This Book Was Written For You

It is a simple and complete guide to finding a good contractor and ending up happy with the job. It gives step-by-step advice on locating, hiring and successfully dealing with an architect, builder, general contractor, tradesman or handyman, on any type of residential project basic home maintenance, general home improvements or renovations, or new house construction.

In clear, understandable language, its chapters cover every phase of the process, from getting a list of reliable companies to call, through checking references and signing the contract, to ensuring that all those final touch-ups get done properly. Whether you are remodeling your kitchen or bathroom, finishing a basement, or doing a total house renovation, this book is full of valuable information that will save you many mistakes and much money.

This book answers these all-important questions, and many, many more:

  • how do I know what type of contractor I need?
  • where do I find the names of good, reliable home improvement companies to call?
  • what questions should I ask when I am interviewing people to do my job?
  • how can I tell if the price they give me is fair?
  • what should be included in a residential construction or repair contract?
  • will a “design/build” firm give me a better finished product for less?
  • what about contractor “screening” or “referral” services? Should I trust them?
  • what can I do if the contractor or builder I hired isn’t keeping our agreement?
  • how can I avoid getting burned in some home improvement scam?

This book also gives a lot of sound advice on subjects such as how to prepare (physically and mentally) for a major house renovation, how to choose between contractors’ bids that are very close, and how to deal with problems without getting a lawyer involved. There is also a complete glossary, to help you sort out terms like “holdback”, “lien”, and “substantial completion”.

For a complete list of the many subjects covered, go to the Contents page >>>

Home improvement is a major industry, and remodeling or construction of a house is a challenging process. Not every home builder, residential general contractor or tradesman is completely competent, and some are downright dishonest. Choosing the right construction company or handyman service out of the dozens or hundreds in your area is crucial to success, and needs some skill.

While home repair and maintenance may be an ongoing project, most homeowners will only go through one or two major renovations in their lives. And the skills needed in selecting a good home improvement company, which could be learned when arranging for home repair, are usually neglected. Why? Because the dollar amounts and/or potential for disaster are comparatively small when dealing with a handyman or contractor repairing a building.

This is where Homeowner's Guide to Hiring a Contractor can help. When it comes time for a major home improvement or renovation, finishing a basement, remodeling a kitchen or bathroom, new landscaping, or even finding a reliable home builder to build that dream house, you need to be prepared. You need a clear picture of the many factors to be taken into account. You need to understand the process involved. And you need proper procedures to be sure something doesn’t get missed or a big mistake made!

All of this, and more, is at your fingertips with this book. Beginning with a basic explanation of the types of contractor you may need “handyman, tradesman, general contractor, builder” it then walks you through each stage of the contracting process. It answers questions like these:

  • Should I agree to work being done without a permit for a minor home repair?
  • Should I hire an architect or designer before the general contractor for major remodeling?
  • Will a reliable contractor always be able to tell me exactly how much the job will cost?
  • Can an inspection by an independent home inspector ensure good work from a builder?

It shows you how to get the most for your money whether remodeling a kitchen or bathroom or finishing a basement. And at every step, it details the mistakes to avoid in order to save time and prevent problems.

So whether your home improvement project is small or large, do yourself a favor. Get reliable information and advice from an expert before you start! And keep it close at hand. Homeowner's Guide to Hiring a Contractor is written by a residential general contractor with over 20 years of experience in every facet of home repair, remodeling and construction work from basement waterproofing and finishing to roofing, from kitchen and bathroom remodeling to landscaping, from renovation of old houses to new building. It’s like having your own on-the-spot consultant to answer your questions and always point you in the right direction.

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