Danny Resendes' Blog
When looking for a contractor online to work on a project for you, you might end up getting discouraged and afraid to hire one. There are too many stories about homeowners having terrible experiences of theft, delayed jobs, or poorly done work that required another repair.
These experiences happen everywhere but it doesn’t make all contractors bad, there are still great and trustworthy contractors out there. But how can you determine if someone is a good contractor or a swindler out for your money? Below is a list of what you should do to ensure you do not only have the best guy for the job but also that you have someone who seems trustworthy.
Do Your Research
There are various options available to get a contractor; you can use an internet search or contact local building association in your area to ask for recommendations. You can also contact your insurance company for help and take advantage of the goodwill the contracting company enjoys.
Ask For Referrals
Asking friends and family members for references for a contractor whose services they used reduces your chance of getting duped. Looking at jobs that a contractor completed in the past for relatives or friends gives you an idea on what to expect in terms of work from the contractor.
Interview A Couple
If you have gotten a few choices, to determine the best man for the job, interview a few. During the interview process ask relevant questions, negotiate prices with each and be sure to read body language.
During the interview or after but before signing the contract, make sure you satisfy all issues that need answers. It makes it easier to accomplish when you have a list of questions drafted before the interview session. Ask questions like:
- What is their association membership?
- How long have they been in business?
- Ask for referrals of recent jobs
- How long would they need to execute your project?
- What would the payment style be?
All these questions and more should be on your list. Do not feel like you are asking too much because it’s your money, and you need to be sure about getting value for the money spent.
Ask To See An Itemized Bid
Asking to see an itemized proposal from all the contractors you interviewed allows you compare prices, items required and to determine your best guy for the job. The bid also gives you a clear idea of how much would be needed to execute the project. The itemized proposal should include information on:
- Labor cost.
- Material cost.
- Work permit fee.
- And other miscellaneous expenses.
On seeing the bid, if the amount is more than what you budgeted for, you can easily adjust the scope of the plan to fit your budget.
Working with the steps detailed in this article would serve as a guide for you when next you need the service of a contractor.
What room gets some of the most traffic in your home? The bathroom. It’s one of the most used places in any house by both residents and guests. Nowadays baths and showers are as well-decorated as any other room in the house. Many homeowners are making their bathroom stylish, and one common way of doing so is by installing a bathroom vanity.
A bathroom vanity comes in an endless variety of styles - single or double sink, traditional or on-trend, and so much more. Making a choice can be a very daunting task. If you can honestly answer the questions below, then you are on the right path a to installing bathroom vanity you will enjoy for a very long time.
What is your bathroom style?
The first thing to do when looking for a bathroom vanity is sorting out the kind of style you need. Do you want a sleek and minimalistic design or are you the type that is on the trend? You need to be clear on the kind of style or design you want if you want a bathroom vanity that you makes you happy.
How much space do you have?
Get a measuring tape and take note of the amount of space in your bathroom you will be working with. Consider the width and depth of your vanity top especially, it is vital. Your vanity drawers and cupboard should be easy to open, and there should be plenty of space to move around.
What are your needs?
Your bathroom vanity should be stylish as well meet all your needs. Plan your budget and know the cost. If your bathroom is likely to be for the whole family, you should consider an extra bench space and a double sink. Do you need sockets for handheld appliances in the cabinetry? If you have a young family, choose a material that is durable and easy to maintain.
Which material do you like?
The materials you will use for your bathroom vanity depends on your personal preference, your needs, and your budget. Stone top, marble, plastic, laminate, and timber are common materials for bathroom vanities. Stone tops have a long-life span; laminate is excellent for practicality while a timber vanity can offer a classic look.
Where would you place it?
Once you've chosen between a single or double basin, think about where to position your countertop. Your sink can be mounted on the wall, above the cupboard or placed as a stand-alone vessel. Remember to set your vanity where it will be most functional.
If you’re ready to get started on your bathroom renovation, Get in touch with your local interior designer to help you choose a lovely bathroom for your home.
Privacy fencing is a great way to increase your home value while improving the quality of life you live in your home at the same time. There are many solutions for you to consider. Think about your aesthetic preferences, whether or not you’re trying to block noise in addition to controlling your view and what works best with the contouring of your yard. Think about the flow between your backyard and front yard and how your home blends with the street as a whole. We all want to enjoy our neighbors, but we need to protect our home space as well.
Horizontal or Vertical Boards — Does a classic vertically installed fence fit best with your yard or do you like the modern aesthetic of horizontal boards? With either selection, you can install a fence with tight boards that completely block out the view or try peekaboo fencing for privacy that allows more light into your yard. Consider natural cedar, pine or a composite. Select a prefab white fencing option to minimize repainting or a natural wood that self-protects from environmental wear for minimal ongoing maintenance.
Trellis and Vines — Trellis is a very affordable fencing option. To create more seclusion with your privacy fence train a vine to grow up and through the lattice. Though annual vines will grow fast and create coverage quickly, you won't have coverage year-round. Perennial vines will take longer to establish but will give your yard excellent coverage all year. You can select from flowering vines like Morning Glory (annual), Trumpet (perennial), Wisteria (perennial) or Climbing Hydrangea (perennial). Evergreen plants are probably the best solution for full and consistent coverage. Try an English ivy or creeping fig for your evergreen selection.
