It is very typical that during home remodeling projects the homeowner will at one time or another need to hire a contractor. You may need to hire a professional and experienced contractor in NJ to complete interior or exterior painting, build a backyard deck, install replacement windows, build an addition or any number of other types of projects. It can be rather difficult to figure out which contractors are trustworthy and which are not. There are some real con artists out there. How is a homeowner to know which contractor can be trusted? The trouble is unless you know – you just don’t know! But doing a little bit of research and homework will make it much more likely that you will find a contractor that can be trusted. Continue reading »
Archive for the ‘good contractor’ Category
There are various times that homeowners need to take a look at doing some outdoor home remodeling. Perhaps the wooden areas are in need of replacement or the outside just needs a general overhaul. Maybe you are thinking of adding another room and are looking for something different for the exterior portions. Siding can be a good choice as it can complement other areas. Whatever you are considering in the way of home remodeling there are several benefits that make home siding a great option.
One of the main reasons designers and homeowners choose home siding over other options is that it is very low maintenance. It is very easy to keep clean and never needs painting. Because the color is sort of built in, it will not begin to peel. Siding will not rot and termites are not the least bit interested in it!
Low maintenance is just one of the many benefits of siding; durability is another. It will usually last 50 years or longer. If there is a need to repair it is very inexpensive to fix. It is also less expensive than stucco, wood or brick when installing or maintaining.
Another benefit is the wide variety of styles in which it is available. There is a huge selection of textures and colors. The assortment of textures makes it easy to match and blend with other housing materials. The many colors ensure that any tone or hue is easily matched. This makes it an excellent choice to replace existing wood gables and shutters. But siding can also be a wise economical choice when adding a room on to the house. It is easy to match existing brick, stucco or wood on the rest of the house.
Home siding is available in four materials: vinyl, steel, wood and aluminum. Each type as key advantages but vinyl is the most popular choice. It adds a layer of insulation to the house as well as helping to reduce utility bills.
Home siding is a valuable choice when doing outside home remodeling. It is less expensive than other materials and very easy to maintain and clean.
It is finally spring and most of us are trying to decide what we can do for some of our home remodeling projects. Chances are that you do not have time, energy or desire to do some major renovations. Maybe you need some spring projects that won’t take too long to complete but can make a big difference in a room or area.
Lighting is an area that is relatively quick to get done but it can make a huge difference in any room of the house. It may be as simple as adding some mirrors along one wall to help reflect light where it is more needed. Small accent lights may be added to accentuate a particular area such as a fireplace. Adding lights to a built in shelving unit can give the entire room a boost.
Or just work on changing the light arrangement in one room. For instance do some renovations on existing kitchen lighting. Add a light over a major work area like an island or the sink. You can also change the lighting over the dining area.
If indoor lighting is up to date think about adding some outdoor lighting for all the neighborhood get togethers you have planned for the season. It really helps when you are grilling if you are able to see what you are cooking! Set the outdoor lighting so that it is comfortable and inviting so that guests can sit around and enjoy conversation through the evening hours.
Adding storage space to key locations is a good spring project as well. The bathroom may need a closet rather than simple half shelves and now is a good time to box it in. Perhaps it’s a study area or den that needs a few more shelves to hold books or what-knots. The kitchen is always in need of proper storage space too.
Painting a room can be a quick fix for most living areas. There isn’t a faster way to spruce up any room in the house than to give it a clean, fresh coat of paint.
These are just some simple ideas for spring remodeling projects that won’t cost an arm or a leg. Most can be completed over a weekend or just a couple of days.
You’ve finally decided to remodel your kitchen or add on that extra room. You’ve done your research and found 2 to 3 contractors who are licensed, if that’s required in your area, bonded, and checked some referrals. So you’re ready to pick up the phone and call. Wait a minute! Just like men and women don’t always communicate on the same wave length, contractors and the rest of us don’t use the same language. In order to make sure that you’re clear about what you want done and have the contractor understand and explain the process, you’re going to have to do a bit of homework ahead of time.
