Category: Quotes and Estimates

8 Steps: Before you Build a Swimming Pool

Dreaming of a new pool in the backyard? When you are ready to take the next step closer to your new swimming pool; keep in mind the 8 steps that will help influence the right decisions and bring success to a complex home improvement project.

  1. Budget: Keep a ballpark range in mind for the fully completed project. Plus keep an estimated amount that you are happy to pay for maintenance and up-keep. The bigger the pool, the higher the costs, so plan according to what you need and your budget.
  2. Quotes: Get multiple quotes from multiple sources! Choose a pool builder with a good reputation, star ratings, references, real work experience and an up-to-date insurance and license.
  3. Designs: When getting your quotes, talk to pool designers and find out which pre-made pool designs will work best for your space. You can also design a custom made pool which will be more expensive however it may work better for any unique landscaping shape that your property is on. Also talk with your pool salesmen about what type of filtration and cleaning system options are available.
  4. Safety:  Water safety laws will differ from State to State. With many swimming pool safety options available, it is important to save a portion of your budget to allow for the best safety that accommodates your household needs. You can talk to the pool builder and get some ideas on what will work best for your home.
  5. Permits: Before you begin make sure all necessary city permits and/or permission from your Home Owners Association is signed off on. (Ask your chosen pool builder to help you navigate this process.)
  6. Contracts: If you are signing a contractual agreement with a pool builder; read the fine print carefully and make sure you are protected if something goes wrong. Confirm that you will not be held liable for any accidental damages caused to a neighborhood property by their crew and all clean up will be 100% completed by the builder at the end of the project.
  7. Finances: Do not agree to financing your pool with an un-known financial institute that is pushed on you by any contractor or building firm. Do your own research and find the best financing options on your own terms.
  8. Protect yourself: Keep good records of all communication going back and forth between you and your contractor. Take pictures of progress and keep in touch with their office to make sure everything is going successfully. If any changes are made to the plans, request documentation of any changes made that will cost more or less than the agreed amount.

We want you to have the best experience with building a new swimming pool and wish you many fun filled family moments of wonder and joy.

Try our 2-3 Quotes from Local, Insured and Star Rated swimming pool builders who will work hard to compete for your business with the best rates and workmanship.

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Wildlife Pest Control Tips

Preventing unwanted critters moving into your home is the best solution for pest control. It’s too late when you hear strange noises, find droppings or catch them red-handed in the attic… then you know you have a problem and it’s time to call the pest control guy. Mice, rat, squirrels, raccoons or birds can cause you a lot of stress and significant damages to your home.

Prevention is the best way to save you hundreds of dollars in pest control costs and damages. Nasty diseases can be carried by wildlife and trying to DIY trap aggressive critters (especially if they are female and protecting their young) is not recommended. Call the pros and make sure the pest control guy gives you the best bang for your buck and most importantly get’s the critters out.

Tips to keep the pests away and the expensive pest control service

Trim Trees: Keep trees and vines off your home structure. This will limit access points for rodents to enter into your home from the roof.

Monitor Roof and Siding: Replace any rotting or weak siding around your home that is soft enough for critters to chew through.

No Bird feeders: Avoid feeding wildlife around your property if you continuously have problems with critters. It’s like an open invitation to move in!

In the Attic: Set up mousetraps in the attic, throw mothballs around, and use high frequency sound devices. These can help temporarily but not permanently.

Regular Inspections: Inspections every year from top to bottom, chimney and in any open gaps in the roofs. (Call a handyman to climb into dangerous places if you need to.)

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6 Reasons why you don’t need to DIY – find a Pro – find peace of mind

6 Reasons why you don’t need to DIY

1.   Support your local community and small family businesses serving your neighborhood and city. Try our Free Quotes for all your basic and serious home improvements.1

2.   Get your local quotes from 2 – 3 registered contractors at one click or call.

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3.   Talk to a human! Get your estimate over the phone… don’t pay for that one time pricey plumber service call   😉

4.   All companies has been vetted for you – no scam roofing contractors here.

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5.   You got time to think about your quotes and call them back –  home remodeling is a big decision; take your time.

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6.   You don’t like the quotes; totally cool…keep looking to find the perfect fit for your budget! Dreamy kitchens aren’t built in a day! 🙂

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How to Find and Hire a Good Contractor

Your Contractor Check-List
Your Contractor Check-List

There is no denying that the best way of finding a good contractor is by word of mouth. Friends or family who have tried and tested any service will always have a personal experience and recommendation they can offer you.

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The next best and easiest way to find reputable contractors is to find a reliable online service that offers trusted customer ratings. These reputable sites should have already done some groundwork for you like providing access to licensed local contractors… without a fee!  (FYI no fees here!  www.contractoreasy.com/get-quotes)

Here are 8 steps to get yourself started the right way.

1.  Get multiple Quotes & Estimates: For extensive remodeling get the quotes in writing. You can easily compare bids and choose accordingly. (Don’t forget to do your research on any subcontractors you may need to use as well.)

2.  References: It will give you peace of mind to hear from other clients how competent the contractors work is. Ask them for a list!

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3.  Contractor Insurance: Ask to see current certificates for; Worker’s compensation, personal liability, and property damage coverage insurance.

4.  Permits:  Make sure your contractor will get all the necessary permits if required.

5.  Time line: Get an estimated start and finish date.  (Inspect and approve the completed work before you make final payment.) 

6.  Payment: It is safer not to pay cash, but rather pay by checks or credit card even for smaller projects. As a safety net, have a written contract or agreement for the payment schedule for the completion of each section. 7You have the right to re-negotiate and be informed if the project is going to exceed the estimated amount. It is also vital you get confirmation from subcontractors and suppliers that their bills have been paid in full before you make the final payment. (Ask for a lien release or lien waiver)

7.  The Broom Clause: You won’t regret asking the contractor to be responsible for  the cleanup work involved after remodeling is complete.

8.  Receipts & Records: Keep copies of change orders, contracts, manufacturer warranties, project progress photos, correspondence and receipt of all payments.

We hope that your home improvement projects go smoothly and you have the best possible experience. Finding a great contractor that understands your needs and does their best to please you is like finding gold! Remember to reward them by recommending their services to friends and family…and don’t forget to give them a 5 star rating!

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9 Tips for Avoiding a Contractor Scam

contractor scam

Ever had that uncomfortable feeling when you took a chance by hiring a contractor from an unreliable source? Taking a risk with your money and security is something every homeowners needs to minimize and make careful decisions on.

 

Here are 9 warning signs to look for.

1.    They knock on your door to offer you a discount for forwarding customers to them.

2.    They offer “lifetime” warranty or a “Guarantee” that sounds too good to be true.

3.    They ask for immediate full cash payment upfront.

4.    They are extremely pushy and pressure you to make a decision fast.

5.    They ask you to get local approval requirements (permits) from the municipality. Licensed contractors typically navigate this process to show the municipality that all work is being done to meet safety codes and they will plan to be present for required inspections.

6.    They ask you to sign documents or contracts with blank spaces in them that they will fill out after you sign it.4

7.   They suggest a moneylender they know who will help you finance.

8.   They pressure you to agree to loan terms for contractor financing without comparing with different lenders.

9.   They make you believe they have left over materials from previous jobs and that this is an advantage to you.

 

To empower yourself against unethical business practices: Always keep good records of communication and documentations. We recommend using certified mail and requests receipts for everything.

Check out our next blog post How to Find and Hire a Good Contractor.

Come back soon to stay up-to-date!

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