Benefits That Come From Hiring a Handyman

If you are a homeowner you know that there is always something that needs to get done around the house.  There is never a reprieve from the chaos when you own a home or is there?  Maybe you think that you can do it all by yourself but do you have enough time, skill, materials, & such?  Even the handiest homeowners can have a hard time accomplishing everything they need to.  No matter what you’re lacking, be it time or skill hiring a handyman can alleviate a month of weekends wasted on home improvement projects.

With a little bit of research homeowners can find an affordable handyman that is willing to do most any job around the house for you.  Hiring a local handyman saves you time and the headache of learning a new skill by experimentation your own home.  When you hire a handyman they come prepared with knowledge, time, tools & materials to get your job done on the first try without you having to lift a finger.

Think about what a waste it would be to have to buy all the tools you would need for projects such as tiling.  Not only would you need a jig saw but also a tile saw, level, drill, scoring tools, and more.  This alone covers the cost plus some associated with hiring a handyman to do the job.

Hiring a handyman is often times more economical than hiring a construction company.  The overhead of your local handyman is much less and since most jobs around the house are not month long projects it will be far more inexpensive to negotiate with an independent handyman even when it comes to things such as the installation of a new stove.

Save yourself not only time, money & trouble but also stress and anxiety by hiring a local handyman.  When you find the right one you often will find they are willing to work in conjunction with you saving you money, time, and headaches.  While assisting a handyman you are learning valuable skills while helping preserve time.

Learn more about licensed and insured general contractor Glen Miller the Home Doctor and the variety of home improvement services he offers clients including: home maintenance plans, handyman services, kitchen remodels, bathroom renovations, handicap ramp installations, age in place modifications, basements transformations, and hardwood flooring installation and refinishing at  To contact Glen Miller the Home Doctor call 734.255.9793 for a free estimate.

Three steps to finding the best home remodeler

Whether you are doing a pull-and-replace update to your bathroom or adding a three-story addition, renovating your home is a monumental task.

Thankfully, when you have the right support team, anything is possible — including surviving a home remodel project. The key is to find the good contractors, which can be a daunting task when everyone promises you your dreams for “less than the last guy.”

There are only three steps to finding the right team to take on your home renovation project. The first step is simple: Ask the people you know for referrals. Neighbors, friends, family, co-workers — odds are, you know somebody who has recently done work to their home and can tell you about their experience.

While it is important to ask about their job as a whole and the end product, be sure to also inquire about other aspects: the design and the construction. Was everyone on their project professional and courteous? Was there a reasonable explanation for any delays? Would they hire the same company again? I also like to ask my clients, in retrospect, about their favorite and least favorite parts of the entire process.

When you are having work done on your house, you can count on unexpected problems to pop up. Some of these are avoidable: Did your contractor check inside your kitchen soffits early to ensure they were empty? But some issues are not predictable, like HVAC ductwork unsuspectingly snaked between wall studs. Mold, water damage and termite damage are some of the most common additional issues uncovered during demolition that can be invisible before a space is taken apart.

So one of the most telling questions you can ask is how a company responded to unexpected problems. Some contractors will postpone telling a homeowner about an issue until the last possible second (like when the final invoice is due and needs to be adjusted); others will be prompt and upfront to disclose a problem as soon as it happens, laying out the options to resolve it.

It is never easy or pleasant to be given bad news, especially when that news is going to cost additional money to resolve. But finding a company that is upfront and responsible about problem management will make a big difference in the long run to reduce stress and help ensure your project is completed properly.

If you are new to an area or do not know anyone who has remodeled recently, you should not hesitate to ask the company for references. In fact, you should do this no matter what: Every reputable company should be happy to oblige (at least after a preliminary meeting) with a list of recent clients who want to sing their praises.

The second step to finding the right contractor for your project is to do your research. You can start by looking up the company on the Better Business Bureau and make sure they do not have low marks or any open complaints.

A company’s website is a cornucopia of information. Scroll through their pages to get as sense of the work they do and gauge how much you like the designs in their portfolio. Read through testimonials to get a sense of how happy their clients are at the end of each job: Does everyone talk about great design but not a soul mentions the installers? Omissions like that are not cause for concern but possibly worth inquiring about for more details.

