the impression that the licensee is capable of doing any type of project.

    The reason I think Washington needs to get involved with this problem is because the American public doesn’t have the time to wait for each of the 50 states to come up with a similar solution, individually.

    However, if Washington were to step up and mandate a national screening and testing situation, you would still have to address the screening of the people who show up to work on your house. (if they were not the person(s) who was screened and licensed) These people would hopefully be employees of the person who was screened. Is the homeowner then back to square one with not knowing the qualifications of the people working on their house? I tend to think not, because the person who went through the screening and obtained the license would want to keep the license. It is in the best interest of the licensed individual to make sure the project is done correctly. Problems develop when a contractor has too much work and attempts to get it all done by using inexperienced and unqualified help. The lure of completing more work and making more money sometimes leads to his or her business getting “out of control”. This subsequently leads to quality and project completion problems. Employees of licensed and screened contractors need to “qualify” on some level similar to NARI’s lead carpenter certification.

    Will any of these desperately needed changes occur any time soon? To be honest, I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for Washington to step up to the plate and I don’t think your state or local governments will dramatically improve home improvement regulations either.

    So what should a homeowner do to protect their home and property? Get the right “tools” and knowledge to be able to protect your home from poor home improvement decisions and situations.

    The Home Improvement Success Club of America(TM) (http://www.homeimprovementsuccess.com) can give you all the right knowledge and “tools” you need, without spending hours and hours doing research and trying to figure out what to do. This club has a variety of forums (chat room, message board, phone consultations and project estimate-contract evaluations) to answer your questions about how to get great home improvement results. Membership to this club also includes the use of The Home Improvement Success System, which is a step by step home improvement system that shows you exactly what to do and what not to do. This system can be used with any project. The club also includes a 30-day money back guarantee if you are not delighted with being a club member.

    If you’re serious about doing a home improvement project and protecting your home, then join The Home Improvement Success Club of America(TM). You will be happy you did!

    The Home Improvement Success Club of America(TM)
    http://www.homeimprovementsuccess.com//>

    [email protected]
    P.O. Box 653
    Smithtown, NY 11787
    Phone: 631-360-7722
    Fax: 631-361-3582

    By Hank Jaworowski, CR
    Founder and President of The Home Improvement Success Club of America(TM)
    Author-The Home Improvement Success System

    Secured Loans For Home Improvement – When You Can’t Buy A Luxury Home

    A house is just perfect with chipped walls and broken taps. Is it? If you don’t think so, then home improvement loans is what you should be looking for. Home improvement is the resort for you, if your home is your personal hideout. Home improvement loans can aid you realize this plan. Home improvement usually takes a back seat due to lack of finances. If finances are an impediment, get secured home improvement loans. Secured loans for home improvement are a way of increasing home equity which is one of the most important added benefits. This implies not only your home will be comfortable but also its market cost is increased.

    The thought process while taking loans is almost always diverted towards lower interest rates. Lower interest rates are very often the prime criteria of settling on a loan. But you must know that lower interest rates are not offered to anyone and everyone. The most obvious reason for lower interest rate being offered to you will be the fact that you are the homeowner. Secured home improvement loans are protected on borrower’s property and are dependent on the equity of the property. The property or home acts as the security for the loan and will therefore mean you have to give lower interest rates.

    APR is the one that gives you a general idea of what your secured home improvement loan will cost. Go to the local bank and building society to get a general idea of the loans rates. You can also get an idea of loan rates on Google. Type “home improvement loans comparison” and it will provide you with the best deals immediately. Your loan lender is the one who will give you a good idea about what will be the total cost of repayment. Look out for hidden costs while settling down on secured loans for home improvement.

    The secured home improvement loan rate is usually fixed and would vary from lender to lender. So browsing through the net would perhaps lead you to the better loan rate than the ones you closed on. Interest rates are negotiable for they are quite dependent on individual circumstances. The actual deal on secured loans for home improvement depend upon credit history, salary, age, joint or single application, collateral, amount to be borrowed and length of payback period.

    The loan amount on Secured home improvement loans [http://www.easyfinance4u.com/secured_home_improvement_loans.html] vary according to the property type. A single family house would guarantee maximum £25,000 to £75,000 as loan amount. Don’t take more than you require on a secured home improvement loan. Don’t over improve your home for it might be difficult to recover the cost of improvement if the price tag of your house shows more than other houses in the locality. The loan term on secured loans for home improvement are very easily anywhere between 2 to 25 years.

    Secured loans for home improvement can be made available at the time you are buying the house. This will work very smoothly in case your mortgage and home improvement loan do not overflow your available equity mark. Any kind of big or small improvements can be financed. Secured home improvement loans can be used for repairs, home extensions like, new conservatory, heating system, new kitchen and site improvements.

    A secured loan for home improvement that is less than £25,000 can be called off within a week with no obligation under the 1974 Consumer Credit Act. You can take payment protection to protect your payment against any change of circumstance. If you do not opt for payment protection and find you can’t pay your monthly payments then discuss your situation with your lender. However, a secured home improvement loan does put your property at risk in situation of non repayment.

    Home décor are oft quoted with high rates. This is usually the reason for putting off home improvement. Living in a house that needs repairs is not always a pleasant situation. You can’t be put them off and financial aid required is difficult to unearth. So, home improvement becomes a very irresolute condition. Make home improvement a win-win situation. How? – By taking secured home improvement loans. Chipped walls are falling and broken taps are leaking. They are doing this for a purpose – they want to be repaired. Repair them with secured home improvement loans.