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Archive for the ‘Contractors’ Category

Hiring a New Homes Contractor for Your Project

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Whether you are looking for a contractor to build a new home or to do a remodeling project you need to find a contractor that you trust. The best way to find one is to look for one before an emergency occurs and you need one in a hurry because a good decision is harder to make when you are under pressure. There are several things you can do to make sure that you find the right person to do the job, but before you remodel or build, take a tour of several new homes in your area so that you can get floor plan ideas and observe the type of work that the various contractors do.

Two different things you need to find a local contractor is a phone book and a computer equipped with an internet hook up. You can put together a list of local contractors that have a good reputation of building local new homes in your area. Sometimes friends and family can help you find one because they have hired one for a past project and may have both good and bad experiences that they can share.

After you have your list compiled, you should call your local Better Business Bureau and Chamber of Commerce as well as your state’s Board of Licensing. These resources will give you lists of complaints against the companies and how they were resolved. You can check with them also to see if they are up to date on all their permits.

Then, you need start making phone calls to the contractors on your list and set up interviews with them. Before the first interview, make a list of questions to ask that should include the status of their licenses and insurance, how long he has been in the business, how experienced he is, and what his specialty is. You may also want to include how much money they want for the down payment, how often the payment will be required once the contractor starts the project, and an estimate on how quickly the project will be done.

During the interviews, take note of each part of the interactions with each of the contractors, such as how prompt and courteous the secretary was on the phone, promptness of the representative, was he positive or negative sounding about your project and how knowledgeable he was, and his willingness to provide references. These impressions often determine whether or not you will have future interactions with any of these companies. Now you can interview the references that the contractor provided so that you can find out if their expectations were met and that the contract was followed.

Finding The Right Landscaping Contractor

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Pay careful attention to choosing the right landscape contractor for your yard. If you’re looking for a complete landscape re-design or simple lawn care, homeowners can use these steps to find the right landscaper for their desired project.

Step 1: Envision your landscaping design.

Before finding professionals for your landscaping design, consider what you want the end result to be. For what use do you intend your garden? Thinking about a water feature or walkway or do you want a comfortable gathering place? Do imagine a garden area for fresh veggies and herbs?

Gather magazines or neighborhood photos, or sketch your own design to help show your landscaping contractor what you envision. Communicate with your landscaper about what you want – more communication means a better end result for your landscaping design.

Step 2: Research local landscaping design companies.

Talk to your friends and neighbors to see who they recommend, and gather a If you see a particular design that you enjoy, consider asking the homeowner who they used. Review online portfolios of contractors who interest you. Next, narrow down your list to two or three professionals from whom you will request a formal bid to design landscaping for you.

Step 3: Choosing a designer or landscaping contractor.

Garden enthusiasts should consider:

Certifications and affiliations. Experts who design landscaping will sometimes have special qualifications, especially if you’re looking for a green landscaping design, so check your potential landscaping companies’ certification and affiliations.

Team Approach. Often, quality landscape projects result from a team effort between the designer and contractor. Solicit input from both and don’t rely on the landscape designer to know about technical construction details or the contractor to know about best design.

Licensing and Bonding. Check with the Landscape Contractors Board about your bidders to make sure each carries the appropriate license and bond to perform the work you need. There are different levels of licensing, and not all may be appropriate for your project.

Liability insurance. Check to ensure your landscaping contractor has liability insurance. A landscaping design company that you want to hire should carry at least enough insurance to cover the cost of your home. Although this may seem extreme, landscaping work can result in costly mistakes, such as broken water mains or a tree falling on your home.

Green landscaping practices. If you are concerned about your environmental impact, consider whether your landscaper uses green landscaping practices and provides natural lawn care.