Home Renovation Cost – Get Ballpark Bids From Contractors

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Almost any contractor is willing to come out, take a look at the job, and give you a bid. The only question is: How accurate will that bid be?

At an early stage of the game, chances are that the contractor will make a high bid, figuring that you do not really know what you want and will change your requirements over time. The contractor has to build in protection in case you end up wanting something substan¬tially different from what you are now asking for. Often a contrac¬tor’s bid will include a variety of options. Here’s a typical ballpark bid for an upgraded kitchen:

Complete Kitchen Cabinets, Installed

All new cabinets, in stained wood $11,400
All new cabinets in plastic white $7,300
All new cabinets with glass doors $12,200
Existing cabinets with new doors and veneer $6,100
Existing cabinets sanded and restained $4,200

Since you don’t know what you want, the contractor is offering you a variety of options to choose from. Of course, each option is still a guesstimate, probably high, of what it will really cost. You have to sit down and pick out the specific cabinets, the stain you want, the configuration, whether you want to buy new or refinish old, and so on. Obviously, the choices you make will dramatically influence the cost. Nevertheless, the contractor’s initial bids here can help you see relative costs and what it will take to do the job with different types of materials.

How do you find contractors to give you guesstimates? Ask friends who are pleased with the work they had done. Ask real estate agents. Look for cabinet shops, tilers, kitchen specialists, and so on in the phone book.

Call several. Ask them to come by for an evaluation. Most con¬tractors will do this for free. Typically they will stop by and spend around an hour with you. They’ll give you options, possibly with a quick sketch of what they plan to do, and supply a ballpark estimate of costs.

Also check out contractors who specialize in remodeling jobs. They’ll come out and look at your overall job, suggest options, per¬haps come up with a brief plan, and give you a variety of costs depending on the options you choose.

To get an accurate bid from a contractor, you need to have a set of plans, a list of specs (an indication of the materials you want), and a timetable for completion. If you don’t have all that, you’re just getting a ballpark figure.

Home Improvement Was Tim Allen’s First Acting Gig

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Tim Allen’s most notable role, Home Improvement’s Tim Taylor, was also his first. Subscribe NOW to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: …

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Some of the 17,000 poultry at Seldom Rest Farms located, north of Myerstown, PA, on Wednesday, April 20, 2011. The chickens are kept in a two story chicken house and produce approximately 2.5 million chicks each year. To supplement their electrical needs, they chose a contractor who knew about United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Energy for America program (REAP) grants and helped them through the application process. The farm was awarded a $152,000 grant (25% of the cost). to install the 1001kW solar array to power their farm, a neighboring farm and homes on the local electrical grid. The 240 solar panels were ground mounted with 5-foot clearance underneath to allow sheep to graze and rest underneath protected from the rain, sun or snowfall. Ten inverters change the DC electrical energy from the panels into AC energy that goes into the local power grid. Spring statistics show it is producing more than expected. REAP offers grants and/or loan guarantees for the purchase and installation of renewable energy generating systems and for energy efficiency improvements. For additional important details about REAP, see www.usda.gov. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.

Posted by USDAgov on 2011-10-03 02:21:16

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Lean Healthcare – Why Does It Work For Some And Not For Others?

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There has been a growth in the use of Lean in Healthcare but is it always delivering the desired returns? Experts are being brought in to support Healthcare “Lean” programmes but are they leaving the organisations with robust new processes and the competencies to deliver Continuous Improvement? We see a premium for Trusts when their imported experts successfully transfer knowledge, develop staff skills and help enhance the right culture for leading and embedding improvement and experience is already showing that the focus on simple effectiveness does not automatically lead to long term improvements or the most effective processes.

The same is true outside healthcare for organisations in manufacturing where “Lean” has its roots but where it is nowhere near as ubiquitous as many assume. Indeed, many manufacturing companies that were “going Lean” fell by the wayside on their journey and the government continues to invest heavily in helping manufacturers to implement Lean more effectively and to develop the underpinning skills that are required to embed the change.

The NHS can learn from the experiences in manufacturing, not only of those who succeeded but also of those who failed to realise benefits. Already some of the problems experienced in manufacturing are becoming evident in healthcare. For example we have seen some organisations focusing solely on ‘Rapid Improvement Events’ (i.e. the implementation of the improvements) without preparing effectively (i.e. designing the improvements) or setting up systems to maintain and embed the desired new ways of working. This (error) approach to “Lean” can convert Rapid Improvement Events into ‘Rapid Ram Raids’ where:

o Improvements quickly occur BUT are not sustained.

o New risks are introduced (i.e. patient safety).

The organisation wide outcome is a loss of inertia, misunderstanding and lack of buy-in, etc, resulting in negative staff attitudes toward “Lean”.

Learning from manufacturing – Why has Lean not always delivered?

Some key reasons why Lean has failed to embed itself in some manufacturing companies are because the organisations have failed to:

o Set out an agreed vision and plan at the start

o Understand how the whole pathway functions prior to moving to ‘Rapid Improvement Events’

o Build sufficient internal expertise and relying too heavily on external consultancy support

o Engage the team effectively and a failure to recognise the need to change attitudes (cultures) at the same time as changing processes

Whilst these same “Lean” failure modes are starting to manifest themselves in healthcare organisations, there are specific ‘failure modes’ unique to healthcare which need to be considered.

It is obvious the way that processes are organised and operated contribute to the success of healthcare organisations in delivering an effective patient experience and high quality patient care. They also create a unique pattern of patient safety risks. Some risks are more obvious (e.g. infection) whilst others are less obvious or are hidden (e.g. failure to transfer information between organisations in a timely manner) which can lead to an adverse event occurring.

Current ways of working will include risk / patient safety management … Read More

Kid RUNS AWAY from home

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Dad did a prank on Alex and took his head set and gave it to Ryan and Alex runs away from home Thank you everybody for watching and thank you all of your …

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