Facebook, Twitter or Instagram can be slightly informative, but websites like, where professionals from around the world can post photos for homeowners to “save” as favorite ideas or styles, is going to be more helpful. As an extension of their portfolio, you can get a sense of how custom each project is to the client — or is there a company “style” they imprint on each job?

But on many of the sites that post reviews, companies pay for better rankings and visibility — so be careful. Regardless of the website (or even industry), online reviews should be taken with a grain of salt, no matter what the context. More people are motivated to post complaints than compliments and some companies incentivize positive online posts — or even forbid negative ones in their sales contract (always read the fine print). Perhaps the biggest weight should be given to opinions in your own network.

The final step to find the right contractor for your project is to take the time to be prepared. This starts with giving thought to what you are really looking to get out of this experience.

I often start by asking my clients to put these priorities in order, starting with what is most important to them: technical specs (Do you like knowing every single engineering detail?), budget (Is your primary goal to spend as little as possible?), beautiful end product (Are you visual and cannot wait to fall in love with your new space?) or project management (Is your top concern having someone else to manage all of the headaches?). Knowing where your priorities are — and communicating those to your contractor, designer, architect or handyman — will help ensure that everyone’s goals are aligned with yours.

When you meet with a company, they should have a long list of questions to review with you early in the process to learn more about you and your project (scope, goals, budget, etc.). But this is a two-way street. Just like on a job interview, brainstorm questions to ask them and consider your priorities as you think up questions. This will help determine not just if the company can deliver, but if they will be a great fit for you and your family’s needs.

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Original Author:

Original Date: August 14 2017

More space, better resale value: What to know about finishing your basement

Feeling pressed for space? The solution might be right under your feet.

Finished basements are a way to add resale value to your home at a fraction of what it costs to build up or out. And although they certainly come with risks, including leaks, floods and mold, most of these obstacles can be avoided with a little research and planning.

Finished basements have become among the most popular renovation projects during the past two decades, according to surveys conducted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). About 30 percent of contractors report it as the top homeowner request, following kitchen and bath remodels (about 80 percent) and additions (40 to 50 percent). Many home experts attribute that to today’s volatile real estate market.

“For lots of people, moving just isn’t an option right now,” said Karen Vidal, a partner in the Los Angeles firm Design Vidal. “They want to squeeze as much out of their current homes as they can.”

Vince Butler, a former chairman of the NAHB who works for Butler Brothers in Clifton, Va., says that most home basement renovations take one to two months to complete and cost between $50,000 and $75,000. Additions often cost twice that yet have lower returns on investment because they add less space. This year, Remodeling magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value survey reported that the average basement remodel project cost $71,000 , with the potential added value estimated at $50,000. Butler calls basements the “low-hanging fruit” of home renovations. “They’re fairly simple, the bones are usually there, and you can knock it out in a summer.”

A basement designed by James Crisp’s Millbrook, N.Y., architectural firm. (Rob Karosis)

“You’ve already got floors, walls and a ceiling. Most of the time, you’re just adding finishes to an existing box,” said James Crisp, a principal at Crisp Architects in Millbrook, N.Y., who has helped clients transform their basements into gyms, wine cellars, pubs, soundproof playrooms and state-of-the-art home theaters.

“You can do almost anything so long as you secure the permit,” he adds. “Really, just about the only thing you can’t do is a sunroom.”

If you’re considering remodeling your basement, you’ll need to hire a contractor to look at your plumbing and heating systems, identify any red flags, and help you crunch the numbers. That can get complicated, so here are some key things and a few tricks to making the most of a dark and dingy room.

First, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with local building codes, even if you plan on hiring a professional to carry out the project. Different renovations require different permits and inspections, so having a sense of the rules will help you settle on a realistic timeline. For example, in most counties, adding a kitchen, bathroom or wet bar requires zoning approval in addition to a building permit. Check your county’s website for guidelines. (A tip: Construction permits can be terribly dense, so when it’s time to file, many homeowners have their contractor, designer or architect submit on their behalf.)

