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How to get qualified professionals to answer your calls



Over the course of two years, Jennifer Flynn approached dozens of recommended home improvement companies, handymen, painters, and others for some of the projects at her home in Syracuse, New York. Many did not show up for the meetings, even after they were confirmed. Others did not return their calls. Still others come out and promise an estimate, only to a ghost. “I’ll contact them and they’ll either say they’re too busy or they won’t answer at all,” she says.

This disappointment is shared by many. “It’s harder than ever to get salespeople to work because there’s so much work out there and they can afford to choose,” says Kimberly Greenwell, homeschooling expert and host My southern home TV.

The situation is unlikely to improve in the near future. Not enough merchants to walk around. Inflation has driven up the cost of doing business. And professionals are tired of wasting their time and money to give a free estimate to people who are unlikely to actually hire them.

According to Chris Egner, chairman of the board of the National Repair Industry Association, the shortage of skilled craftsmen has been building up for at least a decade. “Over the past 10 years, few people have chosen a profession for themselves because it was not seen as a viable career option. On top of that, during the pandemic, those pre-retirement age fishermen left the industry. The situation is starting to improve as young people realize that skilled traders can make good money and eventually start their own business, but it takes a long time for a 10-year gap to recover,” he says.

On top of that, the costs of materials, labor, insurance and fuel have almost tripled since 2020. That means businesses determine which jobs will maximize profits, according to Egner, who owns a Milwaukee-based design, build and renovation firm. For example, a roofer would prefer a complete roof replacement over an hourly repair. A renovation company would rather send a crew into the house to turn an unfinished basement into a bedroom with a bathroom than to replace a bathtub with a walk-in shower. Others set a floor price before considering a job. In Flynn’s case, one contractor told her that he would not take on work under $500,000.

How to Hire a Reliable Contractor and Key Questions to Ask Them

In addition, there are consumers who make comparative purchases, simply tasting the water, which – for merchants – seem like a waste of time. “I get calls from 50 people who don’t want to hire me. They just need a free estimate to find the cheapest price,” says Alan Archuleta, chairman of the Board of the National Association of Home Builders and Renovators. “Why would I go to your house and give you something for free?” To combat this, Archuleta charges for detailed estimates. These bank-ready offers range from $300 for a master bath renovation to $5,000 for a home extension. If you hire his company, the offer fee is credited to the job.

Meanwhile, Flynn’s to-do list continues to grow: replace the bathroom exhaust fan, grout three pipes, remove a broken awning, fix a leaking sink, fix a fireplace chimney, remodel kitchen cabinets, patch up some roofing, peel off three stained windows, repaint the kitchen, and more. She’s not afraid to do her own thing, but she knows her limits; tile, cabinetry, and acceptable streak-free painting are not part of her skill set. “What do I have to say to get the merchants to take me seriously?” she wonders “Is there something I should say or not say? Am I worrying too much or not worrying enough?

Greenwell says a homeowner may have to cast as far a net as possible to find a qualified and reputable company, independent merchant or handyman. Ask friends, neighbors, work colleagues, your social media network, and members of your religious community. The main question you should be asking is not “Are you happy with the job?” but “Would you use them again?” If you find someone who has a good relationship with a handyman or tradesman, ask them to make an introductory call on your behalf.

If you strike out there, try a local real estate agent. “They are a great resource and usually keep a list of roofers, plumbers, electricians and handymen to recommend to their clients,” says Greenwell. Contact apartment managers or your homeowners association if you are a member of one. Ask department managers at local home improvement stores or hardware stores for recommendations.

V NARI website has a list of members that you can search by zip code and specialty. Those who live in rural areas may need to use the zip code of the nearest major city and may pay to travel longer distances.

Archuleta also suggests finding a local or state homebuilders association. Call their office, tell them you are looking for a qualified repairman and ask if they can give you a name. If the recommended repairman says the job is too small, ask if they know of someone more suited to the task. Another option is a local franchise of a national brand such as Neighborly banner, which, in particular, belongs to Mr. Handyman and Mr. Electric.

