How to Deal With Contractors

Written by John Mussi

Not everyone is aware of how to deal with contractors. Imagine that your Home Improvement Loan has been granted. What do you do next? Do you rush out and findrepparttar first available contractor and offer them your cash? Not a good move.

Whether you're planning an addition for a growing family or simply getting new double-glazed windows, finding a competent and reliable contractor isrepparttar 137498 first step to a successful and satisfying home improvement project. Take your time to consider all your options. Do not rush into any agreement that you may later regret.

Your home may be your most valuable financial asset. That's why it's important to be cautious when you hire someone to work on it. Home improvement contractors often advertise in newspapers orrepparttar 137499 Yellow Pages. However, don't consider an advert to be an indication ofrepparttar 137500 quality of a contractor's work. Your best bet is to find a contractor that has been used successfully by friends, family or colleagues. Get written estimates from several firms. Don't automatically chooserepparttar 137501 lowest bidder.

Above all, be wary of contractors who will:

solicit door-to-door offer you discounts for finding other customers

just happens to have materials left over from a previous job

only accept cash payments

does not list a business number inrepparttar 137502 local telephone directory

pressure you for an immediate decision

offer exceptionally long guarantees

ask you to pay forrepparttar 137503 entire job up-front

Interview each contractor and ask:

How long have you been in business? How many projects like mine have you completed?

Will my project require a permit?

May I have a list of references? Will you be using subcontractors on this project?

What types of insurance do you carry?

How I got a Robot to Vacuum the House

Written by By Donald Grummett

Like most people I really hated to vacuumrepparttar house. I thought anyone who enjoyed vacuuming was close to insanity. Well, I must be crazy too because I have started vacuuming every few days. Why? Because I purchased a robotic vacuum cleaner.

All you do is place it onrepparttar 137497 floor, turn it on, and push repparttar 137498 clean button to start it off on its cleaning odyssey. It will circle a couple of times and then off it goes around repparttar 137499 room seeking out dirt and dust. Whetherrepparttar 137500 floor is carpets, hardwood, ceramic, or tiles it does them all with equal enthusiasm.

It is not a toy or gimmick. Rather, it is part of a new generation of household equipment that will soon become common. They are products that can make decisions as to how best to accomplish a task. Not quite true artificial intelligence, but definitely smart enough to vacuumrepparttar 137501 rugs for you.

The two preeminent manufacturers of these vacuums are Electrolux* and Roomba*.

The Electrolux version is probablyrepparttar 137502 most sophisticated. It incorporates eight ultrasonic sensors and some advanced computer reasoning. It sends out a sound beam that allows it to determine where allrepparttar 137503 objects are located inrepparttar 137504 room. It can even find its way back torepparttar 137505 charger whenrepparttar 137506 power levels begin to drop. Once charged, it will appear again to continuerepparttar 137507 cleaning. When it determinesrepparttar 137508 room is clean it goes back torepparttar 137509 charger, turns around, backs into it, and turns itself off. This robot vacuum has been available in Europe for a couple of years. It appears to berepparttar 137510 most complex of these machines and comes with a $1795 price tag.

The robot vacuum cleaner I purchased isrepparttar 137511 Roomba, manufactured byrepparttar 137512 iRobot company. It is a simpler and much less expensive version and carries a price tag of approximately $249. Its round shape, bright colour, and flashing buttons give it a futuristic look. At three inches in height and one foot in diameter it looks like a miniature flying sauce as it scurries acrossrepparttar 137513 floor.

It uses a bump-and-turn method of operation. Once operational it goes in a straight until it bumps into something. Each time it encounters an obstacle it turns and goes off in an alternate direction. If an unusually dirty area is foundrepparttar 137514 vacuum will circle until it is satisfied repparttar 137515 area is sufficiently clean. This way dusty corners or something such as cookie crumbs get extra attention.

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