Getting the Correct Home Improvement Contractor

When one decides to begin renovating your home or one of your rental properties, it is essential that you are able to choose the correct home improvement contractor for the job. Taking the time to actually select a qualified and reliable home improvement contractor could very well save you a load of time and frustration in the long run, let alone money.

You should be aware that this industry is very competitive and this leads to there being numerous substandard contractors out there who are simply in it for the money, however there definitely are very scrupulous and have a good work ethic. Here are a few pointers as to what you should look at to be sure that you are able to find a reliable home improvement contractor:

· Be sure of your goal and know what you want – Before you even consider entering into home improvements, be sure to know exactly what it is that you want to achieve by doing the improvements. Have detailed sketches or plans available to show to the contractor you are considering so that he has a definite picture of what it is which you would like done.

· Know what questions to ask – Having predetermined questions which you will ask the contractor regarding the job at hand as this will give you an indication as to their work ethic. Questions pertaining to cost implications, time period and suggestions as to how to reduce costs will greatly help you in choosing the correct contractor.

· Do not rush your selection – Many people make the mistake of simply choosing the first or cheapest contractor, avoid this mistake. Take your time to establish the reputation and reliability of the contractor which you choose, be sure that you both have a clear understanding of what it is you wish to achieve and have all the necessary agreements in place.

Many people overlook the importance of finding the correct home improvement contractor for the job you wish to get done, by simply shirking the responsibility of being completely thorough in your decision, you will be lining yourself up for a couple of nasty surprises.

How to Avoid Common Home Renovation Mistakes

Even the most experienced homeowners might make a mistake during his or her renovation project. Sometimes, the mistakes are harmless and easily avoidable. At other times, they could be costly and even lethal. Without understanding the common pitfalls of home renovation, you might find yourself in a bit of a pinch. Listed below are some friendly reminders of what to watch out for in your home renovation projects.

– Falling from ladders
A startling statistic is that over 150,000 Americans end up in the emergency room every year due to some variation of accidents involving ladders. Therefore, it is always important to use a ladder of the correct length, thus ensuring maximum stability and security. Also make sure there are no hazardous objects in the environment. In the case that you do fall from the ladder, at least you will not land on anything potentially dangerous.

– Incorrect measurements
Accuracy is a key component to home improvement. That is why you should always make sure the measurement unit is the correct one, as well as counting every last inch.

– Damaging water pipes and electrical wiring
The pipes are wiring are among the most fundamental aspects of your household.Before you start implementing nails and screw into your walls or floors, make sure your water pipes are completely protected. Otherwise, you may see yourself calling an emergency plumber just for hanging a new bathroom mirror in the wrong place.

To identify where your wiring and piping components are, you can use a wire and pipe detector that is available at most plumbing hardware stores. The detector is not completely foolproof though, so you should also use insulated handles and power tools with a circuit breaker. When in doubt, contracting a plumber for professional and high-quality services is your best bet.

– Permits
Most renovation and remodeling projects require a government permit. Always do research first before partaking any project, because you might be breaking the law! These permits are convenient and easily accessible. Their purpose is to inform the government of your activities so that the proper safety measures can take place.

– Falling fixtures
You must be extremely cautious when installing wall-mounted items, such as shelves, mirrors, and cabinets. They could fall down and injure someone, or break other valuable ornaments in the household. To prevent these accidents from happening, you should always use the correct length of screw, bolts, and fittings. Minimize the possibility of accidents for as much as possible.

– Uneven shelves
When planning a do-it-yourself project that requires a level surface, do not solely trust your eye judgment, which may give you some unsatisfactory results. Use a level if you want to hang shelves or pictures on the wall. This will ensure that your wall-mounted items are even and levelled.

While these home renovation tips are useful, the best way to avoid common home improvement mistakes is simply plan ahead and do lots of preparations beforehand. If you are cautious, your renovation project will most likely go without many errors. Just remember that it is always better to be safe than sorry.

The Home Improvement Nightmare-Who’s To Blame and How To Avoid It

Unless you live in a remote part of the country with no television, newspaper or other people to talk to, there is a good chance you have heard or read about a home improvement scam or project gone wrong. It seems to be a fact in this country that when you go about doing a home improvement project you will usually encounter countless problems, delays and shoddy work.

The home improvement experience leaves most people stressed and vowing never to do another project again! So it is not surprising to hear that home improvement complaints rank at the top of consumer complaints nationwide year after year. Where does the blame fall for this epidemic of home improvement problems?

I am proud to say I was a home improvement contractor for almost 30 years and I was fortunate enough to win some of the industry’s highest awards. However, it has never ceased to amaze me the poor home improvement decisions that I have seen so many homeowners make. One of the more notable mistakes I would see done over and over again was when a homeowner would blindly hire someone to do a project because the person was a friend or a friend of a friend. To me this reasoning makes no sense.

