Missing Items From Home Improvement Contracts Render Them Illegal

California imposes very specific requirements on contractors who draft, prepare, and submit home improvement contracts to consumers. If a contractor fails to meet the minimum requirements then their contracts are potentially illegal, unenforceable, and the contractor could lose the benefits the contract was designed to provide them.

Notwithstanding the granite countertops, the cabinets, or the carpet, the contractor you choose is the most important decision in the entire home improvement project. A very easy way to tell if you are dealing with a true professional contractor is by looking at their proposed contract very carefully. When I say carefully I mean to take the document and have a competent attorney review it. The contract will tell you a lot of information about the contractor without even having to speak with them. For example, California Business and Professions Code 7159 et seq. has very specific requirements designed to protect consumers against contractors. If the contract does not have these minimum protections you should be very wary of the contractor whom you are about to do business with. Some of the protections are as follows:

A home improvement contract and any changes to the contract shall be in writing and signed by the parties;

It must include the name, business address, and license number of the Contractor;

“Home Improvement” heading must be on the contract in at least 10-point boldface type;

“Contract Price” heading followed by the amount of the Contract;

“Description of the Project and Materials to be Used” heading

“Down payment” heading that states DOWN PAYMENT MAY NOT EXCEED $1,000 OR 10% OF CONTRACT PRICE”;

“Schedule of Progress Payments” heading with each progress payment stated and specifically referencing the amount of work performed and materials provided;

“Approximate Start Date” heading;

“Approximate Completion Date” heading;

“Note about Extra Work and Change Orders” heading

Commercial general liability insurance notice indicating whether or not the Contractor has insurance;

Workers’ compensation insurance notice indicating whether or not the Contractor has worker’s compensation insurance;

A mechanic’s lien warning notice describing to a consumer the issues of mechanic’s lien rights held by contractors;

Joint Check provisions wherein a consumer can make a check payable to both the contractor and the subcontractor or material supplier to protect them from being double billed;

Information about the Contractors’ State License Board (CSLB);

“Three-Day Right to Cancel” notice that gives a consumer 72 hours to cancel a contract without penalties;

This above list is a few of the common items that contractors fail to include in their contracts. If one or more of these items are missing from your contract please have it thoroughly reviewed before signing it.

Additional common questions to ask the contractor include:

How long has the contractor been in business in the state? Check their license status on the contractor’s state licensing board website.

The contractor should have a business history in your area including a list of references, phone numbers and email addresses. If they can’t provide references consider looking elsewhere. Hiring a contractor to complete a project where another has gone out of business can be costly and disastrous.

Get the names and contact information for everyone, including subcontractors, sub-subcontractors and employees who will be working on your property and insist on a full-time project supervisor.

There are dozens of other questions to ask during the selection process all of which are equally important. There are also other protective clauses that you can request to be included in the contract. For additional information about these areas contact a competent attorney who is familiar with construction contractor, contractors, and the contractors state licensing laws.

Income Opportunity Home Based Business – 10 Ways to Improve Your Web Site

While browsing the “Net” have you ever come across web sites that are so hideous, that you just want to hit the escape button and carry on browsing.

Well the good news is that there are always ways to improve a income opportunity home based business site, maybe your site is not one of the hideous sites. However looking at your site as a visitor and not as the owner, might show you that there are always room for improvement.

The top 10 ways to improve your site.

Tip 1 – Make sure your web address is not obscure or difficult to remember.

If you have a catchy web address name that is easy to remember, your visitors can easily return to your site, your web name does not necessarily have to reflect the product, it is more important to be catchy and short, ( think of Amazon, Yahoo etc)

Tip 2 – Ensure that your web site is focused.

Make sure that your site is targeted towards a specific target market, visitors will always come back if they find your site is relevant and beneficial to their needs.

Tip 3 – Get rid of clutter.

Get rid of distracting spinning graphics and unnecessary images, anything that will distract your visitor from reaching your Sales copy. The more junk that is on your site the longer it will take to download, remember the 10 second rule.

Tip 4- Have a professional written Sales copy.

You don’t actually need to get a professional copy writer to write your sales copy, if you are sure that you could do a decent job on your own. Just make sure that your copy is not vague, rambling and full of spelling and grammatical mistake – have a look at the Sales copies where you have bought something, if it was good enough to impress you , it should be good enough to impress your visitors.

Tip 5- Reveal who you are.

This is all about TRUST, if your visitors do not know who you are, and there is no way to contact you, then the first thought is that your site is a ” SCAM”. You should include details , such as your name, Business address ( if applicable), phone number or email address.

Tip 6- Is reading your Sales copy a challenge?

Choose a font and text size that easy to read, bold and underline key points and headings only. Make sure that your copy is easy to read, by using black text on a white background, use paragraphs to break up the page into easy readable chunks.

Tip 7- Interact with your visitors.

If a visitor send you an email with a question about your product or service, reply back promptly and by been helpful and courteous, will serve to create more trust and build a relationship between you and your customer.

Tip 8- Provide a guarantee.

Make it easier for your visitors to trust you by offering a guarantee if you are selling an item or service. Loads of people have been burnt by unscrupulous sharks – let your visitors know that they can trust you.

Tip 9 – Ensure your site is up to date with useful information.

Always Keep in mind, that people use the internet to look for information, so make sure that your site is informative, and up to date. Give away good free information, which will encourage repeat visitors. Do not include links to other sites, which are irrelevant.

Tip 10 – Is your order process driving customers away?

Set up merchant accounts and use services like PayPal, which will offer your visitors secure online ordering 24 hours a day. Making it easier for your customers to purchase will mean you make more money online.

Conclusion

There are always things that can be done to improve your income opportunity home based business website, have a look at what your competitors are doing, that are selling the same goods as you, have a look at the sites that are in a higher position in the search engines – are their sites better?

By always benchmarking your sites against others but at the same time retain your USP ( unique selling point), will you get more conversions and more sales.