Questions tagged [contractors]

For questions relating to the subject of general contractors for home construction, including soliciting or making bids, working with or under a general contractor, handling payment, and warranty considerations.

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33
votes
7answers
6k views

Are there skilled professionals who will supervise unskilled DIY labor?

As somebody who is interested in improving my home, learning things and acquiring tools, I would like to know if there is an existing market for professionals advising and supervising DIY projects. ...
29
votes
3answers
7k views

Why do Contractor Levels have two vials with the same orientation?

It seems to me that having multiple vials in the same orientation is redundant, but many levels seems to include this feature. What am I missing? There has to be some reason.
19
votes
15answers
1k views

What do you do/ask when hiring a contractor

In a world where every guy with a truck full of tools is a "contractor", how do you weed out the good from the bad?
7
votes
5answers
17k views

Advantages to quotes from Lowe's/Home Depot vs direct from contractors?

I am looking to have vinyl siding installed on my home. Are there any advantages to getting a quote from Lowe's or Home Depot instead of contacting contractors directly? It seems that this is just ...
7
votes
2answers
731 views

Who do I hire to design my home HVAC system?

Preface I need to buy a new HVAC system for my 1930s home. I currently have forced air duct system. My gas furnace was installed in 1985 and is rusting out, and I'm not sure about the air conditioner....
7
votes
7answers
3k views

Best review sites/web resources for finding a contractor?

Many times we need to hire a contractor and try to extensively google for reviews on that contractor. Sometimes to no avail :( Just curious what web resources you use when trying to find a contractor?...
7
votes
4answers
89 views

How do I choose a Home Inspector and Inspection?

I'm purchasing my first house, and I'm researching into the inspection process. I'd like to ensure a good inspection/inspector: Reading reviews could be valuable, but given that defects may not ...
7
votes
3answers
315 views

How can I determine if a contractor has a valid license?

Is there a website that you can check to see if a contractor is licensed and is valid? Is it a state by state thing, or is their a national database as well?
7
votes
1answer
330 views

How to effectively fire a contractor and avoid liens or other legal issues

There may come a time despite all the research, when you realize the contractor you hired just isn't up to snuff. what is the best way to fire them and avoid liens or legal battles? Is this something ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

Should it take a while to get supplies to rewire a 1100sq ft house?

I'm dealing with some contractor problems and I'm trying to get some information to figure out if the contractor is lying to me or just incompetent (or if I'm unreasonable). We had a long delay of no ...
6
votes
2answers
35k views

How can I get low water pressure in sprinkler system fixed?

I have a new house that is still under warranty. Compared to at least two of my neighbors whose houses were built by the same builder and have very similar sprinkler systems, my sprinklers put out ...
5
votes
3answers
14k views

Possible to refinish hardwood floor without messing with quarter-round baseboard?

I am evaluating a quote to refinish my hardwood floors and stairs. The contractor mentioned that they would not be removing the quarter-round below the base board and it would require touch up after ...
5
votes
5answers
40k views

Microwave not heating: Should I pay a contractor to diagnose?

My microwave is turning on, but it's no longer heating food. It just runs until the timer finishes, but the food is not being heated. I read a few articles online that say microwaves aren't easy for ...
5
votes
2answers
237 views

What do you do with a company who did a bad install who will not come out to inspect the job or return your calls? [closed]

I am hoping this doesn't fall into off-topic territory. If it does, I'll just have to find another website to ask it on. I am the president of an HOA and one of our unit owners is experiencing water ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

What kind of contractor would I need to service or replace pull down attic stairs?

I have attic loft with pull down stairs access to it and I need it either serviced or replaced with a new rope system. Can you advice what kind of contractor I'd need for this? As you can see on the ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Kind of contractor to hire to install new basement window, where there was none before?

A family member is interested in getting their basement finished, and one of the things they'd like to do is have an additional bedroom in the basement. The bedroom should have a window. However, ...
4
votes
2answers
138 views

DIYer to skilled tradesperson

What is the process a DIYer has to go through to become a skilled tradesperson? Are the only options apprenticeships, or are there other paths to follow to learn a trade/become licensed? What type ...
4
votes
1answer
339 views

What information do I need to give a general contractor to get a good quote?

