Jonathan Sweet is the editor in chief of Professional Remodeler, an award-winning trade publication for remodelers and home improvement contractors. He started his career covering homes and small businesses at a daily newspaper and has spent more than a decade writing for several construction trade publications including Qualified Remodeler, Construction Pro and Concrete Contractor+Jonathan Sweet

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POSTED 5/19/2011

So for all those remodelers who thought there was no reason to follow the EPA's lead RRP rules?

Yeah, you might want to think about that again.

The EPA has cited a Maine remodeler for not properly following the rules after two of his employees were recorded removing paint from a home with power tools and without containing the waste properly. It's the first EPA action under the rules that went into effect last year.

The purchasing decisions we make every day aren’t about logic. We’re constantly making emotional decisions to buy or not buy something, whether it be a candy bar, an iPad or a new car.
Oh sure, we can come up with plenty of perfectly good reasons why we do these things (“It’s OK, chocolate has antioxidants” or  “I’ll be so much more productive if I have a tablet” or “It gets much better gas mileage”), but the reality is it’s all rationalization.

Missed our recent webinar with Rich Harshaw on “Micro-Marketing Strategies for Remodelers: How Narrowing Your Prospect List Can Increase Your Results”?

You can check out the archive here.

I recently talked to remodeler David Merrick, president of Merrick Design & Build, outside of Washington, D.C.

He says the market is strong, and is keeping them much busier than many of his cohorts in other parts of the country. Even there, though, project sizes are smaller and competition is heating up.

Take a look at what David had to say by clicking here.

I recently got to spend some time in Madison, Wis., for one of our PR Night educational and networking events.
Madison is one of those markets that has been relatively healthy throughout the downturn, with a strong white collar economy, led by state government and the University of Wisconsin. Even now the unemployment rate is below 6 percent.

Jersey City, NJ -- Writing from the NARI Spring Business Meeting here, and the news seems to be mostly positive.

Most remodelers I've talked to are seeing business pick up, with much better first quarters than a year ago. It seems to be the case pretty much nationally, as I'm hearing it from remodelers from Washington, D.C., to Indianapolis to Dallas to Seattle and points between.

I'll be shooting some videos with some of those remodelers later this week, so keep an eye on HousingZone for those next week.

In case you weren't able to catch it live, we've archived our webinar with Mark Richardson. As usual, Mark had some great insight into where the market is headed and how remodelers can take advantage of it.

Just go to to view the full webinar.

More good news this week for remodeling.

The market keeps growing, even while new construction continues to get battered. The latest is a report from BuildFax, which tracks monthly permit information and shows that remodeling activity increased in January for the 15th straight month and was up 22 percent over a year ago.

By Jonathan Sweet, Editor in Chief

Posted 3/7/11

The battle to repeal the new 1099 requirements continues to move at a glacial pace.

(In case you missed it, you're going to have to start issuing a bunch more 1099s in 2012 if nothing changes. The requirement was included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed last year. You can read more in our earlier coverage.)

By Jonathan Sweet, Editor in Chief

Posted 2/16/11

In a report sure to cause some controversy, real estate research firm CoreLogic says that the National Association of Realtors is overestimating existing home sales by 15 to 20 percent.

The firm says that NAR is not taking into account the higher share of sales going through MLS systems or the decrease in for sale by owner home sales in making their projections.


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