Let’s say you’re going to remodel your kitchen. You want new cabinets, counters, flooring, and appliances, maybe even a different layout. Check out some of the home decorating magazines and find pictures of the type of cabinets you want. Visit an appliance retailer and pick out the appliances you want. Make sure to note the model numbers and if they come in the color you want. Next, you can draw out what you want, or drop in at Home Depot or Lowe’s. They can print out what you want from their CAD program and if you have measurements, so much the better. Check out the flooring and counter departments and get samples of what you think you might like. Like paint chips, laminate counter top samples are available for check out, and there is usually a variety of composite, tile, or other counter top materials to choose from. Flooring samples are available as well. When you’ve decided, make note of the information on the back side of the sample – the manufacturer, the style name and number. Gather all your pictures, drawings, printouts and sample information into a useable format and make copies for each contractor you’ll be interviewing. Now, you’re ready to talk to a contractor.
It’s important to sit and down and visit with each contractor, show them what you want and the space they might be working in, so make sure you plan enough time. An hour should be enough, but depending on your project you may want to plan for extra time. They should want to see the space and take their own measurements. They’ll need to check if any plumbing or electrical work will have to be moved. If you want to have any structural elements moved, they’ll need to look at the space above and below.
There are some questions you’ll want to ask. How many workers does the contractor employ? Do they all work on the same job at the same time? Will the contractor need to hire subcontractors, plumbers or electricians for example? Does the contractor work on more than one job at a time? Can he or she guarantee his/her estimate or what are the procedures if the job takes more time and money than the estimate called for? Does the contractor have business insurance? Can he or she guarantee how long it will take to complete the job? Who will handle hauling the debris away? Who handles the permits? The answers will depend on the specific job. The more workers, the faster they can complete the job, but some individuals can be pretty fast and often more reliable. If they work multiple jobs at once, are they going to split their time between jobs? If specialized work such as plumbing or electrical is called for – they should either be qualified, or hire sub contractors to do the work.
There are obstacles that can occur that aren’t planned for that can add time and money to a project. Moving structural elements isn’t a good idea and if the contractor doesn’t think they need to be replaced, you might want to consider another contractor. Structural elements are vital to holding up a structure such as a house. Without them, the structure won’t be sound and damage to the property and injury to those inhabiting it can occur. They should be able to give you a timeline for how long the project will take. If not, look elsewhere. The contractor should also be the one who cleans up and hauls the debris away.
After visiting with each contractor, contemplate on how you feel about each one. Did they give you the opportunity to ask questions? Did they talk about everything but the job? Did they want to give you an estimate on the spot? Did they look closely at the space and listen to what you wanted? Did they offer suggestions that would help reduce cost or would be a better choice? For example, not moving structural elements, but working around them, not moving plumbing, but reconfiguring the floor plan so everything works well. Both of those examples will reduce cost and may actually work to your advantage if the contractor is good at his job. Making notes of your visit can help you remember when the estimates arrive.
Once you’ve received their bids, don’t automatically take the lowest one. Don’t automatically take the highest one either. Remember your visit with each contractor and how you felt about each one. Look at your notes to help you remember. The estimates should be very specific about materials and labor, including hardware and any subcontractor work as well. choose the contractor who explains what is going to happen at each stage of the project. You should also feel comfortable with that person’s knowledge and expertise as well as with the person him – or herself. When you’ve chosen the contractor you feel is right for you, there should be a contract to sign detailing what all is to be done and when, along with the cost. It should be very clear and understandable and it should match the estimate. Each party should get a copy. Now the work can begin!
This was a guest post by Jayne Yenko
Jayne is currently a writer for http://WesternWyoming.blogspot.com
This is a guest post by
Erick D. Smith is a blogger living in San Diego who writes about home construction and remodeling. To get a more accurate estimate from one of San Diego’s expert home construction firms, click here.
A second story addition can be a great way to increase the spaciousness of your home, raising its value and giving your growing family the room it needs. Undertaking the project, however, is no small thing. It can be very costly, depending on the size of your house, and regardless of size, it will involve a lot of planning, time, and hard work. Making a thorough cost analysis and creating a realistic budget will make the whole process a whole lot easier and will help you avoid overspending. To help get you started thinking about and planning your second story addition, here is a brief breakdown of the costs that will be involved.
