If you hired a home improvement contractor in the last couple of years you likely experienced some sticker shock and delays getting your job scheduled. Many things contribute to this all too common phenomenon. While we can’t control a lot of it, there are some things we can do to minimize scheduling delays and possibly save some money. Understanding what drives some of these delays and cost increases is helpful.
In today’s world “go green” encompasses a more impactful meaning than it did even a few short years ago. As society moves toward a more eco-friendly mindset, you might think about how a more sustainable home can help your pocketbook and decrease your carbon footprint. Creating an energy efficient home is an investment. It involves a lot of initial planning and upfront costs. In the long run it should decrease overall energy consumption, improve your home’s comfort, and increase value and desirability at resale. Another benefit, some energy efficient upgrades also qualify for tax credits and reimbursement programs.
The fireplace is a natural focal point in your home. Left untouched it can make the entire room appear tired and dated.
These before and after photos from a fireplace renovation project in Snohomish, WA, is an example.
However, replacing a fireplace is no small undertaking and can be messy and expensive. A more cost-effective and efficient approach may be to reface the fireplace. A reface focuses on upgrading the visible surface of the fireplace, without changing its functionality or how it heats the room. Think of it as giving your fireplace a facelift. If the fireplace is otherwise sound and in proper working condition, refacing may be a good alternative for you.
“Alexa, let me know when someone is breaking into my home,” said no one ever. Let’s assume her response would be honest, as in, she can’t. As technology evolves to make our lives easier, smart homes are the newest addition to technological convenience. Although digital assistants, like Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri, can recite the weather or play your favorite song, they cannot stop an intruder from entering your home. Luckily, smart home security systems can. There are several smart home security options to choose from. Make sure to do some research before you put your house on lockdown.
Demand for good contractors is high as the summer home improvement season heats up. Don’t be a victim to unscrupulous contractors and business practices. Only hire Licensed, Bonded, and Insured contractors and carefully check credentials and references. Click here to learn how state regulation protects consumers and for useful online links to help screen contractors.
Don’t have time to research contractors? Contact us, we have already done the work for you! We will connect you with dependable, pre-screened contractors for your home maintenance, repair, or remodeling needs.
Returning home from a well-deserved break, only to discover a flooded laundry room or kitchen is not how most people want to end their vacation. Follow these simple steps to avoid coming home to a big mess or costly repairs.
Turn Off The Water
Water leaks can cause devastating damage to your home in a short amount of time. A failed hose connection, plumbing fixture, pipe fitting, or appliance can leak gallons of water in no time, resulting in costly repairs.
Contractor Hotline was founded in August 2006, when the economy was strong and demand for home improvement services was high. Those days were much like the present, when good contractors stayed busy with their customer’s home repair and remodeling needs. But, those days didn’t last long before the recession pretty much brought business to a grinding halt.
Prior to that time, we knocked on a lot of doors trying to get the attention of good contractors interested in new business. By the end of 2008 the tables began to turn and many of those same contractors were seeking out our services. Over time we retained a lot of those original contractors, recruited many more, and built a solid network of quality home improvement professionals. We have been through these times together and value the relationships we have with each other.
The following checklist will help you prepare your home for fall and winter. Taking time now to ensure your home is prepared for rain, wind, and colder temperatures will give you peace of mind, increase your homes efficiency, and could save money on costly emergency repairs.
Fertilize and apply weed killer to lawn
Trim trees and bushes away from sides of house and over roof and gutters
Blow out irrigation system
Summer will be here soon! Are you ready to get a jump on your spring and summer home maintenance projects? It’s a good idea to finish much of your home maintenance now before the weather gets too hot. The following checklist will help you get started.
Inspect home’s exterior for winter storm damage
Complete exterior repairs as needed to roof, gutters, chimney, siding, windows, foundation, porch, deck, walkways, and driveway
Start your spring exterior maintenance plan by grabbing a pen and paper and taking a walk around the full perimeter of your home. Compile a list of any necessary repairs you discover. Breaking these tasks down later into categories and prioritizing them will make the list more manageable.
Trim Trees & Bushes
You need relatively clear access to your home’s exterior to complete most maintenance tasks. A good place to start is to trim back any trees and bushes from the side of the house and hanging over the roof, gutters, and power lines. Remember to give the same attention to any outbuildings, such as a detached garage or storage shed.