Protecting Yourself and Your Home When You Sign a Home Improvement Contract

A Home Improvement Project can be filled with a variety of problems and headaches. Most people are very trusting individuals and are not aware of the many problems that occur when one attempts a home improvement project. If you choose to embark on a project than you need to protect yourself and your home from common problems that occur BEFORE you sign on the dotted line. Make sure that before you sign a contract with someone to do a project that the following items or clauses are included in that contract:

CONTINUOUS WORK CLAUSE – This clause should detail the minimum number of people working on your home each day, Monday through Friday. If weather is a factor and work can not take place, you should include in your contract that you will receive a call by 8 am that day, if no one is going to show up because of bad weather. The contractor should agree to 7 hour work days, and work will not run past 5:00 pm, unless permission is received by you. Reduction of $ _________ (determine an amount) in total price if project work schedule not continuous, with minimum manpower, for full seven

STARTING DATE CLAUSE – Full refund by contractor if job not started by__________.

COMPLETION DATE CLAUSE – The amount of $ _______ will be subtracted per day, for every day project is not completed by________.

WORK SITE CONDITION CLAUSE – All areas to be kicked "broom clean" on a daily basis. Define "broom clean".

WORK STOPPAGE CLAUSE – this gives you the right to cancel the contract if work is deemed unsatisfactory or gets inexplicably delayed.

MATERIAL INSTALLATION CLAUSE – All installations will be done according to manufacturer specifications and local building codes, otherwise otherwise noted.

ARBITRATION CLAUSE – If unsolvable problem (s) arise both parties agree to arbitration by National Arbitration Board or other. Both parties agree to abide by decision.

WARRANTY CLAUSE – All labor and product warranties will be supplied by contractor before final payment.

MATERIAL DELIVERY AND STORAGE CLAUSE – All deliveries to be accepted by contractor, securing materials will be the responsibility of contractor until installation and materials will be covered and placed _________ on property.

SUBCONTRACTING CLAUSE – Contractor will not assign this project to any other company or individual, unless they are listed as a subcontractor, without the written consent of the homeowner.

PERMIT AND FEES CLAUSE – Contractor is responsible for all required permits, fees or notices required for the work within.

PROPERTY DAMAGE CLAUSE – Contractor will be liable for any damage caused to existing conditions. The contractor is liable for the full cost of the repair. The homeowner will determine who will repair the damage and at what cost.

JOB SITE BEHAVIOR CLAUSE – No loud music, foul language, alcohol or drug consumption, no cigarette butts to be left on property, and workers will wear shirts at all times.

COMMUNICATION CLAUSE – If homeowner needs to clarify a situation and attempts to …

Home Improvement Windows – Why Windows Make an Excellent Home Improvement Project

If you're a homeowner, one of the best things you can do to increase the value of your house is to invest in home improvement windows. When you replace old windows with new versions that are well insulated and modern, people will instantly notice. It's amazing what new windows can do to make a home more attractive. When you combine your new windows with window treatments like shutters, blinds and curtains you can really transform the appearance of your house. If a person's eyes are the windows to his or her soul, the windows of your house are the … uh … windows to its soul. Whatever, I'm sure you get the point.

Home improvement windows are also one of the more affordable ways to remodel your house. Unlike remodeling a kitchen or a couple of bathrooms, windows can be purchased at a reasonable cost. If you take the time to read up on how to install them, you can save yourself a lot of contracting fees. Also, once you put a couple of them in, the rest of the windows in your house will be a breeze to replace. Exchanging old windows for new models is really an affordable and easy way to add value to your home.

In addition to the obvious money saving costs of replacing windows over a kitchen or several bathrooms, there are a few hidden money savers as well. For example, if you buy well insulated windows you can save a lot of money on your heating and cooling bills. Without all of the heated or cooled air escaping from your house and into the rest of your neighborhood, your house will have a controlled climate at a fraction of the previous cost. Purchasing home improvement windows is a fantastic investment to make, and I highly suggest you consider it if you have some extra money. …

Homeowners Often Express Their Style With Their Bathroom Basins

Very often owners are proud of how their homes are presented to their family and friends and they go to trouble to make sure everything is beautiful, in place and representative of who they are.

