What to Know Before Signing a Home Improvement Contract

Written by Susan Chana Lask, Esq.


It is important to be a very careful consumer when it comes to home improvement contractors. For instance, I had a case where my client, an elderly and blind woman, signed a contract and paid $30,000.00 to a home improvement company that disappeared with all of her money! Unfortunately,repparttar company was a scam operation, my client lost her life's savings and it will take some time in court before my client may ever see her money again however, her mistake will be a lesson to all of you because this article explains how to protect yourself from home improvement fraud.

Before signing any contract with a home improvement company, first ask that company for its license number and check it out with your State or County Consumer Affairs' Business License Division. Findrepparttar 100107 License Division onrepparttar 100108 web or call information and get their number. You want to find out (1)repparttar 100109 name and address ofrepparttar 100110 company associated withrepparttar 100111 license number given to you, (2) ifrepparttar 100112 company is currently licensed andrepparttar 100113 license expiration date and (3) whether any complaints have been made against that company. The answers to those questions will help you determine if you want to proceed with signing a contract. Make sure bothrepparttar 100114 contractor andrepparttar 100115 company he works for are licensed to work in your State.

If your going to signrepparttar 100116 contract then make sure certain things are included pursuant to your understanding and as required by your State’s Home Improvement Business Law. The contracting company's name, address and phone number should be printed onrepparttar 100117 contract. Also, it is important thatrepparttar 100118 contracting company's home improvement license number is printed onrepparttar 100119 contract and that it is not different fromrepparttar 100120 number you called and inquired about with Consumer Affairs. Lastly, make sure that all ofrepparttar 100121 work to be performed is listed inrepparttar 100122 contract and thatrepparttar 100123 approximate start and end dates of work are included. You should put a penalty clause inrepparttar 100124 contract regardingrepparttar 100125 contractor’s failure to timely completerepparttar 100126 work because contractors are notorious for starting jobs and then leaving for a few days or weeks to do other jobs while you sit and wait in your dismantled kitchen for him to return. Oncerepparttar 100127 contract terms are satisfactory thenrepparttar 100128 contract should be signed by both you andrepparttar 100129 company's representative.

An example of

Removing your old wood double hung windows

Written by John Rocco


Last week i told you how to measure your wood window openings to properly order your new vinyl replacement windows. This week i'm going to explain how to remove your old windows. The vast majority of wood sash double hung windows in America haverepparttar same specifications. Starting from insiderepparttar 100106 house and working out, you have a wood stop approximately 3/8" X 3/8". Then comesrepparttar 100107 lower sash(the sash isrepparttar 100108 piece of glass and surrounding wood frame). Then you have another wood stop (called a parting bead) betweenrepparttar 100109 lower sash and upper sash. This stop is approx. 1/4" X 1/2". Then you haverepparttar 100110 upper sash, and finally,repparttar 100111 outside wood stop (called a blind stop) that is approx. 1/2" X 3/4".

Before beginning, be sure to wear safety glasses and gloves. The safety glasses will protect your eyes from debris, andrepparttar 100112 gloves help avoid splinters. The inside stop needs to be removed first. Try not to damage these,they will be re-installed afterrepparttar 100113 replacement windows are put in. If you should happen to crackrepparttar 100114 old stops, you can take a piece to a hardware store or molding store to get replacement wood stops. Ifrepparttar 100115 stops have been painted to blend intorepparttar 100116 surrounding trim or wall, you need to put a flat screwdriver or putty knife intorepparttar 100117 indented area that separatesrepparttar 100118 stop fromrepparttar 100119 surrounding area. Dragrepparttar 100120 blade from top to bottom to chip awayrepparttar 100121 paint. Then put a stiff blade putty knife into this seam and pryrepparttar 100122 stop away fromrepparttar 100123 frame. Start inrepparttar 100124 middle ofrepparttar 100125 stop where there isrepparttar 100126 most flexibility. Workrepparttar 100127 putty knife fromrepparttar 100128 middle torepparttar 100129 top, then fromrepparttar 100130 middle torepparttar 100131 bottom. The number of nails that were used to installrepparttar 100132 stop will determine how difficult removal will be. I have seen some stops that have just 3 nails, while others have had 6. Most ofrepparttar 100133 time there will be stops around all four sides ofrepparttar 100134 opening, but i have seen some openings that didn't have a top stop, and others that had no bottom stop.

Afterrepparttar 100135 inside stops have been removed, you should be able to pullrepparttar 100136 lower sash out. Ifrepparttar 100137 windows were painted shut at some time, you might have to pryrepparttar 100138 area whererepparttar 100139 lock is located to separaterepparttar 100140 sashes. Now, once you getrepparttar 100141 lower sash out, it will still be attached torepparttar 100142 cords that holdrepparttar 100143 window up when you raise it. Take a pair of tin snips and cutrepparttar 100144 cords while maintaining tension on them. The cords will recoil back intorepparttar 100145 assemblies. Takerepparttar 100146 lower sash and set it aside.

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