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5 Key Tips to Finding the Perfect General Contractor

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5 Key Tips to Finding the Perfect General Contractor

Thinking about hiring a general contractor? When planning a new project, hammering out all the little details can be daunting.

How do you envision your finished space? What’s the best season to attempt your remodel? Who has the skills to finish the job?

Well, here’s a secret—you only need one thing to ensure all your details get hammered out and all your questions get answered. You need the right contractor. He will guide you through the process and make sure your project comes out on time and on budget.

Read on to learn how to pick your perfect contractor.

  1. Check References

So, you don’t want to go through the effort of checking references. They take too much time, and they’re easy to falsify. Yep, both of those are true.

Unfortunately, when you’re finding a general contractor, they’re also one of the best ways to get to know your contractor. Sure, you’ll make certain he’s done other jobs like yours. But did you know he arrives before sunrise and can’t work without blasting 80’s rock so loud that they hear it in the next county?

When you check references, ask about details. Do you know this guy and has he worked for you? What else can you tell me about him, especially details I wouldn’t know to otherwise ask.

  1. Payments

Did you know that if you’re remodeling, you should never pay for more than 10% of your job upfront? Shady contractors who charge you 50% or more upfront may be using your cash to pay off other jobs. That percentage may change if your project includes new appliances or unusual, expensive materials.

  1. General Contractors Vs. Subcontractors

When you hire your guy, is he the one doing the work? The answer is probably no. Contractors hire a team of subordinates to finish most of the manual labor.

That team usually consists of talent from different specialties.

  • Concrete
  • Roofing
  • Flooring
  • Cabinetry
  • Etc.

Most contractors hire their own team and act as a foreman for each job. Some contractors hire other, less skilled laborers to cut costs. These laborers work without any oversight which might create subcontractor liability conflicts.

Make sure you know which you’re getting before you begin and write it into your contract.

  1. Get an Estimate

Experts like those at freemangeneralcontracting.com offer a free estimate. After you sign up, a staff member will visit and talk to you about your options or offer guidance where it’s needed. Before he leaves, he’ll write up an itemized estimate for your entire project.

You’ll know how long it will take and how much it’ll cost. No more hidden terms or fees from your contractor.

  1. Check Licenses and Insurance

One of the most overlooked tips for finding a general contractor is to double-check his credentials with a state contractor license tool. Although each state has its own version, such tools ensure your contractor is registered with the state. He’ll need to be if he carries contractor insurance.

Who uses this insurance and why? Every contractor must carry insurance to cover mistakes on the job. If yours doesn’t have insurance, you will be the one liable should an accident occur.

More Home Improvement

Now that you know how to pick out the right general contractor, it’s time to get started on your project. Jump online and start putting together a collage. Include rooms, fabrics, and furniture you’d like in your new remodel. Show you’re your work to your contractor to give him inspiration for your project.

If you found this article informative, zip over to our ginormous library full of other articles on health, tech, and home improvement.

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About Online Services of Artists

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About Online Services of Artists

Online Services To Inspire, Appraise And Shop For Artists

What exactly is the process of buying art online? How do you get the artist to accept or decline your offer? What are the advantages and disadvantages to buying art online?

In this article, you’ll get tips from a real buyer to help you make an informed decision by Portal e-B2B.org.

Understanding Artists

Art can be a huge investment. But there are many things that can be bought online, and so art can be seen as a practical choice. As such, it’s interesting to discover which artists you should buy art from, for how much, and when you should buy it.

In addition, there are many ways to discover artists. Some of the best places to start are the Top Artists lists that art bloggers are very fond of. If you use online tools to start your research, then there’s also #artsearch, which you can use to find new artists.

Research

It’s very important that you study the work of artists you are interested in buying art from. You can start by reading their portfolios, viewing their websites, and examining their social media pages.

When making a purchase, you need to consider whether the work is good, as well as having the financial means to buy it.

You need to ask yourself questions about the artists themselves, such as how many people they have in their social media circles, how much work they create, and so on. Also, you need to ask questions about the quality of the artwork and how good it is.

Price

One of the first things you have to consider when buying art is the price. It’s much easier to buy art online than it is to buy it in a gallery.

If you have the money, then you can afford to buy something that is expensive. However, if you are new to buying art online, then it might be more realistic to start small and go with smaller artworks.

Another thing you need to consider is the shipping cost. Because most artists are self-employed and work from their homes, they might not have a stable income.

If they work from their homes, they may not be able to ship their art to you. If they are travelling, then you can’t ask them to ship their art to you.

It’s also important to ask yourself about the artist’s reputation and whether they are active on social media.