If you’re planning to turn your basement into a rental unit, be prepared to meet a separate set of requirements that, at a minimum, include a separate exit or “point of egress” and bathroom. Crisp called the cost difference “a big leap,” especially when you consider how tenants affect your mortgage rate and taxes, along with regular maintenance. Bruce Wentworth, owner of Chevy Chase architectural firm Wentworth, says clients “often don’t realize how involved it is” to make a unit legal. “I tell folks it’s only worth it if they’re committed to renting long-term,” he said. “If not, keep it for yourself.”

Home offices are less of an undertaking, depending on how much traffic you’re expecting. When the century-old building company Gruver Cooley moved from an awkward office in Leesburg, Va., to a 1,400-square-foot open-plan home basement near Middleburg two years ago, Cathleen Gruver spearheaded the horse-country-inspired redesign.

“The old space didn’t have an area for us to come and work together, so this was an opportunity to solve that problem,” she said. In fact, Gruver suggests that anyone tackling a renovation ask two questions to stay on track: What isn’t working, and how will this solve it?

In the new Gruver Cooley offices, the walls are lined with custom cabinetry that doubles as desks. There’s a large round table in the center of the room for meetings, which, fittingly, makes for a family-­around-the-dinner-table feel. Gruver used light paint colors to make the space feel airy and added a $7,000 wet bar and $18,000 full bathroom for resale flexibility. All told, the project cost $73,000, or about $52 per square foot. She estimates that it would have amounted to closer to $75 per square foot, but trade discounts and a long line of family contractors helped keep costs low.

Her favorite trick: Splurge on statement pieces like a chandelier or small areas like the shower floor. “You need less of it, so you can opt for something nicer,” she said.

For families that want an out-of-the-way space for kids to play, the basement can be a great rec room. Some designers have found clever ways to up the ante. In 2010, Melanie Morris, an interior designer in Brookville, N.Y., turned her basement into an indoor hockey rink for her three sons, ages 7, 11 and 13. The surrounding walls are hidden storage closets, and the “rink” is made out of poured rubber, a custom alternative to rubber mats.

“Basement flooring should never be an afterthought,” she said. “Don’t make that mistake. It should be able to weather leaks, floods, condensation. . . . And if you have kids, it should be able to take a beating.”

resistant flooring and, ideally, a dehumidifier. Because basement floors match the temperature of the ground around them, which hovers around 55 degrees, humid summer days can mean heavy condensation, which can warp hardwood over time. He recommends installing a moisture barrier on top of the concrete or using wood grain ceramic tiles on the concrete. Gruver used vinyl flooring, which is water-resistant, durable and cost-effective. “If it scratches, you just peel that plank up and put a new one down,” she said.

As cool and calm as designers sound, it’s hard not to wonder whether basements test their patience. Along with fickle floors and leaky pipes, most basements have low ceilings (the average height is seven feet) and little to no natural light. Thin-lined, low-profile furniture will help the room feel more spacious, and if adding windows is too costly, layer light throughout the area with lamps, sconces and track lighting.

Finally, nearly all basements are interrupted by at least one bulky beam or interior column, often in the middle of the room. If that’s the case with your basement, whatever you do, don’t remove it. It’s supporting your house. Instead, follow Wentworth’s lead and use strategic decorating to trick the eye.

When he was hired to turn the basement of a 1920s Woodley Park rowhouse into a play space for a State Department family in 2011, he had to design around two awkward beams that flanked the planned seating area. As a solution, he covered them — and a few surrounding ducts, pipes and wires — with drywall to make them look like structural columns. Then, he painted them charcoal gray and lined them with thin strips of birch plywood for a dose of architectural flair.

“Now it’s the most interesting part of the room,” he said.

Original Source:

Original Author:

Original Date: July 11 2017

Hiring a Licensed Contractor for Home Renovations

When it comes to renovations around your home it is important to hire a licensed contractor to perform the work that is needed.  The benefits of working with a professional that is not only licensed, but also insured and qualified are plentiful.  Your home is the biggest investment that you will ever make in your lifetime.  It is important that you are careful when hiring someone as you want to be sure you are careful not to employ an individual who will cut corners.

Everyone likes to save money, especially when it comes to services performed around their homes.  When it comes to renovations and home remodeling you will get what you pay for.  Many times it is not worth haggling with a contractor as they set their prices based on the number of hours they believe the project will take and the materials used.  Haggling may lead to lower quality materials being used.  This is not what you want when it comes to saving a few bucks here and there on your homes renovation project.

