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When you are looking for a professional contractor to successfully bring your home remodeling project to life, you need to make sure you do your homework.
Below are 6 things to consider before hiring a contractor:
1.What is their track record? How long have they been working in the area?
Check out the home remodeling companies you are considering on the Better Business Bureau’s website as well as other sites like Angie’s List. Read testimonials on review websites and look over company websites for portfolios and comments from past clients.
2.What are their credentials? Are they licensed? Bonded? Insured?
States set their own requirements about licenses, but most states have an agency that homeowners can contact to confirm a contractor’s license and credentials. Ask for proof of bonding to make sure your contractor is current on his/her credentials. Insurance puts the liability on the contractor if something goes wrong during the project. Not all insurance is created equal, make sure to ask for a copy of their insurance certificate to verify they have General Liability, Workers’ Compensation, and Auto coverages.
3.Do they have references? Will they provide you with a past client list?
Use a past client list to talk with the people your client has worked with before. Ask them if the contractor delivered what was promised on time and at the agreed upon budget. Also ask about how easy or difficult it was to communicate with the contractor.
4.How will they communicate with you? How do you reach them after hours?
Make sure you agree on how you will communicate with your contractor and if you need weekly in person meetings to get your questions answered.
5.Will they be getting all the required building permits for the project?
While the homeowner pays the cost of the building permits, the contractor should be the one responsible for obtaining the permits.
6.How will the payment schedule be arranged?
For replacement work never pay the entire amount before the project starts. Payment schedules vary from company to company, but there is usually a deposit and payment installments based on certain stages of completion.
Just as you are asking questions about your contractor, your contractor will be asking questions about you and your home remodeling project. It is important that you are aware of the questions your contractor should NOT be asking you.
Sometimes a contractor is trying to find out information about a project, but he/she may phrase questions in a way that makes the homeowner feel uncomfortable.
Listed below are some questions your contractor should NOT ask you:
1.Are you widowed?
2.Do you have money in your savings account?
3.How much money do you make?
4.Will you be alone when I arrive?
5.What is your credit score?
6.May I see your other bids before I present mine?
In Angie Hicks’s article, “3 Questions Your Contractor Shouldn’t Ask,” from Angie’s List she explains how home improvement contractors can be more tactful when they request information from clients.
Check out the article here: https://www.angieslist.com/articles/3-questions-your-contractor-shouldnt-ask.htm
As with the previous comments, you can use sandpaper to smooth out some of the damage, but be sure to rub the scratches along the grain of the wood. Next, apply mineral spirits (these are solvents made from paint thinner and petroleum) over the sanded area. Spread on wood filler with a Spackle knife to the damaged parts and allow it to dry as per the filler’s directions. After the wood filler has dried, lightly sand the area once again and brush away any dust before priming and painting your door.
While the image shows damage to the inside of your door, your pet may try scratching on the outside of door and its weather stripping in an attempt to be let inside. In order to prevent future damage to that part of your door, you can add a piece of vinyl lattice that matches the color of your doorframe. Cut the lattice to the length of the doorjamb. Place it over your foam weather stripping. Check to see that your door continues to close properly. Use finishing nails every foot to tack the vinyl lattice securely in place. A small amount of spackling will cover up the nail heads. Now the lattice will protect your weather stripping from further damage.
The right type of door for your home can make a huge difference. We install ProVia doors and they offer DuraGuard Series Storm Doors, which are ideal for keeping pets safely inside with their non-removable stainless steel screening.
Best of luck with your dog and your door repair!
If you have the extra space, and depending on its use, a walk-in pantry is a luxurious upgrade. In most cases, where floor space is at a premium, pantry cabinets are the best bet. Looking a a bank of finely crafted cabinets is also much more applealing than a closet door.
As for cost, you get more for your dollar with cabinets as well. Framing a drywall closet with fixed-shelves may be slightly cheaper, but much of that cost is labor. We advise the client to put the money in the product.
When you add pull-outs to anything the cost rises exponentially. It's improtant in the design process to determine a good balance between accessibility and organization to avoid unnessisary cost overruns.
The small walk in pantry will be the less expensive option. However, having a cabinet that functions as a pantry is often a better use of space and ends up as the more preferred option by my clients.
