As we are starting a New Year, many bloggers including myself were left pondering on what to write about. Should we look back on the past, look forward to the future, ignore it, or what? First, I wish to thank all of you that have read the articles, referred your friends to our site, posted comments, sent in emails, followed us on Twitter, or LinkedIn, etc… For those that have sent us an email, or posted a question I think we have had those all answered within a few hours but no more than a day or two. Well how about we post some of the common questions that are asked, but generally are not in themselves worthy of a full article.
How do you decide what to write about?
Most articles are based around current or upcoming events including new federal regulations, or state laws that will soon affect either contractors or you. Occasionally articles are written based off a request or group of emails for more information on a certain subject or topic. Other times I simply write articles based off something I have not covered in a while, think is a good fit, or it could be something that pops up like this deck collapse that I visited, or a fire.
Monthly Checklist’s: I live in X; do all these items apply to my house?
For the most part all the tasks listed in the Monthly Maintenance Checklists should be completed in the month listed. Some of the gardening tasks & occasional outdoor ones should be preformed earlier or later in the season depending on the zone you live in and current weather conditions.
Climate Data Chart: Where did you get the chart from (I would like one for my area) & which area does it represent?
I wish I could tell you exactly which site I got the climate data from but I cannot find the site I used. After visiting about 15 different sites, I managed to find one site that had almost all the data I was looking for. The nice thing was it was available for public use and after downloading it; I was able to extrapolate out what was required.
The Climate Data Chart applies for an approximate 50-mile radius of Cullman area that includes Huntsville, Decatur and Birmingham. It was amazing while reviewing the data how similar the climate numbers where. In most cases, the temperature differences were within a degree or two of each other.
I know I am outside of your area, do you know anyone close to me that you would recommend?
In most cases, sorry we do not. Please feel free to review our list of trusted associates, vendors, and groups that maybe able to help you. In all cases, I would recommend reviewing our article on “Tips for ending up with a successful project that looks great”
Come on – just one little prediction for the year;
The Good News: Overall it should be a great year overall for the construction industry and the economy. While there will be some area’s that will be still be hurting, overall this year’s results should definitely be a welcomed improvement over the last year or so. We expect our sales to increase dramatically this year.
The Bad News for Homeowners: The days of artificially low prices will soon be gone. This will be caused by many firms that underbid jobs just to get money flowing are fast running out of rope. This will unfortunately cost some homeowners a lot of money by using contractors that cut costs by any means possible that will not be there to honor their warranty.
The Bad News for Businesses: Welcome to the year of increased regulations, taxation, and oversight. As of April 22nd the new EPA rules on lead will go fully into effect, the clause targeting construction firms in the Senate’s version of the Health Care Bill will probably still be there if the bill moves forward, while OSHA has already been increasing its enforcement.
On the local front, the City of Cullman has already doubled their fees for most businesses and is now requiring all contractors to be insured like Huntsville and Decatur. Many other local communities will start looking for money to fund services, which will probably lead to increasing fees & regulations across the board.