Important Things to Consider
• City and County Requirements – Before you get started on the logistics of the project, it’s important to do some research into the region’s second story addition regulations. Every city and county has its own set of rules regarding how much square footage you’re allowed to add to your home. This is usually based on the amount of land you have. Using San Diego as an example, a good place to find the information you need is the sandiego.gov construction permits page.
Temporary Housing – A lot of contractors will recommend that you live somewhere else, temporarily, while your house is being remodeled. This is a good idea, as it will be more comfortable for you as well as safer, so start thinking of a good place where you might stay before beginning your project. The cost of alternative temporary housing is something you should definitely calculate into your budget.
• Contractors – Even if you opt to do as much of the managerial work as possible yourself, there’s no getting around the cost of skilled subcontractors. About 30 – 40 percent of your budget is likely to go towards contract work. The average cost for contractors when adding a second floor to your home is usually between $70 and $150 per square foot.
• Structural Engineer – When you’re looking for home construction services, be sure to look for a good structural engineer in your area. This is someone who will be able to inspect your home and determine whether the existing foundation will support a second story addition, or whether additional foundation work will be required.
• Architect – An architect is an important part of a successful second story addition project. He or she will be needed to create a blueprint of the project and an accurate set of plan drawings. The cost of an architect depends on the size and complexity of the project, and will either be a flat fee or a 5 to 15 percent commission.
Effect on Your Home Value
Adding a second story to your home will lead to a reassessment of your property taxes. This means that they’ll probably increase, but in most areas the reassessment will only be of the second story addition, not of the whole house. The overall value of your home will increase significantly, but keep in mind that utility bills are also likely to go up.
The siding on your outer walls may need some attention since the weather storms will be hitting hard in several months, as summer comes to an end. Siding holds up very well and needs little maintenance but you must pay attention and take heed if repair is needed. There are important clues to look for so that you can best judge if your home needs repair in regards to the siding on your home. Once you discover that there are repair needs to your siding you need to know who to contact or if you can simply do the job yourself.
Taking a good look at your home will tell you if your siding needs any attention. You should look for these troubled spots by keeping an eye out for cracks or bent pieces of siding. At times, when checking your siding for trouble spots, you may find missing or uneven pieces.
When you notice any issues with your siding that may need repair, I always recommend you seek professional advice. Even for a DIY job, it is best to have a professional look into your issue and let you know the steps they recommend you take in regards to repairing your siding. At times a simple issue can be more trouble then its worth! Hiring a professional can save you money in regards to a repair job that you can easily do wrong. If it seems simple enough you can take the job on yourself.
In hiring a professional for advice or to repair your siding it is important to find a professional. A con artist won’t tell you the truth in regards to if your siding repair can be a DIY job. Many will want to take your money and run for it. Often enough unprofessional contractors will tack on additional charges that don’t fit the work they completed. Hiring a professional will give you the peace of mind you need and will save you money in the long run.
Have you grown tired of your home’s interior appearance that you feel like you would want to do something about it? If yes, you’re part of the general American population who feel exactly the same way towards their home. There’s no difference if you have been living in your home for the last 5 years or you may have just moved in a couple of years ago. It will just strike you that there’s a part of you that’s just yearning to be heard; an urge if you will that just wants to be quenched. I guess it’s only human nature to aspire for continuous improvement.
The next question to come is what exactly do you want changed? What is it that you want to achieve given that you have a certain budget for it? Do you want to remodel your room or the entire house? Do want to transform your old kitchen to a modern kitchen? Do want wood flooring or do you prefer carpets to adorn your living space? Do you want to convert your extra room to a home office or a home theater maybe? Do you want a wine cellar or wet bar in your basement or do you want to undergo an entire basement remodeling? Do you want a bathtub or do you simply want an elegant glass shower enclosure in your bathroom? Do you want additional shelves built or do you think a cabinet is better fit for the job? Do you want to repaint or simply add wall papers? This list of questions can go on and on and chances are you will still discover new things and technologies that you will want every time you watch TV programs and read in magazines about home and lifestyle that further adds to the confusion. Fun isn’t it?
