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Contractor Issues

Van Nuys sting operation

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It was kind of like NBC’s "To Catch a Predator" this week in Van Nuys. But instead of suspected pedophiles showing up to meet underage victims, there were [...]

Recommend a contractor

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The question I get most often from readers is: Can you recommend a contractor? Sadly, I cannot. But you can. Have you used a licensed Southern California general contractor [...]

New contractor laws for 2008

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Several new laws came into effect Jan. 1 that pertain to licensed contractors and their clients, according to the California State Contractors License Board. They include [...]

Fire dangers during remodeling

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About a week ago, a remodeling crew set a strand of cypress trees ablaze in the San Diego area. It seems a worker’s propane torch got too close to the highly flammable [...]

Angie’s List?

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Has anyone tried Angie’s List to find workers and contractors for home improvement? Did you get your money’s worth? Would you recommend it to others? The website [...]

Any good contractors in Orange County?

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Reader Shaun Rogers sends along this request: “Hello. I’m looking for the names of qualified, trustworthy remodeling contractors who do work in Orange County. Any [...]

Wanted: O.C. green contractor

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A reader named Kimberly sent me this e-mail: Hi, I just read an old article of yours in the L.A. Times about green remodeling. I was wondering if you have any referrals for [...]

In remodeling, does spelling matter?

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You might think I'm making this up, but I actually saw the words to your right on a contractor's website. And it is an actual licensed contractor, with a freshly [...]

KNBC reports on Home Depot remodeling

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I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with hiring Home Depot contractors and subcontractors for remodeling work. But plenty of homeowners have indicated this. [...]

Mistakes contractors make

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Based on my observations of the remodeling industry during the last 20 years, here is my list of three common mistakes contractors make (feel free to add to this list): 1. A [...]

Are you a difficult client?

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See how the wood fails to line up on this railing? Would you accept this? But see how it looks in the bigger picture below? Not so bad? So-called difficult clients will [...]

Who do you recommend?

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Has anyone done work on your home who deserves a “shout out”? An “atta boy” or “atta girl”? A pat on the back? It’s funny how the [...]

10 stupid things homeowners do . . .

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. . . to mess up their own remodels. This is a list I’ve compiled after observing people and their remodels for nearly two decades. It’s true that contractors and [...]

Remodel highs and lows

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Remodeling is an emotional endeavor. The very thing that keeps you safe and centered — your happy home — is turned into a dusty, chaotic, noisy jobsite. On top of that, [...]

The trouble with subcontractors

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Why is it so hard to get subcontractors to show up? Here’s what I’ve observed (and feel free to tear apart my arguments): There are two factors in this situation: [...]

Book: The E-Myth Contractor

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I have such respect and compassion for contractors and subcontractors. Most of them “came up through the trades,” as they put it, often learning construction [...]

Contractor red flags

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When you work with a contractor: things generally start out great and then go downhill. As the job progresses you’ll likely get weary, overwhelmed, and angry. To help you [...]

The Seven Sins of Remodeling

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Pacific Palisades building contractor Gordon Gibson offers clients a tip sheet of common remodeling mistakes, as was reported in the Palisadian-Post. The sins are: 1. PRIDE: [...]
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