Depending on where you live the rules for obtaining a builders license differ slightly.  This is done for the benefit of the consumer.  Some states, such as California, have frequent earthquakes thus building codes are updated to include extra elements of safety when building a home.

In order to get a license, a building contractor must prove that they are qualified to perform the work and may also be asked to undergo testing, fingerprinting, background checks and bonding requirements.  Some states only require specialty contractors such as plumbers and electricians to be licensed however if you are looking for quality craftsmanship in your home improvement projects it is best to look into hiring a licensed contractor even if it is not required by your state.  Working with a licensed builder often gives homeowners extra peace of mind.

Below are just a few of the many benefits you can expect when working with a licensed general contractor for renovation projects around the home.

  • A licensed general contractor will control, synchronize, and oversee a complete renovation. This involves scheduling with multiple subcontractors within different trades to work together on your remodeling project.  This is especially important for home remodeling that involves moving electrical outlets or plumbing.
  • A contractor saves both time and money. Many homeowners mention that at the end of a renovation they have spent just as much on materials alone than they would have spent on hiring a contractor to perform the work in the first place.
  • Contractors have connections and often have a great pull for the urgency of your renovation. It is much easier to get one of their own to help them with a deadline because next time they might be the one needing the favor.
  • A licensed contractor will pull all of the necessary permits and call on inspections when needed. This keeps the project moving along.
  • When working with a licensed contractor, financing becomes a bit easier to obtain from lending institutions. There is an aura of completion when individuals hire a professional.
  • Not only is it important that the contractor that you work with on projects within your home is licensed it is crucial that they are also insured. This holds their company liable for any damage that is done to your home while they are performing repairs, as well as the liability if someone gets injured while working on your home.

For most homeowners hiring an experienced, licensed and insured general contractor will help to ensure a headache free renovation on their home.

Learn more about licensed and insured general contractor Glen Miller the Home Doctor and the variety of home improvement services he offers clients including: home maintenance plans, handyman services, kitchen remodels, bathroom renovations, handicap ramp installations, age in place modifications, basements transformations, and hardwood flooring installation and refinishing at  To contact Glen Miller the Home Doctor call 734.255.9793 for a free estimate.

A renovation boom is turning homes into ATMs again

Home equity loans are booming

If you can’t move, renovate.

Fast-rising home prices and a record-low number of homes for sale have a lot of homeowners choosing to stay put — and put in a new bathroom or update the kitchen. Higher home values also mean they have more cash to take out of their homes.

With mortgage rates so low for so long, most borrowers are opting for a second loan rather than refinancing their current mortgage to take cash out. Second loans, such as home equity lines of credit (HELOC), are booming. HELOC originations were up 10 percent year over year in 2016, hitting an eight-year high, according to Black Knight Financial Services, and they continue to rise.

Homeowners gained an aggregate of $570 billion in 2016, bringing the number of homeowners with “tappable” equity up to 39.5 million, the highest since 2006. Those borrowers have at least 20 percent equity in their homes. All that new-found housing wealth has homeowners taking out ever more cash. The average HELOC at the end of last year was $120,000, surpassing the pre-recession peak.

While the amount is higher, home equity lending is still below the 2005 peak levels, and credit scores are near all-time highs. Borrowers are taking out the lines, but they’re not using all the cash at once. They appear to be more prudent this time around.

Home remodeling hit an all-time high

That may, however, be changing already. Home remodeling hit an all-time high in the first quarter of this year, according to Metrostudy’s national “Activity Index.” The index is up 4.5 percent compared with last year.

“The current strength of the remodeling market can be attributed primarily to economics – low mortgage rates, strong existing home sales, the bull stock market run, good job gains and now more recently, wage gains,” said Mark Boud, chief economist at Metrostudy. “With housing affordability an issue in many markets across the country, millennials will be more inclined to purchase older, more-affordable, existing homes that will necessitate renovations.”

Today’s home equity lending, like all other lending, is more strict than it was during the last housing boom. Borrowers need full documentation and must have at least 20 percent equity in their homes already.

