If you love your home, and you love your hometown, why not make certain you support your hometown when you take care of your home? We know that it’s important for local economies if the small, non-chain businesses generate revenue–the revenue then stays in the town. But staying local is also an effective way to build a truly unique home that speaks to the spirit of your community.
First off, it’s important to stay local with as much of our consuming power as we can. Small businesses that do well create more jobs and, of course, offer much more personalized and hands-on service. When the business owner him or herself is working or contracting the job, he or she will work with a passion that someone simply hired by a major chain might not. Local businesses return the revenue to the community and often support local groups and causes. You can search for local home improvement companies by simply opening the yellow pages section of your phonebook or by doing an Internet search. You can also use resources like Porch, which lists companies and reviews and aggregates each company’s ranking. If you’re in a small town, chances are you know someone who knows someone who does home improvement. That might be a great place to start. That way, your builder or remodeler has a stronger personal connection to you–and therefore a personal investment in the project.
Beyond simply supporting the local economy, staying local with your home improvement work can give the opportunity to support the local artistic and creative community as well. The carpenter putting in your flooring well may also be a world-class woodworker, so why not see if he or she would also want to build your cabinets, bookshelves, or even create a piece of unique decor? If you need to acquire new decor, check out local galleries to see what the artists in your community may have to sell. Research local interior designers, and find someone who does good work and fits within your budget to help refresh the look of your home.
When it comes to smaller tasks, such as lawn care or smaller painting projects, why not hire the local kids? Some of these tasks don’t require a particularly high level of skill, and it can be a great way to help kids save through the summer and promote some community closeness. If you have a local teen who’s interested in installing windows or painting houses, why not let him or her participate in the project? If you’re using a local development company, they’ll probably be open to letting a local youth help out and hone some skills. Local companies may also simply hire high school students or recent grads anyway, either for summer jobs or entry-level positions. Since so many local companies do their part to support the community, you are supporting the community in turn by giving them the revenue to hire locals, engage in philanthropy, and support local organizations and causes.
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