Once you find potential sellers, share as much information as possible up front. Send project images by email. Use Zoom or FaceTime and walk around the house with your tablet or phone to show them that hole in the wall or broken window. Being ready for a virtual meeting instead of expecting them to come to your house for a 5-minute meeting shows that you value their time. If you have a long list of projects like Flynn, combine them into one big job. Time is money for busy traders. A full time job or a few days of work can be more attractive than an hourly task.

Be open and honest about your project and your budget. If you’re not sure how much a project will cost, ask about similar projects in the area. “Usually a professional should give you a price range,” says Egner. After you have analyzed your financial situation or received a line of credit, you can request a more detailed assessment.

Another tip from Archuleta: When you make contact, say, “I’m looking for a qualified remodeler willing to bring my home up to date, willing to pay for an appraisal, and want to work with a qualified person. How can we work together?”

“Remember, I interview you as much as you interview me,” he says.

And don’t be afraid to be the squeaky wheel, Greenwell says. “This seller may not have employees to call you back, so you have to take charge of your project,” she says. “Don’t be obnoxious, but keep making sure they know you’re serious.”

Finally, in today’s busy market, expect some merchants to not come to you or become your ghosts. If so, be glad you’re not working with them.


Dirty bomb antidote: drug trials begin in US



There will be “intense safety monitoring” and results from the first phase of the study are expected in 2024, said study leaders from SRI International in Menlo Park, Calif., which receives funding from the US government agency, the National Institutes of Health.

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The 13 Best Golf Pants for Men in 2023, Reviewed by Golf Experts




Like casual pants, golf pants come in a variety of cuts: skinny, classic, tapered, and sometimes sporty. Golf pants are usually designed to add more space to the seat and quads, so if you like a slim fit, you can go out and buy a skinny golf pants and still look the way you like with the extra space already built in. in your pants. A classic fit will be almost a straight fit and look baggy, but it can also look cool if done right. What’s great about classic cut golf pants is that they have more room to play.

In our honest opinion, we think that good skinny golf pants are the best fit for most guys. It slims in all the right areas while still providing a roomy fit where you need it most. Skinny golf pants will also look stylish when worn off the course after a game. As for joggers, we only recommend this golf trouser cut if you are already wearing jeans and joggers.


These days, golf pants will come in a variety of combinations. As mentioned earlier, most golf pants will be made from fabrics that have a certain amount of stretch and moisture wicking, however each pants will have its own way of combining these characteristics. For example, sometimes golf pants are made to be lightweight and cool in the first place, so the fabric may lose some strength and comfort during the design process. On the other hand, a brand may want to make golf pants durable and comfortable (almost like chinos), but the trade-off is that they will be slightly heavier and retain more heat.


Unless you’re playing tournament golf or playing multiple times a week, good golf pants should provide versatility when worn. We’ve selected all of our top golf pants above with lifestyle considerations, so any of the pants we recommend will be acceptable to wear when you’re not playing to some extent. However, some of these trousers we recommend are more versatile than others. Golf pants from Wilson, Lululemon and TravisMathew will be the most acceptable off-golf wear. The golf pants we recommend above from adidas and Footjoy will be the least versatile as they have a more traditional cut and look, but they’re still well constructed enough to wear off the course and keep you hanging out. like a sore thumb.

dress code

Golf courses are pretty relaxed in dress code these days, but it’s smart to always wear a collar and look presentable when you show up at the game. When it comes to bottoms, you can wear golf shorts on most courses, but you can never go wrong with golf pants. The PGA Tour still does not allow professionals to wear shorts during actual tournament competition, showing that there are still some rules indicating that golf pants should be worn instead of shorts.

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Electrical clitoral stimulation may treat low libido in women



Stress, hormonal changes, and health issues can all affect libido.

PeopleImages/iStockphoto/Getty Images

Stimulation of the clitoris with electrical impulses can increase arousal to treat low libido. In a small study, helping with an hour of stimulation increased women’s arousal by several points on a scale of 1 to 5, including some participants with spinal cord injuries that affect their ability to experience genital sensation.

Some degree of sexual dysfunction affects perceived 2 out of 5 premenopausal women worldwide. Symptoms vary in severity and may include lack of arousal, attempts to reach orgasm, and sensation of pain…

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