Archive for the ‘good contractor’ Category

Causes of Paint Bubbling, Cracking and Peeling

Paint Bubbling

Paint Bubbling

What homeowner likes to notice that their interior painting job is beginning to peel, bubble up or crack? Sometimes Summit, NJ homeowners like to think that these types of paint inconsistencies are only seen on the exterior of the home. They are surprised when they see the interior paint showing these same types of wear and tear. It seems totally out of place since the interior walls do not have the weather extremes that exterior ones have to deal with. What could make interior paint bubble, crack or peel? Actually, there are several factors that can contribute to this unsightly problem; but in many cases they can be totally avoided. Continue reading

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Should I Trust My Contractor?

Backyard remodeling

Backyard Deck

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

Benefits of Siding

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.

Spring Remodeling Projects

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.

How to Communicate with Your Contractor

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

Cost of Second Story Floor Addition

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.

Standard Expenses

• 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.

Should you Hire a Pro to Fix you Siding?

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.