Home Improvement and Repairs – Hiring a Contractor

Hiring a competent and reliable contractor is essential to making sure that the job is done right. While it may seem as if it should be as easy as opening the yellow pages and choosing one in your area, smart homeowners know that finding a good contractor takes as much time and effort as other aspects of your remodeling job.

Remember, the person you choose to do the work for you will have complete access to your home and family for several days or even weeks, so you must be completely comfortable with having them in your home for an extended period of time. The best way to find a contractor that you can trust is to:

Ask friends, neighbors and co-workers for referrals
Check references with people the contractor has done work for in the past
Ask salespeople at the local lumber yard or home renovation center who they recommend
Check with your local zooming and/or code enforcement office for a list of licensed contractors in your area

Once you find a few contractors that you’d like to consider using for your remodeling project, it’s time to schedule an interview. The Federal Trade Commission suggests that homeowners ask the following questions to determine if a contractor is right for you and your project:

How Long Have You Been In Business?
Are You Registered and Licensed With the State and Local Building Authorities?
How Many Projects Like Mine Have You Completed in the Past Year?
May I Contact Some of Your Former Clients?
Will You Be Hiring Any Subcontractors for This Project?
What Types of Insurance Do You Carry?

Once you’ve chosen your new contractor, be sure to insist that you get all the details of your project (including price and delivery estimates/completion dates), in writing before paying any deposits. A written contract is essential to ensuring that the work is done properly and on time.

Unfortunately, not every contractor is reputable, and homeowners need to be on the look-out for potential rip-offs. Here are a few things to watch for when hiring a contractor:

Door-to-door solicitation.
Offers to use leftover materials from another job.
A contractor who only accepts cash payments.
Someone who insists on receiving payment in full before commencing work.
Pressure to make an on-the-spot decision.
Offers to help you secure financing with their own “lender”.

Hiring a reputable contractor seems like it should be easy, but oftentimes it isn’t. Homeowners should be aware of the dangers of hiring the wrong person to work on their home and take all necessary steps to ensure that the work is completed to their specifications, timetable and budget.

Free Cash Grants For Home Improvement and Repairs

Have you ever wanted to upgrade your appliances or do some home improvement, but thought about the expenses. Home improvement grants may be able to provide you with the money you need to finance your projects. These grants may be obtained by your local or state government, or some of the thousands of private foundation grants that are available to American citizens may provide financial assistance to repair homes.

But just because there is billions of dollars in free grant money available does not mean you automatically qualify to receive these funds. There is an application process and eligibility requirements, but as long as you are at least 18 years old and an American citizen, you may qualify to receive some of this money. It’s just a matter of matching your background and needs to the eligibility requirements of the particular grant program you are applying for.

Finding these programs that provide home improvement grants may be the trickiest part. Because grant can be offered by many government and private agencies, it is easiest to first search for the grant you need online, review the application and eligibility requirements, and submit your grant request. There is no limit on the number of grants you can apply for or receive, so there is no harm in applying for a number of grants. Once approved, you’ll never have to pay the money back. Just be sure to spend the money in accordance to the terms of the grant you applied for, and the cash is yours to keep.

These Loans Are Very Popular For Home Improvements And Repairs

These loans are very popular for home improvements and repairs. As this has to be done periodically it is a good way to finance the cost involved. There are many ways the a home can be improved on and it is good to keep the home up to the current market value for the time that you would want to resell it.

This loan is the ideal solution to pay for a child’s college or university tuition fees or you may want to buy them a car to enable them to transport themselves to the campus. You could possibly have an unexpected medical bill that has to be paid or you need to give your family a holiday which is long overdue. You may want to consolidate your debts and pay them off. This loan will be ideal to pay off the debts and then you would only have one monthly payment to worry about instead of all the debts. There are numerous reasons why you would want to borrow the equity of your home.

The equity is the difference between what is owed on your home and the value of your home. Home owners are permitted to borrow this equity for their own use whenever they require cash. Home equity loans are very popular and are frequently taken whenever the need arises. Banks have you no problem giving them the loans as they are secured against the home and this minimises the risk of them losing money if you defaulted in your payments.

It is always a wise decision to first check out a few things before you decide to take this loan. There are so many money lenders, banks and private agencies that all want your business. Loans are big business to these agencies and banks and the borrower has to safeguard himself by being vigilant and checking out all his options. Make sure that you check the credentials of the loaning institution or agency if you do not want to loan from a bank. Compare all their interest rates, loan fees, monthly payments and duration of the loan. If there is any fine print, make sure that you understand what is meant by it. If not, ask questions. When you are totally satisfied you can decide where you will take your business. Remember that this loan is secured against your home and you do not want to risk losing it to a lender.

How to Make Effective Home Improvements and Repairs

It is every home owner’s dream to have a completely remodeled house which meet his/her specifications and which is valuated at a high price in today’s market. Equity has always been quite important because it provides the financial means for a home owner to do a lot more with their house, and home improvements and repairs have a direct effect on property equity.

In some cases you must decide whether the house improvement is even worth the effort, if the property is in bad shape and the repairs will cost you half of what you would pay to buy a new one it is a smart move to sell the property and buy a new one. Remodeling should be done only if the improvements make financial sense.

Some of the most common house repairs and improvements are:

Kitchen Remodeling: This one is quite expensive and can range from 5-30K+ if you want to change the floor and some furniture it will a lot cheaper than changing the fixtures and equipment. As expensive as it may turn out to be, kitchen remodeling can be quite a lucrative practice because it can improve the value of your property once it is appraised.

Adding an Extra Room or Garage: As the family grows so should the house, if you didn’t plan for your family to grow as much as it did there is always the option of adding extra rooms for the children and the cars you will need as you no longer fit on small sedans. The process of moving to a bigger property is quite tedious and it can be quite expensive compared to adding an extra room to the property which is relatively cheap.

Besides adding new rooms and fixtures to your house you can also fix small problems it may have such as roof leaks, these may not always be obvious but they represent a real hazard for your family’s health. Some people have allergies which are triggered by dust, weather conditions and even humidity. Taking your time to inspect the roof of your house is a good practice which can help you save a lot of money in medical bills should your family become sick due to a faulty roof.