7 Questions to Ask Your Contractor Before Remodeling

7 Questions to Ask Your Contractor Before Remodeling

 

 

  1. Are you reachable? Before you sign an agreement, it is a good idea to call a few times to see how easy or difficult it is to reach your contractor. Get all the contact information you can. Write down the contractor’s cell phone, office telephone, business address, e-mail address, business license or home improvement number, license plate. When you need to reach your contractor, you’ll be glad to have these numbers.
  2. Have you done this before? Ask the contractor to describe similar projects he/she has worked on. You can call references, but, be aware, that it is unlikely that they will give you the names of unhappy clients.  Ask if they have had any complaints and how they handled them.
  3. Who will be here? Ask about who will be supervising the job and how often you will get updates.
  4. How long will it take? How long does the contractor estimate the project will take? Discuss how missed deadlines will be addressed.
  5. How will you get paid? How much money does the contractor require up front? Be sure the agreement states when they will start and what is expected after each payment.
  6. Do you have insurance? A contractor should carry liability insurance to protect against any issues that occur when working on your home, worker’s compensation insurance for his/her workers, and vehicle insurance.
  7. Are you educated regarding Lead Safety? If you live in a house built before 1978, any professionals working on the home are required to have passed a lead paint safety course. In addition to this requirement, properly trained contractors bring useful knowledge to keep your home safe.

Start with these brief questions at a minimum and don’t be afraid to ask more questions.

Once you meet the contractor, you will get an understanding of his/her personality which is very important especially if you are planning a lengthy project.  You don’t need to be best friends, just able to communicate professionally.

While it is typical to ask for 2-3 bids on a project, remember to compare the same timing, level of products and services as well as experience and insurance coverage.

Beware, your best choice may not be the cheapest.  And the best quality isn’t always the most expensive.

For more information or for help remodeling your home or business call HMMA, Inc. in Northern NJ at 201-943-3331.

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SummerSummer…the time for vacations and longer days.  For homeowners, the work never seems to end.  For smart homeowners, the right maintenance prevents a larger repair down the road.

Here are some tips to keep your home in tip-top shape this season.

Help your gutters do their job. Remove any winter debris by giving the gutters a quick purge with your leaf blower or garden hose extension. Check for loose or disconnected elbows and tighten when needed.
Service your A/C. Most homeowners can change air filters and vacuum out  floor registers.  Call your contractor if you need additional service.
How’s your siding? Warm and sunny days give an excuse for playing with the hose. Give your siding the once over with soap and water, a brush & the garden hose.
Check the Play and Sitting Areas of your home.  Children will be planning to enjoy the outdoors…so be sure to give your swing sets and lawn furniture the once over with some bleach and soapy water.  Always test an area first.  Also, tighten any loose connections.
Window of Opportunity. GET A SQUEEGEE!  No one likes this job, but, a squeegee makes it a little easier.

Do a walk-thru and make a list of items that need repair or service.  This way, you can work to get a contractor to price a full day of work at a value rate rather than several short trips that will typically cost more.

Contact HMMA at: hmma@hmmainc.com for a Free Summer Maintenance Walk Thru Checklist.

 

 

 

 

The Value of Replacing Your Home’s Doors


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Installing new exterior entrance or interior doors and trim are great ways to add value to your home.

Replacing doors is actually an affordable way to quickly revitalize the appearance and decor of your home.

In addition to improving the famous ‘curb appeal,’ a new exterior door can also improve energy efficiency.

Real estate agents and remodelers say updated kitchens and baths still bring a significant payoff, especially at resale time.  But, when you are on a budget and in the market for a new look as well as an interest in adding to your home’s value, a new door might be just what the agent ordered.

Don’t stop at the exterior doors! Interior doors and upgraded hardware are affordable additions that add to your home’s décor and buyer’s appeal as well.

For more information about how to improve the value of your home be sure to contact: HMMA, Inc. at: 201-943-3331 or see www.hmmainc.com

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Keep Warm this Winter

Keep Warm this Winter

warm home

Keep warm this year!

Of course, the best solution is to have your home professionally insulated.

Until then:

  •  Be sure to close doors to unused rooms and keep the heat where you are.
  • Cover your floors!  Area rugs add a nice color accent and warmth to your rooms.
  • Use decorative door warmers to keep the cold out.  If you don’t have one handy…head out to your local hardware store and buy some pipe foam.  You can cut it in half and slide it under the door OR use two and cover with a pretty fabric wide enough to slide one on each side of the door.
  • Remember to ALWAYS shut off space heaters when you leave the room. Never leave them unattended.

Call HMMA, Inc. at: 201-943-3331 for more tips on keeping your home warm, remodeling, insulation, whole home generators and more.

 

Change of Season

2000-01-01 00.00.25-1Some thoughts for change of season:
Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.  Replace the batteries.
Check your clean gutters and downspouts. Make sure all drainage areas are unblocked by leaves and debris. Consider installing gutter guards to make the job a lot easier.
Check the wood trim around windows, doors, railings and decks. Use caulk to fill the holes or completely replace the wood.
Now is a good time to check your roof for wear and tear. If the shingles are curling, buckling or crackling, replace them. If you have any leaks or gaps, heavy snow and ice will find its way in. Call in a professional before the weather goes cold.
Bring in hoses indoors…drain and store for spring.
Clean and replace filters in your furnace or heating system.  Don’t forget to oil the furnace. Contact your local utility company who will often check out your system for free.
Check out your snow blower, shovels, scrapers, etc.  Making sure these items are in tip top shape before the first snow will save you time, energy and lot’s of time on line at your local hardware or repair shop.
For more home maintenance tips or for a quote on your upcoming projects.  Call HMMA, Inc., at: 201-943-3331.