Building Permits

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When It Comes to Asking Clients for a Deposit--Some Advice

Once they've written a check, customers don't change their minds. But you need to get that check. So be clear about how much you need for a deposit and why. That will eliminate most pushback. More

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Not so Sunny

Sunrooms are a big-ticket item. One sale can make your day, but a sale rescinded can just as easily ruin it. "There's nothing worse than getting the phone call that the prospect's changed his mind," says Larry Chavez, president of Four Seasons Sunrooms in Phoenix. More

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What's Permitted

Permitting requirements for vinyl siding vary widely across the country. Contractors in Woodbury, Minn., for instance, can apply for a permit issued across the desk or by mail, with the fee determined by the value of labor and materials in the job. More

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Not Permitted

Build a deck without a permit? Yes, it's a hassle to get one, but fail to do so and you may be asking for it. More

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Be Prepared

A few years ago, Robert Reicorp's company, which sells and installs Four Seasons Sunrooms in California, was up before the San Luis Obispo Historical Commission. The commission indicated it would recommend denial of the permit Reicorp needed to put a sunroom on his client's circa-1890 Cape Cod. The house was on the state register of historic homes and a Victorian conservatory was not historically appropriate. Reicorp went to the library and did some research. A magazine he found showed a photo of a home once owned by Mark Twain, sporting something like a sunroom. It proved persuasive. In a second meeting, the commission recommended granting the permit. More

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