by Jax Media Team Jax Media Team

How to Choose the Right Contractor for Your Home Improvement Project

Selecting the right contractor is essential when it comes to your home improvement project. Having someone on board will help you stay within budget and guarantee everything runs smoothly. Let’s look at some of the things you should consider when it’s time to hire the right contractor.

Top Things to Consider When Hiring a Contractor for Home Improvement

Qualifications

Hiring the ideal contractor is key to a successful home improvement project. You need someone who can deliver quality work and exceed your expectations at an affordable cost.

Contractors are accountable for planning out your project, gathering materials and supplies, managing subcontractors and laborers, adhering to safety regulations, keeping projects on schedule, and staying within budget. They ensure everything runs smoothly from start to finish.

General contractors usually possess a college degree in construction management or a related field and may hold industry certifications from organizations like the National Association of Home Builders. Furthermore, many gain valuable on-the-job experience through apprenticeships or other training programs.

Experience

Home improvement contractors work to enhance the aesthetic and functionality of residential buildings. Their duties involve assessing client needs and crafting improvements that exceed their expectations.

Many state laws require home improvement contractors to have experience in the industry, so they can demonstrate that they are competent and secure for work. Furthermore, they should possess all necessary licenses and insurance in order to operate their business legally.

Fortunately, there are numerous opportunities to gain experience in the construction industry. Some states offer formal apprenticeship programs and others require contractors to have a certain number of documented full-time years of full-time employment before being awarded a license.

Reputation

Reputation is an integral factor when selecting a contractor for your home improvement project. A company with an excellent reputation will deliver quality work and be accessible to help resolve any issues that may arise during the course of construction.

Reputations are the opinions and assessments people have of individuals, companies, brands, and products. These assessments are based on a person’s character and achievements.

A person or entity with a good reputation is generally respected and admired, while one with an unfavorable reputation appears untrustworthy and lacking in character.

When selecting a contractor, be sure to check their reputation on online review sites such as Google My Business, Angie’s List, Facebook, and Home Advisor. These platforms often use algorithms to detect fake reviews so you can trust that you’re receiving an honest assessment.

Insurance

When hiring a contractor to do home improvements, it’s essential that they carry the appropriate insurance. This should include liability, property, and workers’ compensation coverage.

Home renovations often involve hazardous tools and work that could result in injury, so it’s essential to find a contractor who is properly insured.

If the contractor you hire isn’t properly insured, it could mean financial loss if they get sued. This includes damages to your property, medical costs for customers, and legal fees if a customer files a claim against them.

Pricing

Home improvement projects can be expensive endeavors. Therefore, it is essential that you locate a contractor who offers you the most reasonable price for your requirements.

To guarantee you get a fair price, obtain at least three bids from contractors. Each bid should include materials, labor costs, and profit margins.

Before submitting any bids, ask each contractor to provide references from homeowners who have recently finished projects. After speaking with these references, inquire if they had a positive experience working with the contractor.

Hiring the right contractor doesn’t have to be difficult. When you look at these factors, you will be in good shape to hire the best possible professional contractor.

by Jax Media Team Jax Media Team

Top Home Maintenance Tips for Keeping Your Property in Top Shape

Your home is one of the most significant investments you’ll ever make. It offers you a place to live, relax and create memories. Maintaining your home requires regular care to avoid issues and keep it running optimally. Furthermore, regular upkeep may even increase its resale value. Let’s look at some of the best tips for home maintenance.

Home Maintenance Tips to Help You Keep Your Home in Great Shape

1. Clean Your Gutters

Gutters are an essential element of your home’s structure. Without them, rainwater can accumulate on your roof and cause extensive damage.

No matter if you opt to do the cleaning yourself or hire a professional, this home maintenance task should not be neglected.

Clogged gutters provide an inviting home to pests and rodents. Furthermore, they can lead to rot in your home’s foundation that could ultimately destroy it.

Regularly cleaning your gutters and downspouts can extend their life expectancy and save you from costly repairs. Furthermore, keeping them in optimal condition ensures that water is efficiently draining away from your property without damaging it.

2. Clean Your Windows

As a homeowner, it’s essential to maintain your windows in good condition so you can enjoy an expansive view of the outdoors. Water spots, streaks, and stains on windows can make them appear unattractive; however, cleaning them helps clear away this obstruction while also improving the aesthetic appeal of your home.

Cleaning windows not only improves the air quality of your home, but it can also improve it significantly. Dander, dust, pollen, and other allergens that accumulate can cause breathing issues such as a runny nose, coughing fit, itchy eyes, and sneezing.

3. Clean Your Roof

No matter if your roof is constructed of asphalt shingles or flat rubber, regular cleaning is necessary to keep its aesthetic. Furthermore, regular maintenance helps guarantee their quality and lifespan.

Fortunately, this task is not as complex as it seems and can easily be completed by professionals or homeowners if they know the correct steps to take.

Before you begin, ensure your roof is free from debris and overhanging trees as this can block sunlight. After that, use a leaf blower to clear away any leaves or twigs from your rooftop.

4. Inspect Your Foundation

Inspection of your foundation is a critical component of home maintenance, helping prevent more serious issues down the line.

Foundation damage can cause your house to sink, crack or collapse entirely; thus it is advised that a foundation inspection be conducted at least annually.

Be wary of walls that bulge or lean. They could be an indicator that your foundation has shifted and put pressure on them, signaling shifts in shiftiness in the earth underneath your home.

Notice large zig-zag cracks running along the interior walls as an early indicator of foundation issues. Also, look out for floors or door frames with warped or slanted surfaces; this should serve as a warning sign.

3. Check Your Sump Pump

Maintaining regular sump pump maintenance will keep your home free from flooding, saving time and money in repairs if it breaks down during a storm. Preventative measures can save headaches in the future as well as costly repair bills in case your sump pumps break down unexpectedly.

Start by making sure your pump is positioned appropriately on a level surface so that water flows efficiently into it and doesn’t force itself out as quickly. This way, less work needs to be put in by your pump when trying to extract it!

As part of a proper maintenance routine, make sure the float sensor can move freely and switch on when required.

Make sure that the discharge pipe outside your house is directing water far enough away, otherwise too much could seep back in and cause your pump to continue operating incessantly.