Principal payments kicking in for 2007 loans

Ironically, the new boom comes just as the pain of the last home equity line boom is ending. These credit lines have a 10-year “draw period,” when borrowers are required only to pay interest on the loans. After 10 years, the loans “reset,” and borrowers must start paying principal, which can more than double the monthly payment. That caused huge jumps in home equity line delinquencies, which were up 74 percent last year, according to mortgage data firm Black Knight Financial Services.

This year, about 1.5 million home equity line borrowers will start having to pay principal on loans they took out in 2007, as the last wave of pre-crisis loans reset. That is roughly 19 percent of all active home equity lines of credit. It could have been worse, but thousands of borrowers got out of their loans before the reset.

“For the 2007 vintage, we’ve seen much higher rates of prepayment out of those HELOCs, mostly because there’s been such a favorable interest environment,” said Mitch Cohn, spokesman for Black Knight. “But basically everybody who could refi their way out of the payment shocks already has.”

For those who did not, equity is a problem. One in 5 borrowers facing resets this year has less than 10 percent equity in their homes, making refinancing out of the loans difficult.

Original Source:
Original Author: Diana Olick
Original Date: May 26 2017


Hiring a Home Remodeling Specialist

One of the best parts of home ownership is the ability to create an environment that is uniquely your own.  The tricky part is that not many of us are talented enough to make these renovation changes without hiring a professional remodeling specialist.  Renovations are not always easy and often can take more time then homeowners have.  Instead of trying to handle a complete room renovation on your own consider the benefits that come from hiring a contractor.

In this installment on renovating your home we will look more in-depth at the reasons to hire a remodeling specialist to take on your home improvements.

  • Better Quality of Construction

When they are remodeling your home, you can be sure that whether they are using wood for the reconstruction of the furniture or whether they are using some other material, it would always be consisting of quality material. Due to this very reason, you can be sure that the quality which you would get from the remodeling would be much better. Even if you try to choose the materials by yourself, you would not be able to directly judge the quality of the materials. On the other hand, the remodeling experts would be able to exactly judge the quality of the materials and therefore would be able to provide you with the best quality of materials.

  • On Time Work

When you’re hiring a remodeling expert, you can easily give them a strict a deadline. When you’re thinking about doing it yourself you would be procrastinating and there would be a lot of obstacles which you would be suffering from.

On the other hand, when you’re hiring the remodeling expert, you can be sure that the work would be done by the deadline which you have given to that remodeling expert. When the work is done by the deadline which you have given to the remodeling expert, automatically it would become easier for you to get the home ready in time.

  • Written Contract

Instead of just having a verbal commitment, when you’re hiring the home remodeling specialist, you can be sure that you would be getting a written contract about the things which are included and the things which are not included. This would ensure that you are able to get the entire work done on time and you are able to also know which work would be completed.

Instead of tackling home improvements on your own take these three reasons to hire a contractor to reiterate the reasons you should not tackle it on your own.

Learn more about Glen Miller the Home Doctor and the variety of home improvement services he offers clients including: home maintenance plans, handyman services, kitchen remodels, bathroom renovations, handicap ramp installations, age in place modifications, basements transformations, and hardwood flooring installation and refinishing at  To contact Glen Miller the Home Doctor call 734.255.9793 for a free estimate.

Things to Keep in Mind When Finding a Contractor

A Home Improvement Contractor is defined as any person who possesses or runs a contracting business who, through himself or others, undertakes, reasons to have the capacity to undertake, offers to undertake, or submits a bid for residential contracting work to a homeowner.

A Home Improvement Contracting Registration is governed by M.G.L c. 142A. Contractors who engage in residential contracting agreements with homeowners for work on their primary residence of 4 units or less, are required to register with OCABR. Residential contracting is defined under the law as “the reconstruction, alteration, renovation, repair, modernization, conversion, improvement, removal or demolition or the construction of an addition to any pre-existing, owner-occupied, building containing at least one but not more than four dwelling units.

But before you start flipping through the Yellow Pages and calling every contractor in the book, let’s get your expectations on the right planet. You should expect that in this day and age, skilled contractors are in high demand, good contractors are very, very busy.

