Wednesday, November 3, 2010

How To Pick A Contractor

The first step in picking a contractor is to figure our what type of contractor you need. You can hire one general contractor to do your remodeling, renovation or new home construction project, or you can hire several sub-contractors who specialize in the different parts of the project.

Regardless of who you choose you should follow these rules.

First make sure they are licensed and insured and ask them to provide documentation you can verify. A reputable contractor will have no problem providing you with copies of these documents.

Next ask for several client references and do not be afraid to call and ask questions like did the contractor complete the construction project on time and within the budget, did it meet your expectations, how neat were they in your home, did the workers show up when expected, etc. If possible ask if you can see the finished home remodeling or renovation work the contractor did.

Call the better business bureau and see if there are any complaints filed against the contractor. Visit for more information

Request a written estimate. Any contractor who does not provide you with a written estimate should be crossed off your list. Get at least three estimates and then compare prices with what is included. Remember the lowest bidder is not always the best. Always ask what type of material they use and where they are getting it from. Compare apples to apples and make sure you are getting quality materials.

Sign a written contract. The contract should clearly state all the steps the contractor will take from beginning to end of your job, what supplies and material types are included, the payment schedule and the time line for the project.

Ask if they a member of NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry). Nari is a not-for-profit trade association with more than 50 years of industry experience and is dedicated to enhancing the professionalism of the construction industry and serving as an ally to the homeowner.

Visit to learn more about NARI

Visit for Information on the NYC / Long Island Chapter of NARI

Also check online to read long island contractors reviews from customers that have used them. Sites such as Find A Pro and Angies List are excellent resources.

So whether you want to do a kitchen remodel, bathroom remodel, dormer or a build a new home, by doing research and comparing contractors and materials you should be able to find a reputable contractor.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Kitchen Remodeling 101

Getting tired of your kitchen or feel your kitchen is no longer appropriate for your growing family and your cooking lifestyle, it may be time to remodel your kitchen. Remodeling your kitchen can be challenging but if a remodel will give you a better and a more functional kitchen then it may be worth the investment. Here are some useful tips that can help you get started.

First step remodeling your kitchen is to come up with a detailed plan. You should have a workable and detailed plan of what you want your kitchen to be regardless if you are designing it yourself or if you hire a professional kitchen remodeler. Hiring a professional to remodel your kitchen will cost you more but by using their experience you will get a much better kitchen that will maximize your space. This way, you will be able to point out what particular changes you want and you will be able to keep track of remodeling developments when you have already started with your project.

Get ideas by looking at pictures of other kitchen remodeling jobs. The internet is a great place to do this. This will help you get inspiration of how you want your kitchen decorated and arranged. Looking at remodeling ideas will also keep you up to date on the latest trends in kitchen designs. Its not always a good idea to go with the latest trends and sometimes better to go with something more timeless if you plan on living with for the next twenty years.

Search kitchen products and accessories before buying them. This will give you an idea of the variety of products that are available and which ones will be best to use in your kitchen. This will also give you an idea how much these products cost, letting you know if a particular kitchen design fits your budget. You will also be able to get the best buys and bargains by comparing which stores sell more affordable and better quality items.

Visit home stores. Many home depots showcase real kitchen set-ups and products. By visiting these stores, you will see how kitchen product look and you can also ask the sales people about its durability and functions. This will help you get an idea how certain kitchen appliances and cost.

Your kitchen is one of the most useful and most used areas of your house. Remodeling it to make it your cooking and social area but may require a lot of work. Do not let this hinder you from making your kitchen a much better looking and more functional place.

If your thinking about kitchen remodeling try these kitchen remodeling tips and you will discover that a kitchen make-over project simply takes some handy tips and ingenuity.