J.D.R. Hawkins

One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.

Archive for the tag “home renovation”

Guest Post by Carolyn Mitchell

This guest post relates to what my husband and I have been going through. We started to have an addition put on last June, and it still isn’t completed. We’ve had to start from scratch by hiring another contractor. Word of advice: don’t go through Home Depot’s Pro Team! Make sure the contractor you hire is licensed and insured. Ours lied to us, so here we are a year later, with an uncompleted project. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this article.

10 Ways to Find a Reliable Contractor For Your Upcoming Home Renovation

Finding a reliable contractor is a vital part of your home renovation plan, and knowing how to find the perfect one will ensure that the job is done right. Check out our tips for hiring the best contractor for your home remodel.

10 Ways to Find a Trusted Contractor

1.   Ask Around

Word of mouth is often one of the best ways to find a great, trustworthy contractor for your job. Ask for professional recommendations on community social media platforms and from neighbors, friends, or family.

2.   Search Online

Do some research online to find reputable contractors in your area. Home service apps are becoming popular sources for professionals to advertise their business with their qualifications, experience, and reviews right at your fingertips. You can also search your city’s website for recommendations. Sometimes there is even a list posted by the city of trusted contractors that keep up-to-date on building permits and regulations.

3.   Read Reviews

When you find a contractor, look for reviews about their previous projects. Reviews could sometimes skew more positive or negative, so reading between the lines is an important factor when reading through them. However, by sifting through them, you will be able to start building a clearer picture of what doing business will look like with certain contractors.

4.   Seasonal Expectations

Depending on the type of project, some home renovations may have seasonal highs and lows. Most indoor repairs tend to happen during the winter months, while spring through early fall is when most outdoor work is carried out.

Keep the season in mind when you are planning your project because it could be a busy season for your contractor. Remember that although you want your project completed right away, a company having a full schedule speaks to the quality of their work.

5.   Interview Prospective Contractors

Interviews are a great way to get to know contractors and how they like to carry out business. Start simple by asking questions about your project over the phone to narrow your search.

Once you have focused on a few select contractors, have face-to-face interviews or consultations so you can show and talk more openly about the project, price, and time frame.

6.   Ask for Bids

After researching your project’s estimated costs and narrowing down potential contractors, have your final group submit bids for the work. Review the offers and find the best one for the job. Beware of a price that is too high or too low and be sure to ask about any fees that may come later down the road.

7.   Check for License & Certification Information

It is crucial in home renovation projects to ask the contractor about which licenses, certifications, and insurance documents they possess. Not having some of these items could invalidate their work when the city checks the job or when you sell your home. You also do not want to be held liable for any on-the-job injuries, so make sure your handyman service has an insurance plan.

8.   Make Sure They Obtain Permits

You will know a good contractor because they will be on top of procuring the necessary permits themselves. If a professional asks for you to get local permits, that is a sign they may not be the right handyman for the job. If they say you don’t need permits, you could be putting yourself at risk for city fines or redoing projects that were not approved. A reliable contractor will take care of all the documentation the city deems mandatory.

9.   Discussing Payments and Schedule

Going over payment plans and schedules should always be a topic discussed prior to the work getting started. This way, the contractor and the client can set expectations about what is acceptable for the duration of the project. Discuss specific goals and time frames for those goals.

Scheduling days and times that work best for you and your home renovator is essential to your plan. You want everything to run smoothly and quickly without disrupting your life as much as possible. Having a conversation about the working hours the team can commit to will help create an environment that is less disruptive for both parties.

10.  Going Over the Contract

Once you have finally found the contractor that fits your needs, it is time for the contract. Make sure to carefully review the contract before signing to ensure that all the agreed-upon points are present in the writing. When you and your contractor have all the details hammered out on paper, sign your name and get the project going!

Find the Best Contractor

Contractors know there are many other home service professionals vying for your business. The best ones will put in the extra effort to ensure your satisfaction. By doing research, reading reviews, interviewing, and asking for specific bids, you will be able to find the right contractor for your home renovation project.

Author bio:

Carolyn Mitchell is a freelance writer and content strategist with a passion for home décor. She can often be found re-painting and updating the furnishings in her home, and she is also a dedicated cat mom to two adorable kitties.

Guest Post: Home Improvement

Every once in a while, I like to feature guests on my blog. Although this article, sent to me by Julian Lane, isn’t associated with historical fiction or my brand, I want to feature it because I am very interested in real estate. In fact, my husband is working toward acquiring his realtor’s license, and I recently took an online course on interior design. I hope you find this article interesting and helpful. Thanks, Julian, for sending me your article!


Look before you renovate: Consider the pros and cons of DIY

It’s amazing how easy a home improvement project can look at first glance. For homeowners who think they know what they’re doing, knocking out a wall or putting in a couple of ceiling fans can turn a weekend do-it-yourselfer into multiple trips to the hardware store and a situation stressful enough to land you and your spouse in marital counseling by Monday. It’s important to assess your big remodeling plans based on your skill and commitment level, and on whether it’s safe enough to handle by yourself. Sometimes, lining up a professional contractor is just a better way to go. A determination to save money and months of binge-watching HGTV are no guarantee that you’ll pick up on the fine points of home remodeling well enough to get it right without a whole lot of help. 

Water isn’t always your friend

If you’re contemplating taking on a plumbing job, think well before you turn that monkey wrench. You can easily cause enough water damage that you’ll end up defeating the purpose of DIY by shelling out big bucks to fix what you did wrong. Putting in a new dishwasher may seem like a simple plug-and-play proposition, but there are more than enough parts and pieces to keep you scratching your head and guessing as you go. There are enough “fine points” involved to discourage the most enthusiastic homeowner from flying solo. Bear in mind that installing water and drainage lines is a lot more involved than drilling a few holes and putting in some screws. 

Having problems with your water pressure? Before you start tearing out walls and replacing pipes, consider that low water pressure can be caused by a lot of things, ranging from fractured pipes to an eroded water line. Do a little investigating before you start wrestling with your plumbing. Remember that even the most troublesome problems can have an easy fix. Try removing your aerator and cleaning out food residue. If that doesn’t do the trick, you may be looking at a project that calls for more a more experienced pair of hands than yours. 

Be a bright bulb

Electricity is extremely dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. Unless you’re familiar with electrical work, it’s probably in your best interest to call an electrician. Installing new lighting or rewiring an outlet isn’t like screwing in a light bulb. There’s a procedure that needs to be carefully followed to avoid serious injury. Unfortunately, thousands of Americans take too many shortcuts and end up getting hurt each year trying to do it themselves. Here’s a good rule of thumb: If you don’t know how to turn off your power (or if you didn’t know that you need to do so), then you should definitely let a professional handle it. Hiring an electrician will usually cost you $50 – $100 per hour.  

Weigh the cost and the time

Those sparkling model kitchens at your local home remodeling supply store look shiny and modern. Making your kitchen look like that (or something like that) makes you feel good and your home look great, but the temptation to do it yourself and save some money can easily backfire. Consider carefully whether it’s really going to be cost-effective. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost to remodel a kitchen in Colorado Springs is just over $24,000.

About 400 years ago, Shakespeare wrote “Discretion is the better part of valor.” If you’re a prospective do-it-yourselfer, bear those wise words in mind and think carefully before spending thousands of dollars on a project if you’d be safer, and wiser, giving it to an experienced professional. 

Courtesy Pixabay.com


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