This means when you do start buzzing contractors, don’t be amazed that they don’t instantly answer their phones – they are possibly standing on a ladder somewhere with their hands full when you call. Don’t take it personally or shoulder they are not interested in talking to you, but contractors won’t answer their cell phones every time it rings. Continuous disturbances slow down a jobsite. For this reason alone, most contractors wait until they are away from the jobsite before they return your calls.

Whether you work with a common contractor for house remodeling or act as one on your own project, getting a sight into the mind of a contractor can give you a new angle into renovation projects around your home. But what are the things you have to do before you start remodeling your house?

Here are a few things:

  • Interview candidate contractors:

When looking for contractors for house remodeling it is very important to get into the mind of contractors so that you know that they are able to do what you want and that they understand what you exactly want.

  • Do not delay your decisions:

If you want that your remodel goes well never delay decisions. Make sure that everything has already been planned out by you so that there is no hustle at the time you start your work and by that nothing will be left behind.

  • Don’t change your mind again and again:

Not everyone changes mind again and again but if you are one of those people who does then remember that every time you will change your mind a new order will have to be executed. Although to you the changes might seem minor but there are always added and hidden expenses which will show on later. So always be very sure about what you want to do at the first place. Do all the research and then execute.

  • Don’t work without a design:

The most important thing to remember when home remodeling is that never work without a design. Believe me it will result in devastation of all the resources and stuff. Make sure you have a pretty and a good sorted out design and all the design considerations.

The Home Doctor, based in Livingston County including Brighton and Howell Michigan, offers a variety of home renovations to clients ranging from bathroom remodeling to age in place home modifications.  Contact today all of your home renovating needs.

Renovation Contractors Advice for Smooth Home Improvements

Home improvement renovations often don’t go as planned.  It is difficult without forethought and proper planning to stay on task and within budget.  There are a number of things that homeowners can do to help their renovation contractor to ensure a smooth renovation that sticks within the time table and budget allotted.

Top Advice from Contractors

Make Timely Decisions:  One thing that homeowners can do to make renovation projects smoother is to make decisions regarding the job ahead of time.  Most projects are delayed because of decisions related to the materials needed for the job.  Many times renovations will be going along smoothly until it comes time to finalize something simple like the color paint that should be used.

Don’t let what should be a simple decision derail your entire timeline.  By making the decisions ahead of time you allow contractors to schedule sub-contractors in a timely fashion.  When you change something as simple as the faucet to be installed after the renovation has begun the whole project can be thrown off.  If the faucet needs to be ordered and the order is delayed this will throw off when the plumber can come in and so on.  A change in something so small can throw a project off by a few weeks.  Make decisions at the beginning of the renovation and stick with them.

Leave Purchasing Materials To The Contractor:  Buying your own materials might seem like a great way to save money.  The truth is that yes, contractors do have to mark up materials but after the discount contractors receive the price they pass on to the homeowner will still be less than what they would cost at a home improvement store.

Renovations Only Go So Far:  Many times homeowners have million dollar dreams for a hundred thousand dollar house.  This is a big mistake that many people make.  The idea in a renovation is to improve the enjoyment homeowners receive out of their home.  The problem comes that comes in to play is that some homes max out their potential.  Also be careful where you spend your renovation dollars.  If your foundation is sinking then investing money into fancy cupboards is fruitless.  If you are in an area with ranch homes an upper level addition may not recoup its cost.

It is crucial that homeowners and renovation contractors have the ability to have an open dialogue throughout the remodeling process.  It is important that homeowners feel like their input is important but equally as important that they let the contractor do their job without being too much of a distraction.

The Home Doctor, based in Livingston County including Brighton and Howell Michigan, offers a variety of home renovations to clients ranging from bathroom remodeling to age in place home modifications.  Contact today all of your home renovating needs.


Follow These Tips When Hiring A Professional Contractor

There are times when hiring a contractor to take on home renovations rather than doing it yourself.  If this is the case it is important to choose the right contractor to work with.  A contractor that is subpar can lead to a number of problems down the road.  The guidelines below are helpful when looking to hire a professional contractor to do work on your home.

