Renovating Tips

Renovating Tips


Here are some ideas to keep your budget in line with your dream remodel…

Set aside EXTRA money.  It’s almost impossible to prepare for every surprise.  Once a wall is opened, an old sink is removed, etc. you often find that there are unexpected extras.  Try either choosing finish items below your budget and choose up if you have the extra OR set aside about 20% extra funds in preparation.

Its TRUE! Measure Twice – Cut Once

Make sure EVERYTHING fits before you install…Refrigerators, cabinets, islands, tables, chairs, appliances, etc.

Be Open to a Change in Layout

You might find that a small change will make your kitchen or bathroom easier to navigate with better appeal.  The cost might surprise you.

Classic Lasts

How long would you like to enjoy your remodel?  Remember that the budget you create will need to increase in years to come, so, keep that in mind when adding the cool new gadget or trendy design.  If you are planning to re-sell or don’t have the funds to remodel when the trend has passed, you might be disappointed.

Ask for the ‘little things’

Ask your contractor about any safety add-ons that will make your renovation last longer.

Order Extras of Items that May be Discontinued

Consider ordering extra flooring, backsplashes, fabric, etc. to be prepared for any repairs down the road.

Lastly, HIRE INSURED AND LICENSED CONTRACTORS!  Protect yourself and your project.

Don’t be afraid to ask “what is your license number?” (you can look it up to confirm if its current.

Ask “may I have a certificate of insurance naming me as additional insured?” 201-943-3331 13VH01459100

HMMA Construction Management
HMMA Construction Management

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.

The Value of Replacing Your Home’s Doors


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


PSEG Winter Energy Tips

We wanted to share these helpful tips from PSE&G.  We’re happy to help you with any of the following energy saving installations, changes or improvements.  Just give HMMA a call: 201-943-3331.

10 Ways to Keep Warm This Winter

Simple things you can do to save energy and money

Version Español .PDF version

Winter’s cold temperatures bring an increased demand for gas, as people turn on their heating systems to help keep warm. PSE&G wants you to know there are some simple things you can do to stay warm and manage your heating bills this winter:

  • Visit PSE&G’s Home Energy Toolkit at The toolkit is full of ideas to help save energy and money on home appliances and heating systems.
  • Check for sufficient water levels in the sight glass for steam systems and the pressure gauge for hot water systems.  This will ensure maximum efficiency from your heating system.
  • Lower your thermostat by just one degree, which may reduce your heating bill by up to 3 percent. More savings can be achieved by lowering your thermostat 2 degrees during the day and 5 to 10 degrees at bedtime if health conditions allow.
  • Close dampers in fireplaces not being used.
  • Move furniture and drapes away from heating registers, radiators, and baseboard covers.  Open any register or baseboard dampers.
  • Cover window air conditioners to reduce drafts. Install insulated or lined drapes on your windows.
  • Use weather stripping or one-sided sticky tape to seal up cracks and stop drafts in windows and doorframes. Caulk smaller gaps. Beneath doors, install draft guards or insulated door snakes.
  • Seal wall switches and electrical outlets with small foam gaskets available at home improvement centers and hardware stores. Remove the cover plate, insert the gasket, and screw the cover plate back in place.
  • If you have a door leading outside from your basement, hang a full-size sheet of plastic from the door frame to keep heat from escaping. Seal windows in the basement with plastic to create a barrier against the cold. (Make sure you allow enough air supply to feed your fuel-burning appliances safely).
  • Keep your garage door closed if the garage is attached to the house.

If your budget permits:

  • Install (or have installed) a programmable thermostat that can be set to automatically lower room temperatures when rooms are not in use and at bedtime, if health conditions permit.
  • Install ceiling fans to promote heating efficiency in winter (and cool your home in the summer).
  • Consider replacing older windows with newer, more efficient models. New windows will provide added insulation and reduce heat loss.