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14

A few ideas: Ask for references. This can work nice, but since the contractor can choose which references to give you, doesn't always give an accurate picture. If they are in a regulated trade (electrician, plumber, builder, etc.) ask your local city code inspector. They know all the contractors and know which ones do good work and which ones do just ...


9

In the US, check their status with the Better Business Bureau. Also, if you hire contractors frequently, you should probably look into subscribing to Angie's List, which crowdsources customer reviews of contractors and other service providers.


7

I've learned from dealing with contractors recently that I have to define exactly what I want done so that there is no misunderstanding or room to scale back on the required work. For example, if I want a tree removed I have to describe whether or not I want the roots removed, stump grounded down, etc. You don't want to have to say, "I just assumed you ...


7

Talk to at least 2. Every contractor does things differently. Each will bring up concerns and ideas that others do not. You will learn a lot from these conversations that will help you make a good decision.


7

Clogged line There could be a clog in the lines feeding some of the sprinklers, or clogged up sprinkler heads. Remove all the sprinkler heads (the procedure will vary based on the type of heads). Inspect and clean the heads. Turn the system on. If you don't notice any dirt or gunk coming out, and the pressure does not increase in the low flowing ...


7

The answer depends on what you are willing to accept for a finished result. Removing the quarter-round allows the edger to reach underneath what is visible when the quarter-round is re-installed. Even the most fastidious edging is going to be visible to close inspection if the trim isn't removed. The extent to which it is obvious depends largely on the ...


6

I rarely post on any forum, but I think I can provide some helpful suggestions, due to years of experience. I hope you find my suggestions more useful. Often the quality of the contractor or more importantly, the quality of the work, is a direct reflection of who controls: the timing/amount of payments and who controls when the job ends. I agree 100% ...


6

I'm almost certainly in a different country form you so my answer may not apply - but you may have some equivalent options I would write to them stating the problem clearly, listing the attempts made to get a response from them (with dates) and saying that time is of the essence (legal phrase in my jurisdiction) saying that if they don't contact me ...


5

I always try and get 3 or 4 different quotes. You'd be amazed at that difference in price and analysis of the problem/work involved. I have had differences, major differences; one person quoted £1,500, another £6k. The major thing I have learnt is that you have to manage contractors - don't assume anything, every little detail. And get it all written up. ...


5

My Significant Other owns a small millwork shop dealing in interior and exterior remodeling projects. I have worked for him for the past 10 summers doing finish work. We both know many, many other contractors; the good and the bad. Here are some guidelines from the inside: If the price seems really steep, the contractor doesn't want your job. He's busy, ...


5

Vitaliy is basically correct. In most states trades such as plumbing, electrical, gas, oil burners, require a licence. The licence is usually broken down as an apprentice, journeyman then finally a master. Times will vary and requirements and tests vary by state. Specialized permits can only be pulled by masters in the trades. GC's pull the general permit ...


5

The CNC Zone has an area for matching up people who need CNC work done. You can also look in your yellow pages for people who make wooden signs as these are commonly made by CNC.


5

I would start with Architect or Structural Engineer because for that kind of work you're going to need permits, which means detailed drawings for the applications. They would probably have recommendations for a General Contractor that would be able to do the job (with or without subcontractors).


5

Heading into a major renovation without a detailed plan, materials schedule and a clear budget can turn what should be a gratifying experience into a nightmare. Preplanning is the key to success. Take your time, if you don't have the ability to create detailed drawings of the new layout, then it may be wise to have an architect create some plans for you. ...


5

It looks to be exactly like a garage door. I take it lowering the stairs tensions a spring attached to the drums so it is easier to raise. Exact same system as sectional garage doors. The springs can be very dangerous to someone unaware of their potential. I think you should look for someone experienced with sectional garage doors, they will understand this ...


4

Ask for proof of insurance that covers you if something happens while they are doing the job. Even painters we've hired gave us a copy of their insurance.


4

I believe it's called a "boot", and yes, they're generally pre-fabricated. However, if the existing ones are in good shape, they shouldn't need replacing. If they're damaged, then the reasonableness depends on what your contract says.


4

Contractor licensing is by state, and sometimes even more regionally.


4

Contractor licenses are normally issued by the state. Get the licence number and call your Secretary of State's Office, usually the corporations and licensing division to check if they are in good standing. Some states require licensed contractors carry liability insurance, some don't, but if you are doing a large project, ask for an insurance binder.


3

100kGarages.com is a community of workshops with digital fabrication equipment (ShopBots, etc).


3

Yes, hardwood is often glued directly to concrete slab. It's a fairly common installation. That said, gluing down solid hardwood planks is more problematic and trouble-prone because the solid planks do not tolerate uneven floor very well. Engineered hardwood often works better for a glue-down application. Engineered hardwood is manufactured from layers ...


3

If you're concerned perhaps you could draw up a fairly tight contract which included quality metrics and a schedule of work. Then if things aren't up to standard you could terminate due to breach of contract. The big drawback with this is getting someone to sign up to such a document in the first place.


3

Ask to see some of their work and talk to previous clients. The good ones will put you in touch with previous clients straight away. The bad ones will prevaricate. Don't employ the ones that come round touting for business. If they have the time to drive around looking for "damaged" roofs, driveways in need of repair etc. then they can't be that good. ...


3

Angie's List is a subscription-based review service for contractors and service providers.


3

I have used ServiceMagic (http://www.servicemagic.com/) in the past and been pretty happy with the results (I was able to find a good electrician through it), but that was along with checking up on the contractor through a Google search. I wouldn't just trust a ServiceMagic reference without being able to find some other proof of the quality of the ...


3

Find out the payment terms. If they want all or most up-front, it is generally a bad sign.


3

Venting to the attic is never correct, and was not good 'workmanship' even before the 2006 IRC cycle. Even if you asked a contractor to vent to the attic, they should have refused, or made you sign a waiver. Your first step is to research the contractor claims process in your state. Your second step is to contact the contractor and explain what happened. ...


2

If he's the lowest bidder, watch out. If he (or she) promises too much, watch out. I agree with the post above that said "Get it in writing". Get changes in writing too. If you make the deal with the Dad and then he drops his son and son in law off to do the work, you might have a problem, although the phrase "Don't make me call your Daddy" is helpful in ...


2

I found that none of the services like Service Magic or Angielist allows for a bad feedback from the client. If you are not a happy customer, there is no way to post your review about your bad experience with your contractor.


2

Not a website, but the best way I've found to find contractors is to talk to them at other job sites. If you know where any new houses are being built near-by, run over and talk to the contractors on site. They can show you their work and recommend others that they work with too.



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