Tag: home improvement

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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Interview with an Interior Designer – Be Inspired!

Interior Decorator

Not everyone has the skills or talent to decorate and design a home using colors, patterns, textures and furniture that flow together in perfect harmony! That’s why I wanted to talk with an Interior specialist and find out what’s so compelling about professional interior designing and how it improves a home’s market value.

Featuring: Erin Polonet –  Superior Interiors


1.  Share with us what motivates you when working for clients who hire you?

“I get motivated when clients want to freshen up their space. They are taking a big step when investing in their home so I love to help them discover creative ideas for their project plans. They are trusting in my expertise to help them find a solution to their problem.”

2.  What is the most highly sought after interior feature people are looking for in a new home?

“The most popular are a newly decorated master bathroom, up-to-date kitchen and living area.”

3.  In your opinion do you feel investing in professional interior designer increases the market value of a home?

“Absolutely! If you hire an interior designer, they can help you keep your home updated with newer and fresher flooring, furniture and accessories which will make it easier to sell when the time comes.”

4.  Share with us ‘your number one priority’ or ‘the most important factor to consider’ when choosing the right color scheme for a home?

“Color is everything! It’s so important to choose the right color for a room or space. The wrong color could easily throw off the balance of the space it encompasses. It can be difficult to choose which colors will look best in each room; so I love to help my clients make selections that will be timeless and also suit their personal taste and home perfectly.”



5.  In your experience with interior home improvement projects:

Which do you believe adds the most market value when selling?

“A updated, functional flowing home. A lot of older homes are very segregated and don’t provide natural flow into each living space. This can ward off home buyers with more modern taste. “

What do people notice the most in a professionally decorated home?

“Color makes a big difference and tasteful decorations and accessories in a home always impress any potential home buyer.”

What are the key features that people are looking for when purchasing a new home?

“Everyone has something different they are looking for when purchasing a home, but most people agree that having a good flow throughout the home is ideal as well as a nice functioning kitchen.”

6.  Finally, share with us one industry “secret” that makes hiring an interior designer a great investment to home-owners?

 “The secret to my success is my knowledge about home building. I know as well as any builder how remodeling should be done and paired with my design skills I help keep the contractors on task and help them not loose sight of the vision of the end product. With major renovations I get involved and measure, calculate and double check that every step is done right and meets clients expectations. There is a lot of math involved in calculating exact measurements to make remodeling successful. I make sure the contractor does it right because no short cuts or bad workmanship gets past me. I make them give 100% and this makes my clients happy!”

What do you think of the photo of Superior Interiors Luxury bathroom design? We would love to hear your comments!

About Erin:

Erin’s specialty and passion is in luxury bathroom design, kitchen remodeling and custom drapery design. She expertly measures and calculates every detail that contractors need to know to fit in cabinets, flooring, fixtures and window coverings.

Her clients love using her because her communication with the contractor helps reduce stress and avoids the accidental miscommunication that often happens when negotiating construction or design plans with workmen. Erin has been an interior designer for 11 years and lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband and three sons.

If you live in Dallas please contact Erin at superior.interiors@att.net for your very own interior design inspiration.

Image Sources: Copyright of Superior Interiors and used with permission.


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Home Owners Save Big – Take Advantage of these Federal Tax Rebates

Tax credits could be one thing to get excited about in April!

There have been a number of residential energy efficiency tax credits that have been renewed and you can still take advantage of them. Not only are these tax credits available for your energy star purchases in 2016 but also still applicable to purchases made in 2015.

I love ENERGY STAR certified products because they are not only more environmentally friendly but can save up to 30% on energy consumption in your home and who doesn’t also like receiving a Tax rebate?

Talk to ContractorEasy Certified contractors today about making your home Energy Star efficient and cash in on the Tax credits by checking your eligibility and then filing the IRS Tax form 5695.




Important Links

Find local rebates in your area: Click Here

More information on Federal Tax Rebates: Click Here

To calculate your lifetime limitation on energy credits: Click Here

Note from the author: Please verify with energystar.gov and irs.gov for restrictions and details that may apply to your home and affect your rebate before you begin. Thank you!

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5 Tips: Before you Spend Big on Landscaping

5 Tips Before you spend big on landscaping
Landscaping Tips

First impressions are lasting and a great curb appeal will add the ‘wow’ factor to your property. Beautiful landscaping is a good place to start when your ready to invest and create that ‘wow’ factor! 

Here are our favorite Top 5 Tips to help you get started on the journey to a beautiful landscaped home.

  1. Don’t Rush: Take your time and plan out exactly what you want. Feeling pressured or pushed into a project will only hinder you from creating your perfect plan, budget and time frame.
  2. Know your soil: Have your landscaper evaluate your soil and apply any treatments that will boost the growth and vitality in your new plants.
  3. Be Tree Wise: Think ahead: What does each tree look like in every season? How will that effect what is growing under each tree? These answers will help you prepare the best plant choices, placement and estimation of their up-keep for each season.
  4. Prepare for Pests: With new plants, come new critters hungry to try a bite of all your hard work. Avoid using Neonicotinoids or harsh herbicides because they have been linked to killing butterflies and bees. There are many alternative herbicides that are safer for your health and your gardens. If you have rabbits or deer in your area, find plants that will dither them and plant those strategically to prevent a future problem.
  5. Be Water Smart: Water conservation is vital and an emerging responsibility of every homeowner. Make sure your sprinkler system is in good running order and an added bonus would be to install a smart sprinkler controller that has the ability to react to real-time weather data and adapt to a watering schedule that will save you water and money.

BONUS: Post comments on your favorite landscaping advice and let’s grow the list with more Tips! I’ll choose “My favorite Tip” from your comments and add it to the blog and graphic!

Happy Landscaping!

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