Home Improvement Projects That Need Extra Help

electrician-1080554_960_720Every home eventually requires repairs. For whatever reason you’re looking into home improvement, it’s sometimes necessary to seek professional help. Adding crown molding or building a shelf is one thing, but when you’re looking to alter plumbing or electrical work, it’s best to hire help. Take a look at some of the ways an expert might benefit your plans for home makeovers and maintenance.

 

Accessibility Modifications

 

There are plenty of reasons to make your house more accessible. You or a family member may need expanded access or assistance, or you may simply want to make your home more inclusive if you plan on putting it on the market. However, such modifications often need a contractor to be done safely and properly. Adding extra-wide doorways to accommodate wheelchairs, ramps or entrance ways with no steps, and handrails on stairs and in restrooms are all best done by professionals. You may want to convert your shower to offer wheelchair accessibility, which may require complex work. As a good deal of the alterations will be done in the bathroom, kitchen, or bedrooms, it’s best practice to have an expert on hand to avoid broken pipes, flooding, or the unnecessary damaging of walls.

 

Outside Help

 

If you want to clean and maintain the outside of your home, there are numerous things you can do yourself. You can use a pressure washer on your walls and windows to remove dirt and grime safely, and even to clean your driveway. While you may run the risk of scratching your paint, no permanent damage will be done to your home. However, once you think about cleaning your gutters, you may want to hire the help of a professional. Not only will they have the right tools and make sure no leaves or debris remain blocking your drains, they are trained and less likely to injure themselves when working at great heights. Additionally, regular maintenance can prevent animals and insects from nesting in your gutters themselves.

 

Installing a Fence

 

There are various benefits to fencing your home. Fences offer extra privacy and security against a pet escaping. They also provide an additional layer of protection against burglary or home invasion. Professional help can be advantageous for a project of this complexity, especially if your fencing extends underground. When installing or repairing a fence, you may be surprised to learn that a contractor is often required. Not only will you need to make sure that your yard is properly fenced, but there may be restrictions you are unaware of. For instance, some cities have height limitations on fences, and a contractor will be aware of these and ensure that there are no city policy violations.

 

Help with Wiring

 

This is another area where you do not want to risk injury or property damage if you’re inexperienced with home modification. Even if you successfully get wiring working properly, you may accidentally create a fire hazard without being aware of it. You may overload your circuits, and end up creating an expensive problem that could have been avoided if you’d used a professional. There is the possibility of injuring yourself during the process, too, without having the proper equipment or training of an expert. While hiring a professional is an added expense, it is worth it to protect both your health and your home.

 

It’s good to keep up to date on your home’s maintenance and to invest in worthwhile improvements. However, no matter how confident we are in ourselves, it’s always important to be certain of what we’re doing, especially when it involves wiring, plumbing or great heights. Professionals have tools we don’t and knowledge gained over years of work. Do some things yourself, but know when it’s best to get an expert’s help.

5 Tips to Avoid a Home Improvement Scam

home remodeling

With alarming regularity the media reports of home improvement scams occurring in one community after another. You undoubtedly have heard tales of people falling victim to different types of home improvement scams. Indeed, each and every day intelligent people become victims of home improvement scams. There are five key tips and tactics to bear in mind to assist you in falling prey to a home improvement scammer.

 

Do Due Diligence

The most crucial to bear in mind to avoid a home improvement scam is to do due diligence before you hire a contractor. Certainly, if someone comes to your door with some type of home improvement “deal” that seems to good to be true, never “sign up” on the spot. A deeper discussion of door-to-door home improvement solicitations follows shortly.

 

The breadth of due diligence that must occur before retaining the services of any home improvement contractor must include:

  • obtaining and contacting references

 

  • verification of licensing, insurance, and bonding

 

  • check with Better Business Bureau

 

A part of due diligence should also include obtaining references from family, friends, and colleagues who’ve engage the services of the type of home improvement contractor you now consider engaging. Odds are that you have people in your life who’ve retained the services of the type of home improvement contractor you currently may need.

 

Research the Ins and Outs of a Specific Home Improvement Project

Another important step that you need to take to protect yourself from a home improvement scam is to undertake research on the project you want to undertake. Although you may not have the skill set or desire to do a home improvement project yourself, by educating yourself on how a specific project is undertaken you put yourself in a better position of understanding if a prospective contractor is being aboveboard with you.

 

Beware of Door-to-Door Solicitations

As noted above, there are instances in which a so-called home improvement contractor seeks business by going door-to-door. Generally speaking, such a person or company should be avoided.

 

These types of solicitations are more common place in the aftermath of an event like a severe storm. Businesses holding themselves out as bona fide roof contractors may work your neighborhood seeking to be hired. While absolutely statements typically are best avoided, a fair statement is that a considerable percentage of people pounding the pavement in this manner may prove to not be the most reputable folks around. Indeed, this door-to-door tactic is adopted by a good many scammers, including in the aftermath of a major weather event.

 

Pay Close Attention to Payment Arrangements

Another signal that a prospective home improvement contractor may not be on the up-and-up is a situation in which full payment upfront is requested or required. Experienced, reliable, and reputable home improvement contractors typically do not employ this type of payment scheme.

 

A typical payment structure used by reputable home improvement contracts typically includes a deposit of between 25 and 33 percent. There are then agreed milestone payments along the way. A final payment is not tendered until you have the opportunity to fully inspect and accept the work undertaken by a contractor.

 

Check the Warranty

Another tip to bear in mind involves checking any proposed warranty. Scammers oftentimes entice targets with what seem to be amazing warranties for different types of home improvement projects. You absolutely must directly and independently verify such a purported warranty before engaging the services of a home improvement contractor.

 

By employing these tips and tactics you will best protect yourself against becoming the victim of some sort of home improvement scam. In addition, these suggestions not only will assist in preventing you from becoming victimized but will also ensure that you retain the services of the best possible home improvement contractor for your specific project.

 

 

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Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Scaffold Store, the favorite and trusted scaffold supplier of the largest contractors.