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Contractor Tips 35 Stories

The contractor-homeowner relationship can be complicated, but it's not hopeless — understanding the process can help you get the most out of your remodeling project. Take a look at the hints and suggestions I've picked up from my years of working as a contractor and put into 10 remodeling guides. Here are links to them...
Contractor Tips: Top 10 Home Remodeling Don'ts
Whether you work with a general contractor or act as one on your own project, getting a glimpse into the mind of a contractor can give you a new perspective into remodeling projects around your home. I’ve learned a lot working as a contractor,...
Contractor Tips: How to Shop for Your Remodel
Roughly half the costs of a remodel are for materials, so it pays to be mindful of potential pitfalls. If you're a DIYer, avoiding some minor and major mistakes can help you make the most of this significant investment. You probably already know it's...
What to Look for in a Contractor's Contract
A contractor without a contract is just a worker and his or her word. Even the most honest person would be hard-pressed to keep track of all the conversations that go into planning for the average construction project. That's where a good contract...
Contractor Tips: What Your Contractor Really Means
Contractors didn't become contractors because they love to communicate. If they did they would have become speechwriters or newscasters (or get a gig writing ideabooks for Houzz). Sometimes what they say seems completely obvious to them, but makes no...
Contractor Tips: 10 Home Areas That Likely Need a Pro
If you are working on a DIY remodel, deciding whether to call in a specialty contractor to perform a specific task comes down to several areas you'll need to consider: *Skill. Do you have the necessary skills to build a sound structure, ...
Contractor Tips: 10 Hats Your General Contractor Wears
Unlike a specialized contractor, a general contractor (GC) oversees all onsite aspects of a construction project. Whether the GC, any employees or any subcontractors do the work, this is the person you call about everything. A good GC needs to know...
Contractor Tips: 10 Ways to Get the Remodel You Want for Less
Everyone knows remodeling is expensive, but it usually ends up becoming even more expensive than you thought. So, how can you get the house you want while sticking to a strict budget? Take some advice from this contractor — the tips below can help you...
Contractor Tips: 10 Ways to Remodel Greener
Let's get to the nitty-gritty of what it means to remodel green. Being green starts long before you think about where you want to put the tub, and the effects last into the future long after you're gone. Remodeling can be a wasteful process. The least...
Contractor Tips: 10 Remodel Surprises to Watch Out For
There's no crystal ball that can tell you what might go wrong on your home remodeling project, but you don't need to be able to see into the future to be prepared for an unwelcome surprise or two along the way. Adding a contingency fund that's 5 to 20...
Protect Your House From Winter Water Damage
When cold weather approaches, it's time to give your home's exterior a once-over to make sure water won't find its way indoors. There are ways to spot the problem areas on your home's exterior before a drip from the ceiling or a flooded basement alerts...
Construction Contracts: What to Know About Estimates vs. Bids
When planning a home remodeling or new construction project, one of the first things homeowners usually want to know is how much the work will cost. Part of asking about cost is not just defining what the work will be but also knowing what form...
9 Questions to Ask a Home Remodeler Before You Meet
As professional home remodelers and builders, the people at our firm field many phone calls from potential clients. One of the first things that many people ask us is when we can set up an in-person meeting. But meeting in person about a...
Contractor Fees, Demystified
When you ask a contractor for an estimate, it usually includes the direct costs of construction plus a markup charged on some or all of those expenses. This is true whether you have a time-and-materials estimate or a fixed-price one, also known...
5 Ways to Protect Yourself When Buying a Fixer-Upper
A fixer-upper can often seem like a first-time homebuyer’s dream: an older home with great bones that simply needs an update or perhaps a few tweaks to its layout. Unfortunately, even seemingly straightforward projects can be fraught with hidden...
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