They pay attention to all aspects of decor in their home, also to the bathroom; some prefer a semi recessed basin above all others. Among many choices for bathrooms, this will often suit a more modern look and feel in the bathroom and is likely to be fitted by those who prefer maximising their bathroom space.

It does not jut out that far to encroach upon space in even small areas, but enough to make vanity space accessible and easy for smaller children to use since the taps are somewhat closer than is the case with other types of basins. This helps to keep the bathroom floors clean since the user does not have to reach far and cause unnecessary splashing.

The semi recessed basin is often favoured by those who like a trendy, modern look and will be found in bathrooms where style, design and look are important. Many owners of homes are very particular about how their homes and every room – also the bathroom – should look. So, to fit in nicely with a contemporary, modern look, this basin is one of the popular options for many.

Many designers feel there is a certain timeless quality to this specific type of basin and will therefore recommend it to a cross range of clients. It can look good in an older type bathroom, and equally up to the minute in a modern setting with lots of emphasis on glass and mirrors, for instance.

The semi recessed basin has certain practical features and uses too. Because it does not cover the whole counter top or vanity area it is possible to position it in such a way that it fits on a fairly thin countertop as opposed to other basins that are fitted in the middle of the surface.

It makes accessibility easier, especially for the young ones in the family. Very often homeowners enjoy shopping for their own basins and accessories for the bathroom; they also love some DIY which saves time and money. But, unless you really know what you are doing, it may be better to call in a good builder or specialist to fit this type of basin for you.

When you choose the semi recessed basin for one or more bathrooms in your home or businesses such as hotels, guest houses or other overnight facilities, for instance, you will have a choice of materials too. Some are ceramic, others made of glass such as those preferred in modern bathrooms and others of steel. It all depends what works best for you and your specific circumstances and look in your home.

Often a basin is chosen to be the centre piece in terms of the decor for people’s bathrooms. Therefore they think of practicality, but also of the aesthetic effect …

How To Pay For Home Improvements

Many home-owners at some time or another want to change some aspect of their house. This could be for a number of reasons. Sometimes it is an emergency repair such as replacing your roof or heating system, whilst other homeowners may opt to extend the living space within their home. This may mean converting a loft space, adding a garage or knocking down a wall to make an open plan space.

You may even choose to add such features as double glazing, central heating or even a conservatory which will not only help make your house more energy efficient, but could add value to your home if you do decide to sell in the future.

By increasing the value of your property, you may want to use the extra equity in your house to buy a new car, take a well-earned trip away or buy a holiday home somewhere.

So, how can you pay for those home improvements that are so unfortunately needed? One possibility which is providing to be popular is to take out a home improvement loan. This will let you to pay for all the material and work costs and allow you to repay on a monthly basis, spreading the costs out even over several months.

Before deciding on how what you will be having done, you need to work out how much you can afford before you start. For large jobs that require professional workers find a reputable and qualified person and get an estimate of work costs. For smaller jobs, such as refurbishing, make a list of what is required and find out what it will cost you. Work out how much you can afford to pay every month in repayments to show how much you can reasonably expect to borrow without getting into problems with repayments.

Before taking out any loan, it is necessary to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of borrowing money [] Will the work you are having done increase the value of your home? Is the work essential? Are you making changes for yourself or to make the house more salable? What improvements will add the most value to your home for the least cost and will also be desirable for the property market in your area.

For example, there is no point in spending £ 5000 on adding a swimming pool to your garden which will only increase the value of your home by £ 3000, because most families will not want a swimming pool due to the possible safety issues. Whereas spending £ 5000 on a new luxury kitchen and extension could add £ 10,000 to the value of your house making it more salable and more profitable.