Friendship and craftsmanship are not related, but for some reason a lot of people believe other wise. Another great example of homeowner apathy is hiring someone to do a project without ever putting anything in writing. Who in their right mind would ever agree to such a disastrous situation? Another very similar blunder would be for a homeowner to blindly accept an estimate on the back of a business card. Usually the only information that has room on the back of a business card is the PRICE.

A major mistake made by many people doing a home improvement project is letting price dictate the decision on who to hire. More problems occur because homeowners pick the lowest price they can find. Why? It is very simple. You can only produce a high quality project at a certain cost. High quality materials, expert labor, appropriate insurances and a reasonable profit to stay in business, cost a certain amount of money.

If someone can do that same project under that amount, what do you think is going to happen when the job is being done? That’s right, the person or company is going to do anything they can to try and make a profit. All of the possibilities that could result from the person you hired, as the low bidder, trying to make a profit, are simply all BAD for the homeowner. In home improvements you get exactly what you pay for.

Let’s not forget to put some of the blame on people looking to work on your home. Over the years I have seen some of my competitors commit heinous business practices. (Surprise!!) I have seen contractors switch materials to lesser quality without customer approval, use unqualified labor, overcharge homeowners for “unforeseen problems”, try to up sell the customer once the project starts, etc.,etc.,etc…….it makes you wonder if you can trust anyone?

So where does the blame fall for all the home improvement complaints year after year? I guess it would be easy to blame the homeowner for not educating themselves on what to do when attempting a project. However the next question would be where does a homeowner get “educated”? Maybe a better question would be when does a homeowner find the time to get “educated”? Education is a great tool if you have the time to do the research. Most people don’t have the time or want to take the time to do hours and hours of research on how to go about getting a home improvement done correctly.

Oops I almost forgot Uncle Sam. A lot of people, including myself, think the government makes it too easy for someone, who has no ethics or skills, to do home improvement work. Why are there still some states that do not have licensing for people doing home improvements? And in the states that do have licensing, why are some of these states issuing licenses without the applicant needing to demonstrate any type of competence in home improvement work? This is like giving out a driver’s license without taking a road test. Doesn’t make much sense to me.

One last situation to blame, one that I would never forgive myself for not mentioning. Home improvement television shows have become the latest fad in television. You can hardly change television channels without a home improvement program popping up. The influx of home improvement shows on television has been phenomenal. However, most of these shows tend to unrealistically glorify the home improvement project as being easy to do with nothing ever going wrong. The last time I looked, nothing ever goes perfect, including home improvement projects. Little, if any information is mentioned on these shows, about how not to be “taken to the cleaners” when doing a project.

One would have to conclude that there is plenty of blame to go around when it comes to the problems homeowners face when attempting a home improvement project. Unfortunately, most of these problems have been around for many years and if you are expecting a “quick fix”, I think you might be waiting a very long time.

Since I retired from the home improvement industry two (2) years ago I decided it was time to stop worrying about who or what to blame about the constant wave of home improvement complaints (it really seems to be a waste of energy since nothing seems to change) and to put together a way for homeowners to fight back and get the home improvement results that they deserve.

This is why I founded The Home Improvement Success Club of America (TM). The club’s website, which I hope you will visit, can be found at http://www.homeimprovementsuccess.com. This is a one-of-a-kind club that guides homeowners on how to get high quality, problem free, home improvement results.

Membership to this club includes The Home Improvement Success System, a complete how-to home improvement system that details all the steps you need to take to make your project a success. The club membership also includes a web forum to ask questions, phone consultations, monthly newsletters, teleseminars, teleclasses and written evaluations of member estimates and contracts.

This club guarantees to short cut the time homeowners need to learn how to complete any home improvement project. You are shown what to do and what to avoid. All the information that you receive from this club you could spend months trying to find, but by joining this club it is at your finger tips 24/7.

To do a home improvement project correctly you need to follow five (5) steps. These steps are:

1. Define your project based on your needs, finances and structural constraints.

2. Determine who can complete the project.

3. Evaluate perspective candidates (including yourself) who you may want to use to complete the project.

4. Prepare a contract that is “thorough” and protects you from poor home improvement situations.

5. Completing certain tasks when the project is being built.

These five steps seem relatively easy to understand but it’s the “particulars” (exactly what to say and do) of each step where most people fall short. Knowing these “particulars” are what makes or breaks your project. Membership to this club will guide you to completing a home improvement project without all the problems and aggravation that most people go through.

If you are interested in protecting your home from the home improvement nightmare, than visit The Home Improvement Success Club of America Website. Joining this club is the next best thing to getting “Home Improvement Insurance”. All Club memberships come with a 30 day money back guarantee.

By Hank Jaworowski, CR
Founder and President of The Home Improvement Success Club of America(TM)

The Home Improvement Success Club of America(TM)
http://www.homeimprovementsuccess.com
e-mail:Hank@homeimprovementsuccess.com
631-360-7722