10 Tips for Working With a ContractorWritten by Debbie Rodgers
This is year you're going all out. You're going to build a deck, add a porch, erect a gazebo or lay a patio. You've done research. It's well within your capability and you're looking forward to satisfaction of creating a structure of beauty.
Or not. Yes -- you'd like to proceed with an outdoor structure but for you, it isn't a do-it-yourself project. How can you find right person to do it for you? Here are 10 tips for hiring and working with a contractor. 1.Plan your project carefully. Clip pictures, make sketches, write a description. This will help you accurately convey to contractor what you want finished product to be. 2.Make a list of contractors. Ask your neighbors or friends for names of reputable tradesmen. Contact material suppliers -- lumberyards, for example -- and ask for recommendations. 3.Get at least three written bids for project, but don't give in to temptation to automatically accept lowest bid. A higher bid may be worth price in better materials, workmanship and reliability. If you get a very low bid, contractor may have made a mistake or forgotten to bid on everything you wanted. If they have deliberately low-bid, they may use cheaper materials or take shortcuts to make a profit. 4.Many states and provinces require registration and/or licensing. For USA, www.nationalcontractors.com provides a starting point for your state and type of construction. Click on Verify Contractors License. If licences are required in your jurisdiction, be certain to ask to see your contractor's licences and be sure that it's not expired. 5.Ask for references and then check them out. Look at projects and ask previous clients if they are satisfied with quality of work done, if it was started and completed on schedule and if it is complete. 6.Get a signed, written contract and be sure you understand it. The Construction Contractors Board of Oregon claims that single biggest cause of homeowner-contractor disputes is written contract: not having one, having a poor one, or having one everyone ignores. A good contract should include:
Homeowners: Kiss Your Keys Goodbye!Written by Steph
I always like to hear about new ideas that really work well, are easy to implement, and not expensive. Here’s one that is so simple, you’ll wonder why more people don’t do it, that is install a digital door lock on doors in your house. Hey, these work great on cars—why not houses?
A digital door lock is simply a fancy name for a pushbutton, combination, or keyless entry lock. With a digital door, you won’t have to risk your keys will be lost, stolen, or copied. There is no AC wiring or batteries, so you won't be locked out during power failures. And you’ll never have to pay a locksmith to change out your locks—you can do this yourself.
Digital door locks are available nowadays with a hacksaw-proof deadbolts for standard doors, sliding doors, cabinets, even outdoor gates & fences like around a pool or play area. You can even get locks with a keypad on both sides or with a spring, so door automatically locks each time door is closed.
Most digital door locks have with easy-to-change codes and some even come with a key override option so that a master key can be used to open lock as well as combination.
Some models are big and clunky and look like they would do best in an industrial setting like a data center or lab, but others have really nice designs and finishes that go quite well in a home setting.