Common Home Improvement Mistakes

You hear about it after every major storm. Home improvement contractors move into an area and promise great work, only to leave behind a shoddy job if the job gets finished at all. What you may not realize is that this happens every day, not just after a major tragedy. If you are hiring someone for a job make sure you avoid these common home improvement mistakes.

All of the better contractors and business owners want each and every party involved in their business to do a good job. Unfortunately though home improvement and remodeling is one of the top industries for both fraud and consumer dissatisfaction. The question that a lot of people have is why? Yes much of the blame does in fact fall into the hands of the home improvement industry; there are also some more common mistakes that you as the homeowner commit that will contribute to your own dissatisfaction. If you learn to avoid these mistakes, it can make the difference between a great home improvement project and a nightmare.

1. Falling In Love With The Salesman. Since you are probably like many and not an expert in the field of home improvement, you will begin to rely heavily on the friendliness and the so called credibility of the salesperson in an effort to determine the type of people that will be doing the project. Your dissatisfaction is guaranteed when either the employees or the subcontractors do not live up to the total expectations set by the salesperson. When you are ready to invite someone into your home, you need to make sure they are skilled in home improvement and not just someone who has been commissioned by a salesman whose main interest is to sell you improvements that you do not actually need.

2. Neglecting The Family Safety. You might be appalled to learn of the criminal history of some of the employees of home improvement companies. You will find such things as felony records, drug convictions, sex offenses, and domestic violence among others. Yes it is true that every prior criminal has the right to work, but they have no business being in your family’s home where it can put your belongings and family safety into question. You have the right to demand to see any employee records of individuals that are going to be coming into your home. The record should also contain a background check on the employee as well. This will help ensure that your family’s safety is well secure.

3. Asking The Wrong Questions. There are basic questions that you need to ask every contractor that comes into your home. But sadly these are often neglected. Some of these questions include things like “How long have you been in business?” “Where are you located?” among others. These are some of the most important questions that you can ask. The more questions that you ask, the better your chances of having the job done right by qualified individuals. Always ask to see references, and make sure the references you get are from someone in your community. Then make sure you call them up to verify or even go by to look at the work that was completed.

Home improvement does not have to be a nightmare. Avoiding these mistakes will increase the odds that the job is done to your satisfaction.

Getting the Correct Home Improvement Contractor

When one decides to begin renovating your home or one of your rental properties, it is essential that you are able to choose the correct home improvement contractor for the job. Taking the time to actually select a qualified and reliable home improvement contractor could very well save you a load of time and frustration in the long run, let alone money.

You should be aware that this industry is very competitive and this leads to there being numerous substandard contractors out there who are simply in it for the money, however there definitely are very scrupulous and have a good work ethic. Here are a few pointers as to what you should look at to be sure that you are able to find a reliable home improvement contractor:

· Be sure of your goal and know what you want – Before you even consider entering into home improvements, be sure to know exactly what it is that you want to achieve by doing the improvements. Have detailed sketches or plans available to show to the contractor you are considering so that he has a definite picture of what it is which you would like done.

· Know what questions to ask – Having predetermined questions which you will ask the contractor regarding the job at hand as this will give you an indication as to their work ethic. Questions pertaining to cost implications, time period and suggestions as to how to reduce costs will greatly help you in choosing the correct contractor.

· Do not rush your selection – Many people make the mistake of simply choosing the first or cheapest contractor, avoid this mistake. Take your time to establish the reputation and reliability of the contractor which you choose, be sure that you both have a clear understanding of what it is you wish to achieve and have all the necessary agreements in place.

Many people overlook the importance of finding the correct home improvement contractor for the job you wish to get done, by simply shirking the responsibility of being completely thorough in your decision, you will be lining yourself up for a couple of nasty surprises.

Basic Home Security, Are You Covered?

Basic home security; most people think that there is a ‘one-size-fits-all, silver bullet solution’ to basic home security. The reality is that each situation is unique and deserves a complete and individual review to ensure all precautions are taken to protect your home, loved ones and valuables.

A basic home security system certainly is a very good investment to make to protect you, your loved ones and your property. In addition to having the proper security system, don’t over look the other, simple things you can do to deter the casual criminal. Following are some precautions that should be implemented now, regardless of any home security system you have or are contemplating installing.

Your exterior doors are one of the main points of access to your home. If they’re ‘wide open’ or unlocked, someone looking to cause problems will walk through them, almost guaranteed. Locking all exterior doors with a high quality lock will slow down and perhaps even stop the ‘casual criminal’. The more time and effort required to gain access to your home, the more likely the criminal will move on to other, easier targets. Placing as many deterrents as possible in the way of the criminal is one of the basic tenets of home security. It is definitely something you should keep in mind when evaluating your current security system or when shopping for your home security system.

It may sound like a no brainer, but, you’d be surprised at how few of us have deadbolt’s on all exterior doors. It may seem like it is over kill, but standard locks are very easy to bypass. It is incredible how fast and easy it is to gain access to a garage or uninhabited house using nothing more than a cheap ID card, Membership card, or driver’s license. A standard lock just won’t stop someone who is willing to go the extra step to gain access to your home.

Also, if any door has glass in it or right next to it, be sure the deadbolt requires a key on both sides in order to open it. Having a deadbolt with a key on the exterior and a simple turn knob on the inside isn’t much better than having no deadbolt at all. A criminal can break or cut the glass, reach in turn the knob and enter your home. With a proper deadbolt in place, a criminal will either have to be very proficient at picking a 6 tumbler lock, or be able kick your door in.

How should you secure all those windows? They’re great to look out, but they’re not a deterrent from a security standpoint. Not only do they let people look directly into your home, but they’re fragile and easy to break. However, as long as all your windows are closed and locked, a criminal will be forced to destroy your property if they want to gain access to your home. Closing and ensuring all windows are securely locked is a must. You should check every day before you leave the house and every night before you go to bed. Make sure all windows are checked, not just the ground-accessible windows, and make it part of your daily routine.