I'm looking to do some major renovations: removing an interior wall removing popcorn ceilings new kitchen (layout, appliances, counters, cabinets, etc) new master bath new flooring throughout new ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Is is appropriate to negotiate price with contractor

I have a problem with my roof that I'm not equipped or interested in fixing myself. I found an appropriate contractor who sent a contract with a price that I feel is to high. I would like to ask ...
4
votes
1answer
298 views

Plumber asking for a lot more money, after starting work

A plumber gave me a quote to bring natural gas to a standby generator, which I accepted. He began work today. This evening he sent me an email saying that to install a larger gas meter would cost at ...
4
votes
1answer
491 views

Gluing Hardwood Floors?

We recently had our house built, and included the "hardwood floors" upgrade. When we moved it we were pleased with the way the floors looked. Some time later, water started coming up from beneath the ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

Contractor not using thin set between sub floor and cement board

So, I've made a big stink with the flooring guys about how they have installed the Hardiebacker cement board for our tile. They skipped putting down the thin set under the cement board even though ...
3
votes
3answers
630 views

Was this furnace installed properly?

I am looking to answer the following: Was this job done properly, and if not, then how really bad it is? And should I hire this contractor again ? Product: Ruud RGTM10ERBJS 100K BTU 95% Downflow/...
3
votes
4answers
6k views

How do I look up a contractor's license status in Pennsylvania?

I've seen this question but it's a few years old and isn't specific to a state. I am past the inspection stage on a potential new house and the seller wants to use a certain plumber to do some ...
3
votes
1answer
171 views

It is reasonable to expect a contractor to replace the last foot of HVAC duct work, the connection between the insulated duct and the register?

The contract was to replace an antiquated HVAC and duct work. Since the registers are a standard size, would this connection also be a standard pre-fabricated part? What is that last connection called?...
3
votes
2answers
750 views

Can an electrician run wiring to convert battery powered smoke alarms to wired alarms?

I recently purchased a 2001 built condominium unit with original battery powered smoke and CO2 alarms. Since I have to replace all the alarms at this point anyway, I'm curious how invasive a procedure ...
3
votes
6answers
4k views

DIY way to wash sand/clay out of driveway gravel?

I hate how the sand and fine dust blows around on our dairy farm's gravel driveway in the dry summer months. It's not reasonable to talk about blacktop due to the long driveway and the fact that it ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

My contractor replaced old soffits and fascia with fiber cement panels. What type of molding/cleating should be used?

My contractor installed a narrow piece of wood molding in the corner where the soffit panels meet the wall of the house. See the diagram below. The material used for the yellow piece is unprimed, ...
2
votes
3answers
7k views

Where should I look to rent time on a router table?

I have a woodworking project which requires a CNC router table. It would need a decent sized table for the 36" x 28" panels. Somebody that spends thousands of dollars on one of these machines must ...
2
votes
2answers
204 views

What is the proper way to perform work in an attic? (UPDATED)

For an attic with rolled fiberglass insulation, what is the proper way to perform work in the attic? Is it okay to just walk on top of the insulation, stepping where there are beams underneath it? ...
2
votes
1answer
50 views

Is there a term for making an addition to a Bill of Quantities?

I am looking for a term that describes an item that was not part of the Bill of Quantities in the original Construction Contract, but is being added at a later stage. Is it considered a regualr Bill ...
2
votes
1answer
41 views

What kind of sub-contractor do I use for cutting out a window in a wall that the kitchen and living room share?

I'm sorry for this very basic question but I know that plumbers deal with pipes, electricians deal with wiring, etc. but what is the name of the kind of sub-contractor that can cut a make a pass ...
2
votes
2answers
112 views

Roofing shingle replacement: Hand nailing vs nail-gun [closed]

I live in the North East. Architectural asphalt shingles (whatever those are) need replacement or might last 4 more years depending on who I talk to. One roofer tells me hand nailing is what he does....
2
votes
2answers
134 views

Why is there so much price disparity for a house painting job?