Necessity

Does the artwork you’re interested in require large sums of money to purchase? If so, then buying it may not be ideal for you.

In that case, you should consider buying a gift for a friend or relative who can then hang it in their home. If you do this, you don’t need to worry about the price of the artwork as it’s free.

If you’re more interested in buying original artworks, then you have to be prepared to pay more money. Otherwise, you can buy cheaper prints.

Types of Art

Art is not just paintings and sculptures. It can also include photos and mixed media pieces. There are many types of artwork and so you’ll need to understand what sort of art you want to buy.

If you want to buy paintings online, then you should consider buying paintings that feature vibrant colors.

You may also consider buying landscapes and other works with similar themes. If you’re more interested in working with mixed media, then you can also get these types of artworks, such as sketches and drawings.

If you like portraits, then you’ll need to look for artwork with a specific style. However, if you want to buy original artworks online, you can ask for any specific style you want to see.

Where to Buy Art Online

There are many ways to buy art online. You can buy paintings online or buy original art online. You can buy skechers online or you can buy drawings.

You can also get photography, prints, and other types of art online. You can also buy art online from a gallery or an individual artist.

If you prefer to buy from a gallery, then you should choose one that has a wide range of works. For example, a large gallery may only sell small-sized artworks. Alternatively, a small gallery might only sell original art.

There’s no shortage of online services such as Guest posts. However, you should be aware of the rules and regulations of buying art online.

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Business

A Quick Introduction to Scaled Agile Framework

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A Quick Introduction to Scaled Agile Framework

Business as usual isn’t getting you far enough, is it? If it feels like your company is moving far too slowly or not growing enough, then it’s time for a change.

The old way of organizing a company, from CEO down to entry-level employees, is becoming obsolete. It invites bureaucracy and makes progress slow.

But companies that want to move faster and grow bigger are quickly adopting the scaled agile framework. This new method of organizing and empowering an organization is changing the way businesses operate from the inside out.

What is scaled agile framework? And what does it take to become a scaled agile company? Keep reading to discover how to take your business to the next level.

What Does Scaled Agile Framework Mean?

If your company develops software or complex solutions for your customers, then SAFe, or Scaled Agile Framework is for you. It’s a set of principles that guide your company, improve workflows, and increase engagement across your teams.

The framework will help you better develop software. It will also help you systemize your business in a much more efficient way.

It requires your entire company to be on board and follow the principles. When they do, your company will enjoy faster time to market, faster solutions, greater collaboration between teams, and increased participation and purpose, even for new team members.

Scaled Agile Framework Benefits

It all sounds great, right? But what are the actual benefits of the SAFe Scaled Agile Framework?

Internal Unity

For starters, it will provide alignment within your organization. Many traditional organizations struggle to achieve alignment as teams often believe that they are opposed to one another.

But SAFe allows for continual reflection across the board. Everyone looks at the goals of the company, the mission, and the progress so far. When this happens regularly, everyone can come together to visualize the solutions, communicate freely, and allow for true collaboration.

Greater Quality and Execution

With improved communication and greater collaboration across the company, you will experience a higher quality product executed well.

Quality checks are built into the SAFe framework, causing each employee and team to define success related to their department.

Transparency

Greater communication and collaboration also lead to transparency within the organization. Lack of trust from team to team is often an issue with traditional companies, as they rarely get together to work side by side.

Work and sprints are also planned in smaller increments, allowing for easier milestones and more frequent troubleshooting. These advantages of scaled agile software and companies can lead to faster success and greater company growth.

Principles of Scaled Agile Framework

When planning to implement the scaled agile framework, there are core principles that become the guiding light of the organization. While there are many important principles, here are just a few key ideas.

  1. Understand Economic Implications

One of the biggest issues with companies that don’t subscribe to agile management is slow decision-making. Major decisions often have to work their way up the corporate ladder for approval by many managers.

But with agile thinking, it’s important to understand that decision delays cost money. Agile thinking allows for greater empowerment and faster decision-making. This leads to shorter lead times for getting a product or solution to market.

It’s also important for teams to operate on strict budgets. This allows for greater innovation and higher-quality solutions.

  1. Systematize

Every function of your business needs to implement systems to be productive. Without systems in place, things can happen at random. Tasks can be done in different ways each time they are completed.

During the course of business, a lack of systems across your organization will cost money and cause unnecessary frustration. Always be thinking of ways to build or improve systems.

  1. Build and Test Incrementally

It’s easy to set milestones for completing certain objectives, specifically when it relates to software development. But testing software based on the individual checkpoint doesn’t provide an accurate depiction of progress.

