Success can be a relative term and could signify both tangible and intangible elements in life, but for most people, success is equated to having tangible properties like fabulous homes and established businesses. For successful business people and professionals in Massachusetts, rewarding one’s self with an expansion or a renovation on their beloved abode is just fitting for all the hardships and determination they exerted to get to where they are right now.

If you are part of this group of people and is planning on a home improvement project, then you should take more research and consideration in choosing the right contractor to do the job for you. Making a critical mistake in this area can let you lose all the hard work that you have invested in that contributed to your success.

Finding a good contractor for a major home improvement project is critical according to custom building experts. Whether the work is a major renovation of your home or just a minor repair like peeling paints or leaks in the basement, hiring a professional and capable contractor is the way to go to ensure that what you get is superb quality and service for the cost that you have allocated for them. The following are some tips on how you can search for a qualified contractor for your home renovation needs.
* Seek Recommendations from Friends and Family
Many people would be surprised to know that several of their relatives and friends have, in one time or another hired the services of a private contractor for a major/minor repair or renovation in their homes. Simply asking them for referrals could get you several potential contractors to choose from and their recommendations can shorten your list considerably more. You can also ask them regarding their experiences with said contractors, whether these are negative or positive feedbacks with information ranging from how the contractors communicated with them to how much they were charged for their renovation projects. Still, the most professional way in choosing a contractor is to get in touch with recommended companies and ask for a formal quotation and project discussion.
* Seek Recommendations from Your Local Community
Whether you’re from the Greater Boston area or all the way to Weston, it would be a wise move to check on your local community bulletin boards or coordinating with your local Better Business Bureau to seek for potential recommendations for contractors and builders. Your local community will maintain a history of past business dealings or contracts made by a particular contractor and their track record will be a more valuable source of information than any well-prepared brochure or website. This would help you get reputable names in the industry that can help you with your home improvement project.
* Seek Recommendations from Past Customers
If you do not have ready recommendations from friends or family, or even from neighbors and business associates who have undergone a renovation in their own homes, you can ask the contractors directly for a listing of past customers whom you could contact directly. However, there will be a greater chance that the listing provided would be a little biased towards the contractor. Still, you can ask permission from these past clients if you can visit their homes and see the contractor’s work for yourself, as this would be the best gauge to see their workmanship and to finally decide on who would best fit the job for your home improvement project.
Looking for a contractor that would be well-equipped and fully knowledgeable in performing your home improvement project need not be a very stressful thing. Whether your plans involve “standard” renovation work or the more complicated, energy-efficient and custom built improvements in your home, looking for a qualified using the means outlined earlier can help make this task easier and more fruitful. 

For more information and articles about home improvement, home remodeling and green building projects, you can check out the resources at, or you could get in touch with Divisions Unlimited Inc. at

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Looking for self improvement ideas to better manage your life, your relationships and your finances? Take charge of your life by starting your own business from home? The first step in this very easy process, is to choose profitable, homebased business ideas. 

Before we begin, let’s back track for a moment. If you’d like to improve yourself, how can starting a small business help? Consider the benefits of owning your own business.
Entrepreneurship empowers you to:

Improve your self image and regain your self esteem, by accomplishing your lifelong dreams.  
Better the quality of your relationships by having the freedom of more time to spend with family and friends.  
Dramatically increase your wealth and experience the true financial freedom of self-employment.

Welcome to the second of five training tips articles in the series: “Self Improvement Ideas for Budding Entrepreneurs”. The complete series contains five articles. Don’t miss a single article in this series. Be sure to check back here for the next installment.
Today’s Lesson: Choosing Homebased Business Ideas
Today, let’s talk about how you can find profitable home business ideas to help you start a small business – even if you have very little money. To begin, let’s examine the three simple steps to getting started.
Step 1: Find your passion.
Do what you love and love what you do! What are you passionate about? Make a list of 3 – 5 of your favorite pastimes, skills, hobbies or interests. Once you’ve brainstormed some ideas, match them with potential business opportunities.
Step 2: Research your ideas.
Once you’ve narrowed down your list, do a thorough internet search for homebased business ideas which match your area of interest. Find out if there are any trade organizations or business associations in this field. Also, be sure to check out the competition. Is anyone else operating in your chosen area of interest?
Step 3: Get sound advice.
Connect with others who have the experience of running a home-based business. Join a networking group or business association. Why start from scratch when you can learn so much from others? Begin, by reading a free copy of “Home Business magazine” at your local public library, or visit their website at
Change Your Life – Starting NOW!
You can do it! The journey to self improvement always begins with a first step. As a budding entrepreneur, you need to seek out self improvement ideas that will further your knowledge, education, creativity and sense of well-being. Learn from others who have successfully walked this path before you.
Even if you have little money, poor credit or don’t own a home, you can find the money you need to start your business TODAY.
Investigate sources of bootstrap financing, and take charge of your future.
©2009 Kimberly Kelly – All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
Permission to reprint this article is granted strictly on the condition that it be reprinted in its entirety, with all live links and author bio in tact.

Kimberly Kelly is a Certified Start Up Business Consultant, specializing in bootstrap start up financing. She teaches new entrepreneurs the secrets for finding free sources of business start up funding through her ebooks, seminars and coaching services. She is the author of the popular selling ebook: The Start-Up Business Survival Guide: 101 FREE Products and Services to Help Finance Your Dream of Successful Business Ownership. Visit her website at

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