Whatever it is that you encounter, it is important to settle once and for all the question regarding the reason why you want to initiate a home improvement project. Is it only because you want a change of view or do you have plans of selling your home and you’re just investing right now to add value to it? Questions again I know, but if you could tackle this question first and foremost, you will soon discover that the other questions will be easier for you to answer and hence it can help you make the right decision.
There are many benefits in using green materials in remodeling your home with companies that are going green in this day and age. Using green materials in remodeling your home can help you save money, helps mother earth, and makes you feel better as a whole because your would be doing the right thing. Besides the great benefits in using green materials to remodel your home there are many green materials to chose from.
Are you interested in new flooring for your home? If new flooring is your next project there are many options in going green today. Bamboo requires no fertilizers or pesticides and that alone is a big deal, also, using bamboo as a flooring option is great because there are different types and finishes to choose from. Cork is a great alternative in flooring your home. Cork is 100% recyclable because it comes from the production of wine corks, imagine that. Cork is a great option because it is fire and stain resistant as well.
What about your homes electrical needs? There are electrical companies that want to help you reduce your carbon footprint. Indoor and outdoor lighting, fire alarms, doorbells, ceiling fan, appliance wiring, outdoor speakers, home theatre, lamp replacement… you name it, there is way to help you save cost and reduce your carbon footprint in your electric needs.
Don’t just stop there; there are other ways to use green materials and service. Do your research and do your best in going green. There are many options available when it comes to remodeling your home and going green. No matter the task, just ask if your next remodeling project could be a project in saving our earth in any way, shape or form. How will you be going green today, please share by commenting below.
Hiring a contractor in confidence is quite rewarding. When you hire a contractor and you know what to look for usually the outcome is pretty good. Not only does the work that needed to be done look professional but the process is that much more stress free.
10 tips in picking a good contractor
1. Don’t hire an unlicensed contractor – According to Huntington Homes unlicensed contractors don’t pay into Workers compensation and that’s why their able to undercut the contractors who have their license. If they get hurt, you pay the fat bill.
2. Don’t pick a contractor based on price – quality is important and you don’t want to be stuck with an unprofessional job.
3. Ask around – you want to work with a contractor that is recommended by others. Try asking your local lumberyard.
4. Interview your prospective contractor – you will be working closely together with your contractor, make sure you two have great rapport.
Check references – Sometimes you can see past work your prospective contractor has done, this can help you a great deal just judging their past work. A great example for a reference page can be found at ShadingSystemsInc.com commercial shading projects page.
5. Do your homework – Check out your prospective contractor by checking into the Contractors State License Board. Make sure their Legit.
6. Make sure your contractor guarantees his work – Again, don’t get stuck with an unprofessional job. See vipspecialservices.com for an example in a guarantee for services done.
Be informed – make sure your contractor keep you informed. For an example on being well informed on the services being completed in your home take a peek at MrMold.net mold inspection page.
7. Discuss payment options – As discussed in ‘Hiring a Contractor’ if the contractor asks for half the money up front, there is probably a problem and you may want to choose another contractor. The usual payment plan is 10 percent when the contract is signed, then three payments of 25 percent while the job is being done, and the rest is usually paid when the job is complete.
8. Get everything in writing – make sure you have everything in writing. If something goes wrong your agreement in writing is all you have to fall back on.
This list should help hire a good contractor. If you have any questions please ask by commenting below.
There isn’t a vast difference in choosing a commercial contractor but there are some key elements that you want to make sure you pay close attention to when shopping around for the right commercial contractor. Making sure that you do your research will not only give you peace of mind but will ensure a more professional job is done in the end.
• Make sure your contractor is bonded – a bonded contractor can redo a job completely if it isn’t up to your standards
Make sure you hire an experienced contractor like a DirtyBlindsNJ.com who clean and repair window blinds for homes and businesses.
Check Better Business Bureau for contractors listed like W.F. Painting who paints homes and businesses as well.
• Make sure the commercial contractor you chose is a member of a national or local association
• Learn more about subcontractors if being used – Learn what they will be doing and make sure you get their license number for your records.
These are good tips for general contractors and commercial contractors alike. These tips are key elements in checking a commercial contractor’s ethic and experience however. Following these tips will lead you to a peace of mind in hiring a commercial contractor and bring you that much closer to a quality professional job.