  • First things first, it is important to always trust your gut instincts when hiring people that will be working in close contact with your family. A contractor that is hired to do a renovation project will be working in your home for weeks or possibly months depending on the size of the job.  If you don’t feel comfortable around the contractor that is reason enough not to hire them.
  • Check to make sure that the contractor is licensed, bonded and insured. These accolades give credibility to the contractor’s knowledge and abilities to provide home renovation services.  If a contractor is not insured the liability resides on you as the homeowner.  If they or someone they employ is hurt while working on your homes project then the liability falls to you, the homeowner.
  • Contractors are known to specialize in the services they provide. While some contractors are jacks of all trades like a handyman there are some that offer special talents in kitchen, bathroom or basement design as a specialty.  If your renovation is of a specific nature seek to find a contractor that specializes in the renovation you are seeking.
  • Before any work is performed be sure to have a contract in place. A contract is between the homeowner and contractor to specify what work is to be done, what materials are to be used, a time frame and a detailed list of costs involved.  Most contracts on projects of any length with break down the costs that are associated with each stage of the project and go into further detail concerning expectations.
  • When hiring a contractor it is important to understand the scope at which they will be providing services verse members of their crew. If they will be hiring out individual contractors to work on plumbing or electrical it is important that they note that upfront.
  • Any contractor that you employ should be willing to work within a reasonable set of guidelines put in place. For instance, it is reasonable to state that you desire work to be performed within a specified time frame during the day.  If you only want a contractor to perform services from 9:30 to 4:00 it is reasonable to expect that to be obliged.  Note this may cost you extra because of the additional length of time to complete the project but is well within reasonable guidelines.
  • Define what responsibilities fall on you as the homeowner verse what is expected out of the contractor. Who is in charge of removing obstructions that may hinder work that needs to be done such as furniture or fencing?  This should be in writing to ensure that each party knows their responsibilities upfront.

Hiring a contractor to do renovations around your home is not any easy task and should not be done in haste.  It is true that you get out the effort you put into things.  Take time to find a local contractor with a proven track record to complete renovations around your home.

The Home Doctor, based in Livingston County including Brighton and Howell Michigan, offers a variety of home renovations to clients ranging from bathroom remodeling to age in place home modifications.  Contact today all of your home renovating needs.

Home Improvement Trends For 2017

Are you thinking about putting your house up for sale during the next peak selling season?  If you are considering this it is time to think about inexpensive trends to incorporate into home improvements that you are contemplating right now.  When you put your house on the market the goal is to make the home appeal to the most buyers possible.  This can be done by creating a more general environment that offers less personalization and more generalization to the space.

Homeowners considering new appliances will want to consider some of the newer finishes available.  Even if you prefer white or black it is imperative that if your plan is to leave the appliances with the home that you consider upgrading to matte or stainless steel finishes.  Matte appliances are quickly outweighing the popularity of stainless steel but both are still preferred over colored appliances.  Matte finishes on appliances are great for families as they hide fingerprints, dirt and smudges that other finishes don’t.

Another popular home improvement project that is in style is cork flooring.  Cement flooring has had its day in the sun but quickly is being replaced with cushioned flooring options.  Cork is popular because it is compliments a variety of home environments.  It is offered in a variety of styles and color options.

As flooring trends go, in 2017 shag and pile carpeting will be viewed as outdated with a more popular option being cut and loop carpet.  Textures and patterns in carpet will be popular as well.  If you decide on using texture and pattern in flooring remember to remain neutral and complimentary on the walls, counter and furniture.  This will keep the home from becoming too personalized and keep it neutral for buyers to be able to visualize themselves in the space.

Technology is another popular trend that people are looking to incorporate into home improvement, especially in lighting.  Circadian lighting is a popular upgrade that is helping to sell homes to modern day buyers.  This type of lighting is in sync with the rhythm of our bodies.  The technology communicated with a phone to allow the homeowner to control the temperature settings throughout the day.  Homeowners can set the day lighting to be warmer and whiter while fading to an orange glow in the evening for a calmer more relaxed lighting option.

Water quality is another trend that has become more important to new buyers as well.  If you are looking to increase the attractiveness of your home a great way to do this is with an improved whole-home water filtration system.  This is a trend that goes right along with the popularity we have seen in previous years for home to be more eco-friendly.

The Home Doctor, based in Livingston County including Brighton and Howell Michigan, offers a variety of home renovations to clients ranging from bathroom remodeling to age in place home modifications.  Contact today all of your home renovating needs.