Knowhow-Now Article

Hiring A Contractor For Your Home Improvement Project

Updating, remodeling or improving your home can be a stressful process. Finding the right contractor to help you can lead to a smoother transition. Before you hire a contractor, make sure to implement the following tools. The wrong contractor can create problems and increase your stress level dramatically.

Tip: Get yourself a stainless steel taping knife if you plan to do sheetrock taping. This kind of high quality taping knife is easier to clean up and it will last for more jobs in the future.

If you personally know anyone who has recently hired a contractor, ask them about the experience. Find out if the contractor did all the work to the homeowners satisfaction. Ask if the final price was equal to the original price quoted to them by the contractor. Ask to see the work that was done. Ask about the amount of time it took to complete the work. Find out if the contractor was reliable, honest and easy to work with. Personal recommendations are often the best way to find a qualified contractor.

Tip: It's important to keep your contractors on a reasonable timeline. Contractors have solid reasons to complete work fast.

Most contractors will come to your home and give you a quote for the work you need to have done. Ensure that the bid includes the cost of supplies and labor. Call several contractors to get quotes and compare the costs thoroughly. If one of the bids is extremely low, find out why. The contractor may not be licensed or all of the costs may not be included in the bid.

Tip: Flooring replacement can be very expensive. For certain areas of your home, you may be able to find concrete under the existing flooring.

Ask to see the contractor's license. Call the contractor's licensing board in your state to ensure that the license is still valid and in good standing. Your state board may be able to give you information about complaints filed against specific contractors.

Tip: It's critical to tape off wall trim correctly whenever you decide to paint them. Paint can run even if you're super careful when you paint.

Accidents happen to the best contractor, so verify that the person you hire is fully insured. Contractor's insurance will protect you and your home in the event of accident or injury. Make a copy of the insurance and call the company to verify that the insurance is currently in effect.

Tip: Many people feel that low ceilings are too constricting. Fortunately, window treatments may add a much-needed makeover with color and the illusion of larger square footage.

You can call the Department of Consumer Affairs and the Better Business Bureau to get referrals if you do not know any contractors. These two departments can also give you information about complaints that have been lodged by various consumers.

Tip: When fixing up a house for re-sale, you need to deal with the outside first before working on heating and plumbing. A dilapidated exterior will be an instant turn-off for prospective buyers, making good offers turn up less frequently, but interior issues will have a much smaller effect.

Get written estimates from each contractor you are considering hiring. After you choose the contractor who best meets your needs, ask for a warranty and get it in writing. An experienced contractor will have no problem providing you with these necessary items.

Tip: Install low-energy compact fluorescent light bulbs in place of old-style incandescent ones. By switching bulbs, you will lower the cost of your electric bill, plus help the environment.

When you begin interviewing contractors, ask to see pictures of their work. This will help ensure that your contractor is familiar with the type of work you need done and will be able to complete it to your satisfaction. Spend some time talking to each candidate about your expectations regarding how many hours they will work each day, how many days they will work each week and total amount of time it will take to complete your home improvement projects.

You can find a good home improvement worker to help you fix or remodel your home. Use these tips before you bring someone into your home. Diligence in choosing a contractor will decrease your stress and ensure a happy home improvement project.

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