Archive for the 'Contractor Issues' Category

Will you choose the cheap contractor? Or the artist?

A few months ago, my friend (who I’ll call Clare for the sake of this true story) was in the position to choose a contractor for the small, charming century-old house she gutted and is bringing back to life. Clare got full bids from two contractors. Contractor Artisan’s bid was more expensive by 10s of [...]

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Why competitive bidding doesn’t work

Perhaps you’ve heard this quip when a spacecraft is launched: “There goes the lowest bid.” In my mind, trying to get the lowest bid for a remodeling project is just as foolish. And a lot of contractors agree with me. Gayler Construction explains very clearly how buying remodeling services is not even remotely like buying a [...]

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Kathy’s Kartoons — How NOT to Call a Contractor’s References

GoAnimate.com: How NOT to Call a Contractor’s References by Kathy’s Remodeling Blog Like it? Create your own at GoAnimate.com.

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Handyman steals pills, jewelry then passes out drunk in client’s bedroom

Oops! If you’re a handyman and you’re going to steal pills and jewelry from a client’s home, for goodness sake don’t pass out drunk in the bedroom with your pockets full of the goods. Just sayin’. Full story here

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Dogs of the job site

I’m so happy to see that the editors of Fine Homebuilding are fun, lively and enlightened enough to not only admit that workers bring their dogs to the jobsite, but to have a whole photo gallery of these furry workplace companions. I suggested such a feature to some other editors in the past and they reacted [...]

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5 Favorites on Kathy’s Remodeling Blog

You can tell what’s up in the world by what people search for on the Internet. Here on Kathy’s Remodeling Blog, we’ve got five consistently favorite subjects that interest your fellows readers. They are: Green Remodeling Kitchens Before & After Contractor Issues Design Ideas

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Mississippi tradesman rings the opening bell at New York Stock Exchange

Congratulations to this handsome hunk of a man, Delwyn Thornton, of Brandon, Miss., who won a skills contest — gripping, marking, clamping, sawing and drilling — put on by Irwin Tools. As part of his honors, he got to ring the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange. Other than enjoying the visual of [...]

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Markup and Profit — Why you want your contractor to get some

If you already think a remodeling contractor is entitled to an item titled “Markup and Profit” in the bid, you can skip this post. But if you cringe at this concept, and try to negotiate markup and profit out of the bid, keep reading. As far as I can tell, there are three major types [...]

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Looking for a FEMA-approved contractor? There’s no such thing

This post ran previously on Kathy’s Remodeling Blog, but it’s good to repeat now, following Hurricane Irene: Just the other day, someone posted a comment on this blog saying his company’s website listed FEMA-approved contractors looking for work. FEMA, as you probably know, is the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which steps in after disasters. The [...]

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Hire a remodeling consultant? It’s something to consider

Sometimes the remodeling industry seems like the Wild, Wild West. It’s crazy out here! The cast of characters is huge! You’ve got your builders and general contractors and remodeling contractors and architects and designers and engineers and plumbers and roofers and tile setters and butchers and bakers and candlestick makers. Oh wait. Well, anyway, it [...]

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Getting rejected by a remodeling company

Have you ever been turned down by a remodeling company or a tradesperson? You may have been rejected, but a savvy contractor’s manner of turning down clients may be so artful that you don’t even realize it happened. All you know is that you’re calling other companies. First, why would a potential client be rejected [...]

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Daily 5 Remodel: Savvy Industry Intel from Leah Thayer

One of my favorite remodeling journalists of all time, Leah Thayer, has launched a new enterprise called Daily 5 Remodel. If you sign up, you get an email every weekday morning with all the news about the industry. Each day has a pertinent and perceptive news feed that looks like this: Morning! It’s the “all’s [...]

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Build Like a Pro: Should I flash an exterior door under a covered porch?

If you want to remodel like a pro, I suggest you do what the pros do. For inspiration, many professional contractors hang out at the online forums of JLCOnline.  This is the website of the highly respected Journal of Light Construction. To participate in the forums, you have to be a professional contractor. However, DIYers [...]

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Protect your family from lead-dust poisoning during remodeling

If you live in a house older than 1978, there’s a chance it contains paint with lead in it. Now don’t freak out. Even though lead when ingested or inhaled can cause brain damage, the paint itself is not dangerous unless it’s chipping off or is turned into dust by sanding and cutting. In a [...]

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The carpenter’s daughter with elevated blood-lead levels

The other day, a little girl’s doctor told her parents their child’s blood-lead level was elevated. It wasn’t yet at the 10 micrograms per deciliter that is considered dangerous. But at 6 micrograms per deciliter, it was moving in that direction. And her dad freaked out. Why? See how lead blood levels are tested The [...]

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More folks go online to prepare for a remodel

According to a story on CNN.com, the Internet is a bounty for those ready to remodel. You can find help and information in many areas, including: • Finding a contractor (check out Franklin-Report.com and Angieslist.com) • Checking on a contractor’s credit rating, license and insurance (contractorcheck.com) • Ordering supplies (HomeDepot.com, Lowes.com, eFaucets.com, TileShop.com, and so on) • Check online for takeout [...]

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Bill Robinson on his RRP lead-safe training video

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Owners of pre-1978 homes may soon have a better pool of contractors to choose from

Own an older home? Beginning April 22, only contractors who have been trained in safe handling of lead-contaminated paint dust can legally work on your home. And that’s a good thing for you. If you’ve been keeping up with contractor-type news, you know that contractors are not happy at all with a soon-to-be enforced EPA [...]

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Contractors lagging behind in new lead training law

Planning to remodel? Unless your home is fairly new, only renovators certified to handle lead will soon be legally allowed to do the work.  The problem: Many are not yet ready. The EPA is slated to enact a rule April 22 that will require remodelers who work on homes built before 1978, when lead paint [...]

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My plea to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry — help us locate award-winning contractors

The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) is an organization that helps raise the professionalism of remodeling contractors. So what does this have to do with homeowners? NARI holds a competition each year called the CotY Awards, or Contractor of the Year. Winners are chosen in a variety of categories, like Best Residential Kitchen Under $40,000 and Best [...]

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