There are several home improvement loans [] options to consider before choosing the best way of raising finance to fund these improvements. These include secured loans, an unsecured home improvement loan or even re-mortgaging. The choice you make will depend on your personal circumstances including your credit history, how much …

5 Easy Home Improvement Projects That Make Your Home Feel Like New

Would you like to live in a new home? A home improvement project can be an easy way to change the look and increase the appeal of your home, make it feel like new. Below are five very easy ways to improve your home and increase the value at the same time. Home improvement projects do not have to take a lot of time or money to make your home look better.

Easy Home Improvement Project – Kitchen

Paint the kitchen cabinets. An easy kitchen home improvement project that most anyone can do is to repaint the cabinets. A dull, lifeless kitchen can easily be brought back to life by a new coat of paint on the cabinets. Select a bright, crisp color and a new coat of paint on the cabinets will change the look of the kitchen. It will look clean and fresh. With the sharpness of the new paint, the kitchen will appear and feel larger. A light, bright color looks to expand the feel of the room.

For a finishing touch that will complete the cabinets in your kitchen home improvement project change the hardware. Cabinet hardware can become dull and worn over a long life of use. Changing the knobs and handles will drastically change the appearance of the cabinets and give the kitchen a newly remodeled look.

Easy Home Improvement Project – Flooring

Replace carpet flooring. Old, worn carpet is thin, hard and makes a home look dirty and dungy. Replace old carpet with new in your next home improvement project. New carpet adds a soft touch. It looks good and insulates to some extent. If you have a limited budget, purchase good carpet padding and an inexpensive carpet. The result will be a thick expensive feel.

Easy Home Improvement Project – New Faucets

Change the faucets in the kitchen and bathroom sinks. Old faucets dull and wear with age. Replacing faucets will give the sink a fresh new appearance.

This home improvement project is much simpler that it may sound. You can hire a plumber to install new faucets or you can do it yourself. Nice faucets can be purchased at your local hardware store, along with proper plumbing supplies that are quite easy to install.

Easy Home Improvement Project – Painting

Paint the exterior and the interior of your home. A fresh coat of paint is a simple home improvement project that will give your home a new clean look. The exterior appeal will look inviting to visitors and the fresh new interior will make them glad they entered. This is a relatively inexpensive, simple home improvement project that you can hire or do you can do it yourself.

Easy Home Improvement Project – Driveway

A very easy home improvement project that will add a new look to the exterior of your home is to pressure wash the concrete driveway. Over the course of a short season, a concrete driveway will get dirty and grungy. Simply rent a pressure washer and wash …

Remodel Your House

So you are ready to remodel your house but cant understand the steps to make, this article will guide you through the hard and winding process.

If you will to remodel your house, bear in mind that it will all begin with a dream. But keep in mind that dream can also turn into a nightmare particularly if you failed to plan ahead.

Before you dip yourself in remodeling, it is important to first draw your dream house. Even before you start to consult an architect, it is wise to first try to sketch your ideas and think about what your remodeled home will look like after. If wish to expand a room, come to realize how exactly you are going to make use of the space will be used and try to imagine how exactly the changes will influence traffic patterns. Furthermore, you must also recognize how the new construction will change the whole context of your home.

Furthermore, you must learn the fact that one of the wisest things that you will do is to get inspiration so you can prevent the pitfalls that other people had experienced on the fast. There are wide arrays of Web sites that give online chronicles concerning home improvement projects; you can search for them over the web so you get the best idea about home improvement and for you to prevent the mistake of wrongly remodeling your house. Keep in mind that a little research will go a long way hence it is really necessary to do it.…

Mosaic Wall Tile – Quick & Easy Installation Technique!

You would not believe how easily you can redecorate any surface at home by using DIY remodeling. Unlike other tiling options available, it looks like these nature-made panels really provide a natural look and feel to any surface you choose to coat. In the following review you will learn about new ideas on how you can easily transform your home contemporary & decorative.


