Home Remodeling Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive

It is a common misconception that in order to improve the look and function of the house one must go into debt or expend vast sums of money. This is not necessarily the case. There are a variety of projects that van be completed with relative ease and low cost. With thorough research and careful shopping it is possible to do some home remodeling without breaking the bank.

The number one way to save money on home remodeling is to purchase building and decor materials that are significantly more cost effective than some of their counterparts.

One of the best options for this is the move from hardwood floors to new and high quality vinyl flooring. Faux wood flooring is almost indistinguishable from the real thing and besides being vastly less expensive (the highest end vinyl is about the price of low end hardwood) it is also incredibly durable and easy to clean.

Another place to cut corners during a remodel is to purchase from a reusable or surplus building materials store. These stores sell surplus and sometime very unique building materials at significantly lower prices than retail. Often these stores work to support organizations like Habitat for Humanity or United Way. Not only do these stores sell the same toilets and doors you might find at a hardware store but also they often have gently used and unusual fixtures from demolition or remodel projects around the area. One of the best things to find at this type of store is cabinets and other wall fixtures. These large fabricated pieces can be very expensive to have custom made and it is possible to find them at reusable home improvement stores for very inexpensive. Being diligent and checking back to the store often it is almost assured that a suitable piece for the necessary space will show up.

The one area not to cut corners in home remodeling is hiring good contractor work. Hiring an under qualified or unlicensed contractor will not only result in a less than stellar result in craftsmanship, but can end up costing far more in the long run. Licensed and bonded contractors are highly skilled laborers that will stand behind the work they do. For cost cutting purposes as much of the unskilled or basic prep work first and then higher the most qualified and best contractor that is within the budget. They will be able to install the materials purchased and prepared and will do an outstanding job of home remodeling.


First Line Manager – Now What? You Are a One

One morning, my District Manager came into my office, he stated, “I would never have become a manager if someone told me about all these employee problems.” This was in 1986. Over the years, I heard this statement made by many managers. I always wanted to manage people, this is management. I thought everyone knew, maybe not.

Welcome to my world. I am a first line manager and have been for over 40 years. Your life changes when you become a first line manager. A first line manager occupies a critical position in the corporation; the management position between employees trying to make a career and employees just trying to make a living.

First line managers are the backbone of a business. Most times, first line managers are the only employees who understand what it takes to make a product; or perform a service. They are the managers on the shop floor or customer service office who keep the business in business day to day, hour to hour. If someone in middle or upper management is absent, no problem, the business will still function at the first line. But, when employees that work for a first line manager are absent some part of the plant or service process will suffer, and thus, the business. The first line manager must get the production line or service line moving again when it backs up. First line managers stand in the gap between the business and the customer. They are the real deal makers in any business.

A young first line manager came into my office recently. He is struggling with a problem. He said he is involved in a disagreement between his manager and a higher level manager on a performance issue. I told him welcome to the bottom of the pond. He asked me what I meant. I stated, “You and I are like a catfish at the bottom of a pond. Catfish know the bottom better than any fish. Catfish are not pretty. They usually live in a hole. They do not have scales; but, very tough skin. Catfish have long whiskers to feel the bottom when the water gets muddy. They can see the flashy and pretty fish above darting around. But every time they attempt to get off the bottom they fall back. It is hard to catch these flashy fish; people spend a lot of money on bait to catch them. Catfish are so hungry they will eat anything they find on the bottom, and every now and then they have to eat crap.”

The young man laughed and said, “What a description?”

In the book, “How I raised myself for failure to success in selling” by Frank Bettiger, he states, “experience is the best teacher, it just costs too much.” He meant, if we read about someone’s experiences we get that experience cheaply. If we get experience by our hard knocks in the real world, that experience is too costly.

My blog is about catfish management. How we can survive at the bottom of the pond. This blog about the people I have worked with and dealt with over the years. When you search the web you will not find many first line managers talking about their problems. This is what first line managers need. I hope my stories about my experience will save you time and money.