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Home Remodeling

Remodeling Your Mobile Home – Hiring a Professional is Always a Good Idea

Remodeling your mobile home is a great way to improve its livability and value. Tackling the project yourself in order to cut costs may seem like a good idea, but before you do, consider why hiring a professional is a smarter move.
Though mobile homes and traditional homes may seem similar, there are actually many important structural differences with which a professional is well-versed. A lack of knowledge will trip up even the most savvy home owner. This can turn a weekend project into a series of chores that never end. While a professional will initially cost more, the experience and knowledge you pay for will save you a lot of trouble.
Some remodeling projects, such as electrical or plumbing upgrades, require specialized skill, education, permits, and licensing. Improperly routed wires could pose a fire hazard. You will definitely want to hire a professional to make sure everything is done properly. A professional will know the legal and safety requirements necessary for completing the job. They will know when inspections are required and how to set them up so as not to fall behind on their project.
Permits are not required for relatively simple projects such as wallpapering or painting, but may be required for more complex undertakings. Permits are set up for the safety of the residents in all homes. They cannot and should not be ignored. Professionals know what types of projects require permits and usually have contacts within the city or county building departments to facilitate the permit process.
Take a moment to consult your homeowner’s insurance. If you take on a remodeling job yourself and accidentally damage your home, your insurance very likely will not cover the repairs.
Once you decide to hire a professional, you will want to do your homework. Check for complaints against the company online. Run a check on the company with the Better Business Bureau, and the Consumer Affairs Department for your state. You’ll be surprised how much information will be released to you, with relatively small effort on your part. Verify the contractor’s reputation and confirm that the license is current and valid. Once you are done checking, check once more. You will need to know that the contractor is insured, and that the limits on his insurance are sufficient to cover your project and workman’s comp in case of a worker’s injury. Any professional builder will be able to provide you with proof of insurance.
When you meet your choice for the first time, take some time to assess the quality of service you will receive by asking questions and making observations. You will want someone who is courteous to you, respects your home, seems knowledgeable and arrives on time. Discuss that contractor’s cleaning policy. Will they clean up when the go home every night? Will they clean up at the end of the project? Are there certain areas you must have clean? Once you are both on the same page, you can sit back and watch someone else handle your remodeling project.

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Basement Renovations

Good Remodeling Always Starts With Good Planning

Setting priorities and thinking ahead are crucial steps to ensuring a home remodel project goes smoothly and stays within budget.
Major renovations to your living space can be stressful to say the least. Before picking up a sledgehammer or hiring a contractor, it’s important to “pre-plan” your project, holding the ideal finished product in your mind. Decide upon the look and feel of the renovated room, as well as its function and place in your life.
Even someone inexperienced in construction basics can quickly educate themselves about available products, pricing options, and even design examples. The Internet provides an unlimited source of information regarding where to start, pros and cons to materials and products, color scheme options, material comparisons, quality and pricing, referrals and references (just be sure to choose a credible source).
Perusing local home repair and supply stores can also provide you with visible examples of cabinets, flooring, appliances and more. Remember, there are many design styles, from contemporary to traditional. Take the time to look at all of the different styles available, and determine what seems the most pleasing and can fit best in your home space.
Remember, remodeling is a process that begins with an exploration of solutions, followed by the design and selections phase, and ordering all the items so they are readily available when construction begins. Understanding how the process works helps you build a realistic timeline of completion, which helps ensure all expectations are met.
Even what appears to be a simple remodel can involve many steps, from designs, drawings, selection of appliances and fixtures, city permits, construction, inspections and more. Giving yourself and your contractor enough lead-time helps running through this gauntlet easier – and keeps expenses down. Plan on at least two weeks to gather your ideas and talk with designers and contractors about the project, as well as their costs and availability.
From there, choosing a contractor and pulling off a combined vision can take anywhere from three to six weeks to nine months or more, depending on the complexity of your project. For example, if you’d like to have a new deck or patio ready for the summer, construction needs to begin by spring – but planning should start in December or January. And if you’re expecting to have a whole house renovation ready for the holiday season, or a major kitchen remodel or home addition ready by the late spring, now is the time to start the planning and selection process.
For most people considering a remodeling project, hiring a contractor who also offers a complete design/build component is often the best solution. A design/build contractor will be able to see your project through from start to finish, keeping design, engineering and budget in mind.
The biggest advantage in hiring a design/build contractor is the cost. In most cases, design/build remodelers cost less than hiring two professionals. It also minimizes the project risk for an owner and helps ensure the project will be completed within a set budget.
Another advantage of the design-build approach is the overlap of the design and production staff. With one cohesive team focusing on a project, there is less chance for miscommunication. Potential problems can be corrected earlier in the process, changes can be executed more quickly and the overall time between the design phase and the completion of your project is greatly reduced. Remember, saving time also means saving money.
Design-Build projects, while increasing in popularity nationwide over the last few years and despite the obvious consumer benefits are still outnumbered by their cumbersome cousins, the separate bid contracts. This could be partially due to the lack of qualified companies offering this service and somewhat due to a lack of consumer awareness regarding the design-build process itself. However, recent research has shown rapid growth and development in this often overlooked approach to construction and there’s little doubt in the industry that the design-build template is certain to become standard operating procedure for the majority of projects in the very near future.
Do you envy those organized people who look ahead and get their holidays planned… in summer? They seem to spend less and enjoy the holiday more! Well, homeowners who look ahead and get their 2013 projects into “preplanning” now can feel just as smart as those “Christmas in July” folks. By starting now with a good design/build contractor, you have plenty of time to map out an effective action plan!