We can describe this quick tiling method as the following: Mosaic Wall Tile redecoration is made of grouping seamless small flat stones selected by hand and then fixed onto a sq / ft mesh backing seamless tile. The exotic SE Asian islands are mostly known for their beautiful resorts and seashores – did you know that most of these tiles are originated from these seashores? You can practically tile anywhere and for any purpose: All bath surfaces including showers, kitchens, walls, flooring, backsplashes, patios, fireplaces, and pools.

What is in it for us?

Let's examine what is in it for us and how it can easily enable you to redesign any surface at home:

* Easily adjusted to almost any surface size especially when it comes to tiling around taps and small narrow areas.
* Can be used on surfaces at home that have high traffic and that need to stand up to a lot of action.
* Can be used inside as well as in the outside.

Important tips & advices!

* Use a tile saw in order to cut stones to fit edges or corners.
* If this is the first time you install these tiles, it is recommended to learn from other's experience – there are plenty of forums and demonstrative videos on the internet where you can find useful information about first time installation.
* Measure the designated area first, and then add 5% -7% more to your order just as a backup for future use and in case you may need to repair or cut small tile pieces in order to tile small / narrow spaces.

We could easily find many other great benefits provided by this popular and easy home improvement alternative simply because any home-maker can use it at minimal effort.

Final words

If you wonder why this technique is highly popular it's because it offers countless options, as these 'Nature-Made' panels come in many shapes and colors that easily match the decor of any home or office setting. If you wish to succeed with your first installation it is recommended to remember the above tips and advices once you decide on installing these panels. …

Home Owners Beware – Home Improvement Scammers Are Alive and Well!

As a homeowner, you're liable for everything that happens on your property, including uninsured injuries to your contractor's crew. You want your contractor covered six ways from Sunday to protect your interests.

If the contractor can not provide proof of insurance and proof of Workman's Compensation coverage, look for a different contractor.

Ask for References

Ask the contractor to provide references – people you can talk to about the work the contractor has performed. A professional will have a long list of satisfied customers happy to share their success stories. The fly-by-nights will not, unless they give you the number of their second cousin once removed.

Call the references and ask them about the work the contractor performed. Was it done quickly? On time? Any glitches? Any surprises? Did they clean up after the work was done? You get the idea. Of course, remember, no contractor is going to give you the telephone number of a dissatisfied customer, but you might pick up a few warning signs from previous customers – things like "They started work each morning at 6:00 or" They left coffee cups and cigarette butts all over my yard. " Okay, not the end of the world, but an indication of the quality of service you're likely to receive.

He or she may be a skilled craftsperson, but if s / he lacks people skills or a sense of customer service, you may be left with a great job and a bad feeling about the way it was completed. It's a judgment call, but something worth considering.

Ask to See Examples of the Contractor's Work

Again, the good ones will be proud to strut their stuff and show you just how good they are. Of course, it's illegally that total strangers will want you walking through their homes checking the newly-installed electrical outlets. However, a general contractor, a driveway contractor, a painting company or landscaper should be able to provide addresses of homes where work has been completed to the homeowner's satisfaction. Drive by and have a look.

Get at least three estimates. Another common sense tip, but some words of warning.

Do not need to go with the low-ball estimate. Use it as one more piece of information. If the lowest is also the most professional and has a pile of references, fine. The thing is, you may spend a few more dollars to get the best quality work, but the money will soon be forgotten. The work will not.

Another cautionary note: if two of the estimates are close and one is much higher or much lower, the odd one should be eliminated. The contractor either missed the project parameters (which will cost you more money) or he's low-balling the estimate, only to 'discover' unseen damage that'll cost you plenty.

Review your insurance policies at least once a year. Reading over an insurance policy has all the appeal of a trip to the dentist. Okay, it's not fun – but it is necessary to protect …

Black Homeowners Paying The Most For Home Improvements? Shocking Reasons Why

Despite large strides in home purchases by blacks, they still lag way behind other races in home ownership. However, there is another area black homeowners place at the top of the list. According to the latest HUD (US Housing and Urban Development) Study, black homeowners pay the most for home improvements and repairs.

They pay up to 36% more than whites and 23% more than Latinos for the same or similar repairs or improvements.