I have a 70+ year-old house with cedar shake siding that is in pretty bad shape and is in desperate need of a paint job. I know nothing about house painting, so I've gotten a few quotes for the job. ...
2
votes
1answer
360 views

Contractor vented bathroom vents in attic, now I have mold. Is he accountable? [closed]

A few years ago I bought a home. The inspector found mold in the attic and pointed out that the upstairs bathrooms did not have vents. I remediated the mold and had an electrician install vents that ...
2
votes
2answers
229 views

How can I tell if a contractor is trying to scam me by charging more after starting a job?

I have a remodeling project for about $2,500 and I have already signed the contract. When the contractor was making a new door on the wall he found a wire inside the wall. Now he is asking for an ...
2
votes
2answers
709 views

Do asphalt contractors throw away unused sealant at end of season?

Background I just had a guy knock on my door to pitch me a quote to reseal my driveway. I need to get it resealed, so I listed to his pitch. He said he wouldn't charge me for materials because he is ...
2
votes
0answers
64 views

What's the difference between SFA99 and RIBA Agreements 2010 in the UK?

I am starting the process of having an extension on my house, and getting close to signing an agreement with an architect to have drawings done. The architect would like to use SFA99 as the contract ...
1
vote
4answers
126 views

self-improvement vs licensed-contractors

This is a question about the ability of doing remodeling on one's own, compared to hiring licensed contractors. I realize some remodeling/repairs require permits from your local township/city to be "...
1
vote
3answers
364 views

Importance of plaster repair skills/experience

I have an old 1920's house in the Chicago area with many lath-and-plaster walls and ceilings. We are going to be removing a whole-house fan, which will leave a 3' square opening that will need to be ...
1
vote
1answer
109 views

What is the best way for a DIY'er to work with contractors/inspectors? [closed]

Like many here, I was born with an unhealthy desire to do things myself. It is in my DNA, it isn't gonna change. This is NOT a post about the evils of the government deciding what/when/how I can do ...
1
vote
1answer
90 views

Are Florida, USA, roofing contractors required to have permission from everyone listed on the deed [closed]

My father wants a new roof. My mother is living out of state. They both are listed as owners on their deed. The roofing contractor(s) told him that he'd either have to get her to sign the documents, ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Which trade(s) should I hire for structural repairs?

I need some structural repairs done to the floor joists of my house. Which trade should I contact for quotes? I was initially thinking about getting a structural engineer involved directly since I ...
1
vote
1answer
133 views

Are licensed electricians required to perform code-compliant repairs?

A California licensed electrician replaced a circuit breaker for a friend. He removed the living room AFCI breaker and replaced it with a used non-AFCI breaker. When I heard this I was upset enough ...
1
vote
1answer
108 views

Is my contractor doing a botched up job installing the soffit

Is my contractor doing a botched up job installing the soffit with staples?
1
vote
1answer
139 views

Does a contract to build a deck need an occupancy clause?

I am replacing an exterior deck. I've had several contractors out to give quotes, accepted an estimate from one, and am now in the position of signing (or not) a contract for the work. It's a lump sum ...
1
vote
1answer
105 views

Replacing window

I am replacing a window in a garage. I measured the rough openings but the current window in the garage is quite old and I am not even sure what kind of window it is (or the proper terminology for ...
1
vote
1answer
95 views

How much active labor is involved in repointing?

I hired a contractor to perform repointing on my old house and opted to pay them by the hour. I chose this company is because they know how to make the proper softer mortar for antique Chicago bricks....
1
vote
1answer
958 views

HVAC Contractor Didn't Install Drip Pan

I recently got the A/C unit and furnace in my basement replaced. When the company came out to do the quote, they stated that they thought I should have a drip pan, and the proposal that they gave me ...
1
vote
2answers
95 views

How to choose from options from house painting company?

I recently had someone from a painting company visit my house to give an estimate. He gave me three options: (1) the cheapest paint, six year warranty, $3000 (2) a thicker paint, nine year warranty,...