But it's all about you (or your client)! What would you/they prefer? Is the storage space best utilized with just simple open shelving? or would it be organized best with pull-outs and drawers? There are obvious pros and cons to each, in my experience - the extra cost of a cabinet wins 90% of the time.
Beyond the license and insurance questions we all advise our clients to ask, we also believe you should ask about their history. What exactly makes them an experts....did they go to school are they a generational builder? What types of projects have they built - and where. What business qualifications does your contractor have?...... because you may be a great installer but when it comes time for warranty work, will your contractor still be there? If you are working with a project manager and multiple installers, will you have access to speak with the owner and license holder as well?
1. What is the full name and address of the company?
2. Does the company carry insurance?
A contractor should carry comprehensive liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance* to protect you in the event of an accident.
There are a variety of reasons why full insurance may not be carried by a contractor, such as:
It is up to you to determine if it is worth the risk to hire a contractor who does not carry insurance.
3. Is the company a licensed or credentialed contractor?
4. How long has the company been in business?
5. Will the company provide referrals or references from previous jobs?
Consider checking sources:
Nobody mentioned the most important one: Will you provide a written Contract?
What is your contracting (not business) icense number? Having and active State license answers many other questions, like whether they meet insurance and employment criteria. Everyone who does work in which your particualr State requires a license must be licensed especially for plumbing, HVAC, electrical (including low-voltage), and structural work.
BBB accediting is meaningless, as it only applies if a contractor pays their fee.
Can you provide references for similar work?
As mentioned above, complaints against a license with the Secretary of State should be noted, but the number and nature should also be noted. There are people out there you just can't please, and who try to scam free work from well-meaning contractors by complaining about them. I have also found that complaints on referal sites like Angie's List and Home Advisor are best ignored altogether as anyone with an axe to grind can post anything about you, whether tru or not.
I would concur with the above answers. If you are able to fill with wood putty and paint that would prove to be the most cost effective option. If you would like to go further, determine the brand of the door and I'm sure you could find a replacement sash. I am like you, I love my dog like my children, continue to be patient and show your bowser the love he deserves.
In addition to the informaton that you already received, here is a Q&A I wrote back in 1998 that might help.
Question:I have some minor repairs that need to be done.Can I use an unlicensed handyman for them?
Answer: Not if the total aggregate price for all labor, material and all other items is less than $750.00.This maximum is for the total project even if it is only a part of a larger operation, whether undertaken by the same or a different Contractor.
Q:I’ve been told that if I need a building permit I must use a properly licensed Contractor.Is this true?
A:Yes, unless the work will be performed by employees of the owner or owner’s management agent as long as either; (a) there are4 units or less, or if 4 units or more (b)that the units are not offered for rent or sale within one year.
Q:Do my employees need to be licensed in order to do maintenance work at my complex?
A:No, but please note that the provisions of both questions #1 & #2 apply to employees, owners and owner’s agents.
Q:How do I know if a Contractor is licensed?
A: The handyman must use the word “unlicensed” or “not licensed” in any form of advertisement.
A licensed Contractor is required to place his license number(s) on all documents used by the licensee in the conduct of business regulated by the registrar.It is recommended to call the Registrar of Contractors to ensure that the license is current and up to date.
Q:How do I find out if a Contractor has any complaints against their license.
A:You can call the Registrar of Contractors office to obtain whether or not the licenses is current, who it is issued to, the license classification, how many unconfirmed, valid resolved, valid unresolved and invalid complaints have been filed within the last 2 years.This information can be received through their new automated system using a touch-tone phone.
Q: Are there different licenses for commercial and residential?
A:There are many different license classifications for both residential and commercial construction.It is not enough that a Contractor is licensed for either residential or commercial but that he has the correct classification as well.It is best to check with the Registrar’s office to ensure that the license covers the type of work.
Q:Should I not use a Contractor because he has a complaint against his license?
A:A complaint against a license even if it was valid should only be one criterion in determining whether or not to use a Contractor.Some companies do quite a high number of jobs and are bound to have a correspondingly higher number of complaints than a firm who does not.The percentage of complaints to completed jobs may show similar track records of companies with differing number of complaints.
For additional licensing information you may call Arizona Registrar of Contractors (602) 542-1525
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