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A good remodeling customer has done their homework! It's a difficult process to select a remodeling contractor but with enough research it's easy to narrow down the choices. A customer that has called references and did some research about pricing will be an informed client!
Good answer by Abe. We prefer to use fixed contracts with our clients. We have clauses in our contracts for unforeseen itesm such as concealed structural damage or inadequacies. I fully agree a professional remodeler, that knows what they are doing, should be offering a fixed contract.
With a lump sum contract, all the risk is placed on your contractor. If you want assurance, a lump sump contract with a professional remodeler will give you a guaranteed price... but be sure you have a clear understanding of change orders and hidden condition clauses in the contract, as well as finding out if any allowances are realistic. Cost plus, you take on all the risk. Everything is billable, and the contractor has no risk for this. In return, you might be charged a lower markup. So if you are willing to take on some risk or if you have a highly evolving project, a cost plus contract might help you. You must have a clear discussion of maximum price and be prepared for price escalation, though. Any other question on the subject?
All of the answers given were great options. There are many, many ways to improve a home's energy efficiency. As we are a siding and window company, my focus will be on those areas. Windows are a huge energy loss/gain. Did you know that windows and doors account for approximately 50% of your heating/cooling loss? Air leaks around a window or door due to a crack of 1/16" of an inch is like having a hole in your wall the size of a brick. In the average home, that is equal to about 15 bricks. Consider how large that "hole" is in your home. The glass package is the most important thing to consider when replacing windows. Most folks just look at the cost of the window and install, and some smoke and mirrors some companies like to drag on about. A smart homeowner knows what Low-E is, what a good U-Factor rating is, whether or not it's single, double or triple pane glass, etc. etc. Same features apply to most doors. Lastly, siding is another area where a homeowner can save money. Check into insulated siding. Check to see what kind of underlayment is being applied to your home. Many companies don't even put a housewrap on to save cost and the average homeowner never knows. Make sure you only hire someone who is appropriately licensed and insured. Ask to see those documents. Hope this helps folks looking to replace siding, windows or doors! Happy remodeling!
The most cost effective things that you can do to improve your homes energy efficiency will depend on the existing condition of your building envelope, the efficiency of your equipment, and humiditiy control.
Addressing the condition overhead and tightening the building envelope are basic principles involved in maintaining efficient temperture control in the home. Thermal imaging will clearly indicate areas of major heat loss.
There are many types of structures and styles of thermal barriers. Therefore, you are best advised to have an energy consultant from a Home Energy Rating Service HERS evaluate of your particular home and assist in identifying the weakness of your home envelope and machanical equipment. Such a report can provide you with a roadmap to begin taking steps to improve the overall efficiency of the home.
One alternative that most homeowners are not aware yet is reviewing your Roofing System. Along with the attic insulation, the type of roof you have can make a huge difference on how energy efficient your home is.
Most roofing materials (especially asphalt composite roofs) absorb solar energy and transfer heat to your home (requiring more air-conditioning during summer). On the other hand, energy efficient Metal Roofs are reflective and emissive. They bounce most of the sun's visible and UV light - meaning less heat transferred to your home. Independent studies show energy savings of up to 25%.
The Interlock Metal Roofing System is Energy Star certified (US only). More than energy efficient, our roofs are truly sustainable, being made of up to 95% recycled material, reducing the dependence of asphalt and stopping the cycle of old roofing material going to landfills. It is a lifelong solution that is better for your home, your pocket and the planet.
Are your heating & cooling bills going through the roof? Did you know that up to 40% of a home’s conditioned air escapes through the attic? Adding attic insulation is the most effective thing you can do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
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