Bigger Business: What to Consider When Expanding Your Office Space

Photo via Pixabay by Markusspiske

These days, more and more people are turning to working from home. With so many advances in technology making it easier than ever to start a business or side gig, Americans are finding that it’s beneficial to have a distraction-free workspace at home to get the job done. Finding the room for it, however, is another story. You may need to consider building an external structure rather than converting a room in your home; not only will this give you more privacy, it will allow you to customize the space and keep your business life separate from your personal one.

Fortunately, there are several options when it comes to creating an office space, and they don’t have to break the bank. From building a small structure on your property to adding onto an existing space, there are many ways you can expand your home office. The key is to start with a solid plan, especially when it comes to budgeting for materials and the work itself. Some jobs are DIY, but where complicated work–such as installing electricity–is concerned, it’s best to hire a pro.

Build externally

Adding onto an existing space is one option, but building externally can help you keep your personal and business lives separate, as well as give you some privacy to work in. Working remotely can get complicated when you have a family to take care of as well, but with a space of your own to work in, you won’t have all the distractions and interruptions that you might if you were inside your home. Consider factors such as how much room you’ll need, whether you can wire it for a phone or Internet service, and what materials you’ll use. These are all considerations to make when coming up with a budget, as well.

Adding on

Adding an extension to your home can be a big job, but if you know you’ll be using that space for years to come, it may be worth it. Think about your specific needs before making any decisions, and consider how long you’re going to be in your home. If there’s a chance you might sell it down the road, an addition can add value and possibly get you a higher sale price if it’s done right.

Remember to think about a budget; in general, home additions average around $100 per square foot. Consider the materials that are already used in your home when it’s time to start construction so that everything will be uniform.

Think about the future

If you’re a small business owner and work primarily on your own, you’ll probably only need a modest-sized space to conduct your business in. If you have employees, however, or if you believe you’ll have them in the near future, it’s important to consider how much room you’ll need. Building a new structure comes with a lot to think about, including finding the right location and complying with zoning and construction laws, but it might be advantageous for your business to have a place of your own. You’ll need to do a little research to find out more about the laws in your area when it comes to the property itself–and what it can be used for–as well as the building.

There’s always a lot to consider when you tackle a home project; whether you’re adding onto your house or building a new space, the job will be a big one that requires a lot of patience and careful planning, especially when it comes to finding contractors and other help. However, preparation is key and can help you reduce stress while you create the office of your dreams.

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The Benefits of Using a Realtor Versus For Sale By Owner

If you are in the process of buying or selling real estate, you have some major decisions to make. A key, primary decision that needs to be made at the outset is whether you should retain the services of an experienced real estate agent of broker. The alternative is to go the for sale by owner, or FSBO, route. For most people, there exist some very real, significant benefits to electing to retain the services of an experienced, skilled real estate professional as opposed to trying to buy or sell real estate on your own. 

Education and Experience Matter

One of the most significant benefits of using a Realtor as opposed to going the for sale by owner route is education and experience. A Realtor has the training and experience necessary to understand how the real estate market works. 

While this is not meant as any reflection on your own intelligence, but unless you’ve spend a great deal of time involved in the real estate market, you will not have the precise type of education and experience sufficient to match what is fund with a skilled real estate agent or broker.

Price Guidance

A vital benefit that can be gleaned from engaging a real estate agent, rather than going it on your own, is what best can be called priced guidance. In the absence of an experienced Realtor, you are wandering somewhat in the dark when it comes to price issues associated with buying or selling a home.

An experienced, skilled real estate agent or broker has his or her own knowledge about property pricing. In addition, a real estate agent or broker has access to resources that can be of vital importance when it comes to the appropriate price for a piece of real estate. 

Market Conditions

Timing is everything in life, but it particularly is so when it comes to buying and selling real estate. Unless you have a strong background in real estate, and have been analyzing prevailing market conditions, you really must seek out a Realtor. A Realtor devotes a great part of his or her time considering and analyzing real estate market conditions.

In addition to an expansive amount of time spent on studying market conditions, a Realtor has access to expert market analysis. Because trends in the real estate market can shift and alter in short periods of time, this type of resource is crucial to making truly educated decisions about buying and selling real estate. 

Professional Network

On the plus side, a benefit of retaining the service of a real estate agent or broker is the network of other professionals that a Realtor typically has. The sale and purchase of real estate necessitates the assistance of professionals beyond the Realtor. These can include title insurance company, mortgage lender, and property inspection and so forth. 