This article will suggest ways to overcome this problem. Despite discrimination, racial bias and redlining still exist, there are specific actions black homeowners can take to make sure they're getting the lowest price possible for home improvement and repairs.

President Bush pledged $ 50 million to fight abuses. In that speech he disclosed a 2002 study by the Department of Housing and Urban Development that showed as a whole minorities get less information, less assistance and less favorable terms.

Here are Tips To Help You Get The Lowest Price On Home Improvement and Repairs

Many Black Homeowners Hate To Negotiate.

For many reasons black homeowners are less likely to negotiate, bargain or comparison-shop. Failing to negotiate and comparison shop is a formula for paying the highest prices when it comes to purchasing home improvements and repairs.

According to the study, black homeowners who settled for the higher price wanted to get the job done as quick, convenient and affordable as possible.

In addition, the cost directed in a higher price for the home improvement and / repair.

Another factor revealed many black homeowners assume all contractors and repairman's prices are the same.

This causes many black homeowners to settle for the first person that gives them an estimate that's reasonably affordable. Especially, if the repair is an emergency, such as busted pipes, clogged toilet faulty wiring.

That's why it's a good idea to think ahead by keeping up on the cost of various home repairs primarily plumbing and electrical. For example, the charges per hour? Free estimates or not? Overtime for weekends or after PM or not?

It's a good idea to keep a file of at least 3 plumbers, 3 electricians, and 3 carpenters and any other repair or home improvement service in a file where you get to them in an instant if you need to.

An added tip would be to check there rates and prices before you need them list each price on a card so you can see it at a glance. You'll thank yourself for doing this when you have your next repair emergency. You'll save time and money.

Negotiation: The Difference Between Overpaying and Saving Money.

Many people dread the thought of negotiating. They find it intimidating, confusing and unkind to participate in. This is an attitude real estate agents, lending officers, car salesmen, and insurance salesmen use to fatten their pockets.

Because many black homeowners have a fear or reluctance to negotiate, they often pay higher prices than whites, Latinos and Asians. Why? Because they're more willing to …

Installing a Media Room – A Great Home Improvement That Adds Value to Your Home

In modern times, home renovation is essential to improve the quality and increase the value of your home in the real estate market. One of the essential techniques to consider when you are renovating your house is by installing a media room. This is the ideal move for your property to have an edge over the rest. Gone are the times when your garage or underground areas are made as storage rooms and kept vacant for a long time. This is definitely a one time big time investment for you and this will surely guarantee you good results in the future.

Before you begin your plans in installing a media room, consider some of these important things that you need to prepare first. As soon as you have successfully settled everything, you will definitely see the positive result of your investment.

You can begin by planning a concrete and specific home improvement especially in changing rooms in your house into a media room. You may have several designs in mind for your media room but you need to be specific and stick to one theme. Finalize your plan and design since this will serve as the basis for the entire project.

Make sure that you have enough financial resources to complete the whole job. Set aside the budge that you can afford so that you will not have problems later on. Your financial capacity will identify up to what extent your upgrading will have to be. In addition to that, the devices and electronics that will be placed in your media room will have to rely on how much you can actually afford to spend for them. Getting the services of professional contractors and interior designers will also have to depend primarily on your financial resources. So, if you only have an ample budget, then it is wise to do the job on your own and be resourceful on how to materialize your plan.

When looking for items to be installed in your media room, always consider the comfort you can get from them. Pick the ones that are made of good material and of high quality. As for the color of your walls, choose those that can create a unique theme. Make sure to insulate the room properly to prevent irritating sound vibrations to disturb individuals in other parts of the house. Cover the windows with long curtains or blinds that will block the light from entering the room. This helps in creating the ambience more appropriate for media use.

Once you are planning for your media room, do not forget to consider the available space that you will use. If your room is spacious, then you can also choose larger equipment and put more gadgets inside. You can also place some dividers to create small area for games and other audio systems.

Upgrading your home is a great long term investment that you can do. The result of this project will certainly give you positive effect to the …