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Room Additions

5 Key Tips For Hiring The Right Contractor For Your Home Remodeling Project

Hiring the right home renovation contractor really is an “inside job” that requires thoughtful research on the part of the homeowner. Folks who are considering renovating their homes this year should plan first on getting educated about hiring the right contractor for their project and understanding their rights.
The fact is that home improvement has consistently ranked at the top for consumer dissatisfaction and fraud according to various consumer agencies. With little accountability on the part of the home improvement industry, it becomes the homeowners’ responsibility to get educated and informed so they don’t become a victim of an unscrupulous contractor.
This much needed education focuses on the “pre-renovation” process, which centers on doing research that reveals background information on the contractor such as his/her business ethics, legal history, reputation and competence in handling your project. Skip this step and you risk getting involved with the wrong contractor and worse, a home remodeling nightmare.
The following 5 tips are critical steps any homeowner should do first regardless of the size and scope of their project. Hiring a roofing company to install a new roof or an electrician to upgrade and rewire the home can prove to be disastrous if you choose poorly.
The following tips will provide the consumer with key information about the contractors’ ethics and willingness to be transparent:
* Conduct background checks that include uncovering relevant lawsuits, any small claims court filings, mechanics lien history, credit standing with suppliers and licensing history if required by your state.
* Conduct a thorough interview, asking key questions around customer care, problem solving, safety issues, working with city inspectors, knowledge of code compliance, who will supervise your project and how much time they’ll spend, and how they handle unexpected surprises.
* State in writing that you require Lien Releases at the time of each payment (in writing as part of the contract) from all subs/suppliers for work performed and material supplied to date.
* Create a thoroughly written specifications sheet and contract with every single detail spelled out, including key clauses to protect yourself and reviewed by a construction law or contract attorney.
* Get in writing – as part of your contract – start and stop dates and hours of working time on your project: specify days- Monday through Friday, hours such as 7am – 3:30pm. This ensures that the contractor is committed to completing your project on time, has the crew to perform and is serious about his business. Signing on the dotted line to this commits him to adhering to the contract and that’s a good sign.
Implementing these steps will help to protect you from hiring an unethical contractor. A contractor who is willing to be transparent in his/her business practices and competency is whom you want to hire.
With thoughtful insight and due diligence, hiring a contractor you respect and whose work you appreciate makes it all worth it and in the end you’re rewarded with a positive experience and a great working relationship with your contractor.

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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.