Instead, it’s important to test the entire system at each checkpoint to see how the latest interaction affects everything else. Progress can only happen when it works in tandem with work completed previously.

  1. Empower Teams

For work to get done and decisions to get made, teams need to be empowered by leadership. If you want to see progress, allow your individual teams to make the best decisions they can make.

This will encourage greater participation among your employees, as they actually see their ideas and solutions as valuable, rather than awaiting orders from the boss.

How to Become a Scaled Agile Company

Transitioning your company from a traditional organizational structure to a scaled agile company is not an easy or quick task. It takes a lot of work and a lot of cooperation from every department, team leader, and employee.

It also takes a long-term commitment. It’s not an overnight change.

The best way to make this transition possible is to hire a certified scaled agile coach who can guide your business through the process. Independent coaches are trained and receive scaled agile framework certification before they can work with companies in this regard.

When you hire a scaled agile coach, they will help you create a plan. The plan is how you can take your current teams, empower them, and undo the top-down structure that causes everything to go slow.

Alternatively, you can also have members of your team become scaled agile certified. They will discover what it takes to lead your company into this new form of management and will be present in the weeds to help bring lasting change.

And it doesn’t have to be just one person. You can certify an entire team or even your entire company. Many companies will bring in a third-party coach initially, but utilize their own certified staff for ongoing development.

Trust the Process

The scaled agile framework has the power to transform your organization, making it more productive and more profitable than ever before. But there is a lot that goes into it.

It’s not a simple decision to begin agile operations. Rather, it’s an ongoing process that takes time, refinement, and continual learning. But it’s a process you’ll wish you had started sooner.

Looking for more information like this? Check out our blog today for other helpful articles.

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5 Major Benefits of Using Agile Project Management

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5 Major Benefits of Using Agile Project Management

It’s fair to say Agile has shaken up the project management world.

Scarred by bad high-profile projects that delivered late and over-budget, the brains of the IT world got together to develop an Agile framework. They planned to transform the delivery of complex development projects.

But is Agile as good as people claim it to be? As we explore the top 5 benefits of using the Agile framework on your next project, judge for yourself.

Benefit #1: Adapting to Change

One of the main reasons for the rise of Agile is because it is a highly flexible framework for managing projects. It embraces change.

Traditional waterfall-style projects have a rigid approach to project management. They have a strict project plan, deadline, and scope.

Strict project plans don’t allow for the unexpected, and that’s where Agile performs so well.

The Agile framework is split into small, discrete chunks of work. In between those phases, the project manager can steer the project differently if problems emerge or new requirements crop up.

Benefit #2: Early-to-Market Product Release

The motto of the Agile framework is to deliver small, deliver early. That ability to create a fast product prototype makes Agile popular with technology projects that need that first-to-market advantage.

The Agile framework focuses on prioritizing the work schedule based on delivering the most valuable product elements first. What that means for a business is a rapid app or website launch.

Early launches mean a quick Return on Investment. At the same time, the project team carries on with the less critical features. These project management services can help you put that sort of approach in place.

Benefit #3: Improved Team Relationships

Traditional business projects are top-down. Those in charge set instructions, requirements, and plans. The team carrying out the work is left to deliver this, handling whatever problems and risks come their way.

Agile solves this problem by putting teams in control. Every team member has input into the planning of each phase of the project, including contributing to timescales and scope.

This approach helps to create a more bonded, motivated team. Having a more significant say in the project’s direction means the team is accountable and fully invested in the project’s success.

Benefit #4: Better Control of Budget

Agile enables a project team to maintain close control over a project, emphasizing team support and transparency over issues and risks.

The Agile framework captures problems early. This strategy gives project managers insight into how well the project is getting tracked against the budget. If the development goes off-course, it’s easier to reign in the project.

What’s more, project stakeholders can scrap future development cycles if there is no budget without hurting the efforts of all the work that’s already taken place.

Benefit #5: Strong Focus on Quality

Traditional projects place a great deal of emphasis on delivery timescales and cost-cutting, which often comes at the expense of quality.

With Agile, a project team delivers in increments. Testing is carried out simultaneously instead of getting squeezed in at the end of development.

This approach makes it easier to focus on the quality of the specific work the team is currently delivering and making sure it is fit for purpose.

The Agile Framework Is the Future for Projects

With many successful case studies in Agile-led projects, it is easy to understand the popularity. The Agile framework is beginning to replace traditional project management even in big, established organizations.

Want more support with your business operations? Check out our business section for our latest articles and guides now.

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