If you go the FSBO route, you will not have ready access to these professionals. Indeed, you are not likely to have the resources and background necessary to make a thoroughly informed decision about who to hire in this regard. 

Dealing with Paperwork

Buying and selling real estate involves a tremendous amount of paperwork. Moreover, the paperwork must be completed with accurate manner of significant issues can arise. These issues may not arise immediately, but the can rear their ugly heads over time. This can even result in major issues related to the title to the real estate.

Negotiation Skill

Negotiation over the sales price, and other issues, is a major element of a real estate transaction. No matter how adept you may feel you are at in negotiations, you likely do not have the level of experience and skill of a licensed real estate agent or broker. With a Realtor, you will have someone on your team that is highly capable of negotiating the best deal for you. 

Best Financial Deal

Research reveals that much more often than not, a person represented in a real estate transaction by a real estate professional ends up with a better financial outcome than if that individual elected to buy or sell real estate without that type of help. In other words, the costs associated with engaging a real estate professional typically is more than offset by a better financial deal for the buyer or seller got this assistance.

Keep in mind that a Realtor will meet with you at no cost to explore options available to you. A Realtor will explain how he or she can be of professional assistance or you.

Jessica Kane is a writer for Viking Fence, the number on fence rental company in Houston.

Does My Homeowner’s Insurance Company or Do I Select a Contractor for Repairs?

In the aftermath of an event that causes damage to your home you undoubtedly will have a myriad of important questions and concerns. One key question and concern that you face is whether you or your insurance company select a contractor for needed repairs to your residence. 

There are two elements that come into play in answering the query about who selects a contractor for home repairs: state law and the terms of an insurance policy. 

State Law 

In years gone by, insurance companies had more authority over dictating where a car could be repaired or what contractor could be utilized to address damages to a residence. Generally speaking, across the United States, those days are gone. 

State laws in the U.S. permit homeowners the ability to make a final decision about which contractor or contractors will work on making repairs following some sort of damage-causing event. You might conclude that this answers the question about who selects a contractor for work on a residence. The reality is that the matter of selecting a contractor is rather more complicated than recognizing applicable state law where you happen to live. 

Preferred Providers 

Even though state law prevents an insurance company from dictating what contractor you can utilize to repair your home as part of an insurance claim, the insurer is likely to maintain what oftentimes is called a preferred provider list. This is a list of contractors that an insurance company likely has worked with previously and with which an insurer has developed some protocols regarding costs. 

You will be provided a list of preferred providers. You may even be pressured to select from list of preferred providers. Indeed, there are more than a few examples of insurance company representatives leaving homeowners believing that they must select a contractor from this list despite the law in a particular state. 

On some level, an insurance company is not obliged to do your home work or your due diligence regarding your complete set of rights as an insured. However, is an insurance company misleads or deceives you, that is likely to be considered an unlawful claims settlement practice. 

Noting these points, there are many instances when selecting from an insurer’s list of preferred providers makes sense. An insurance company typically strives to have qualified contractors on its list of preferred providers. Moreover, an insurer will have at least some working experience with the contractors on its preferred provider list, a reality that can make the repair and claims settlement process somewhat smoother in many instances. 

Selecting Your Own Contractor 

As discussed, you do have the essential right to select a contractor to address repairs on your residence as part of an insurance claim. With that said, if you are going to select a contractor from beyond the insurer’s preferred provider list, you need to coordinate the engagement with the insurance company claim’s adjuster. 

Depending on the terms and conditions of your insurance policy, there may be some specific qualifications that a contractor needs to satisfy in order for the policy to cover costs incurred in the repair process. In order to ensure that such requirements are satisfied with a particular contractor, you need to coordinate the hiring of the contractor and verification from the insurer that the selection is suitable. 

A contractor that is not on an insurance company’s preferred list may also have to do some negotiating regarding charges for repair work. There may be instances in which a contractor’s charges are above what an insurer will pay. 

If a contractor isn’t fully reimbursed by an insurance company, you become responsible for the difference between what was charged and what was paid by the insurer. If the lines of communication are kept open between you, the insurance company, and the contractor, you place yourself in the best position to engage a qualified contractor, have the insurance cover the repair, and limit your own out-of-pocket expenses. 

State Insurance Commissioner or Department 

If you find you have issues regarding the selection of a contractor and your homeowners insurance company, you can reach out to the insurance commissioner or department in your state. An insurance commissioner or department maintains a consumer assistance division or staff aid people with an array of issues, including those that might arise in a situation involving an insurer, you, and a contractor.

Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Scaffold Store, the favorite and trusted scaffold supplier of the largest contractors.