Hedge Wall — For another green solution consider growing a hedge wall. There are many easy to care for and fast-growing hedge plants you can contemplate. Boxwood varieties grow upwards of 20 feet tall to maintain and shape with shearing to fit the style of your yard. The American Arborvitae grows thick and tall making it a good option for visual appeal and noise screening. Also, consider a bamboo wall for privacy. No matter where you live, you can acquire a bamboo type that works for your region and soil. Select the right variety, a clumping, non-invasive bamboo for best results and enjoy a beautiful noise canceling and private solution for your yard.
Wherever your home is there is a privacy fencing solution for you. Talk with your real estate agent and your local hardware professional about the best options for your neighborhood, yard terrain, and home aesthetic to create a beautiful privacy fence that adds value to your life and home.
That kitchen sink faucet needed replacing for a while, but between the cost of the new faucet and the cost of paying the hourly rate of the plumber and his helper, it is still the same old faucet. It works—sort-of—at least water comes out. Then, while watching one of those shows (that is either remodeling a house to live in or to flip and make some money), you see them change out the kitchen faucet, and you say to yourself, "I can do that.”
So, the adventure begins.
On the surface, changing out a faucet does not seem like such a challenging project. However, if you are not doing plumbing on a regular basis, it can get more complicated. The first step is that you have to buy the faucet you want that will look good. That seems simple enough, but there are holes already drilled in the sink or the countertop, so you must get a faucet that will fit those. There are two ways to size the holes: either remove the old fixture or get under the sink to measure the distance between the holes. (This is particularly important if this is an older home.)
Now to do the work.
Removing the faucet requires crawling under the sink.
- First, remove all of that stuff stored under there.
- Turn off the hot and cold water. If there are no valves under the sink, you need to find the master valve for the house. (If this is the situation, you might decide to install valves while you’re at it, but remember, you are not a plumber, so that might be biting off more than you can chew.)
- Now you find that the drain pipes are in your way of trying to get under the sink to reach the backside. So, you decide to remove them to get around under there. Seems logical right? Unfortunately, you find that someone else that is not a plumber replaced those drain lines and did not put them back correctly so now you are going to have to replace those.
- Back to the faucet you finally get the water lines removed and the nuts holding the faucet to the sink. (They're corroded—apparently, there had been a leak at some point).
Following the instructions that came with the faucet, you get it attached to the sink, and it looks GREAT! Unfortunately, you go to connect the waterlines, and the ends do not match the faucet. So, you remove the waterlines from the inlet valve and head to the DIY store to find new lines that will fit. You also remember to take all of that drain pipe with you because you are going to need to replace it and make it fit correctly.
Wrap it up!
Now you have the new parts you can get the water attached and the drain pipes reconnected. The drain pipes look a lot different, but they work, and they do not leak. Congratulations to you!
You have finally replaced that old faucet. It looks good, but bummer it took you all Saturday morning and then some. Maybe you should have paid that plumber for an hour. You could have done something more fun. Plumbing is one of those DIY things that when you do not do it all of the time, you NEVER have the correct pieces and you end up making several trips to the store. You are not alone.
The choice is yours: spend money or spend time. DIY can be satisfying or frustrating, so remember to start a project with your eyes open to what could be involved. Good luck!
For a referral to a qualified plumber, check with your real estate professional.
When it comes to the time for a tax refund, you may have a lot of big plans for the extra money that you’ll receive back from Uncle Sam. Your mind may swirl with possibilities as to what you might do with the money. One of the best uses for the money is to reinvest it in your home. It can only increase the value of your property, giving you more equity to play with whether you plan to refinance or sell in the future. The money you get back may be enough to do things like buy new appliances or put in a new floor. Below, you’ll find some of the best ideas for how to spend your tax refund money on home improvements.
Adding some new paint to your home can do wonders for both the interior or the exterior. See what needs to be done the most and do some cost estimates. You may even be able to hire a professional painter who can get a painting job done fairly quickly without making the huge mess that you might if left to painting on your own.
Add Some Rugs
Adding just a few rugs to the hardwood surfaces around your home may make your home a lot cozier. For one, the surfaces that you walk on with bare feet will be much softer and warmer to the touch. Rugs also add a certain style element to a room that not many other accents can. Be sure that the rug you choose blends well with the color scheme that you desire for your rooms.
Work On The Outdoors
With your tax refund money, you’ll be able to make some significant improvements to the outdoor spaces of your home. It can never hurt to add a bit of curb appeal to your property by adding bushes, new grass, outdoor lighting, and the like. Even painting your front door can be a simple task that makes a huge difference to the outside of your home.
Upgrade Your Appliances
Upgrading your appliances can be one of the biggest things that you do to add value to your home. You can start small with items like your range and dishwasher. If you have a bit more money to play with, you may end up servicing and replacing larger items like your hot water heater, HVAC systems, or even adding solar panels. The money that you’ll save on energy efficiency will pay for the appliances over time. Also, if you’re getting ready to sell your home, these upgrades will make a huge difference in the return value that you can get for your home.