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Contractor Issues

Van Nuys sting operation

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 [...]

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Recommend a contractor

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 [...]

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New contractor laws for 2008

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 [...]

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Fire dangers during remodeling

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 [...]

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Angie’s List?

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 [...]

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Any good contractors in Orange County?

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 [...]

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Wanted: O.C. green contractor

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 [...]

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In remodeling, does spelling matter?

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 [...]

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KNBC reports on Home Depot remodeling

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. [...]

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Mistakes contractors make

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 [...]

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Are you a difficult client?

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 [...]

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Who do you recommend?

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 [...]

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10 stupid things homeowners do . . .

. . . 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 [...]

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Remodel highs and lows

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, [...]

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The trouble with subcontractors

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: [...]

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Book: The E-Myth Contractor

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 [...]

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Contractor red flags

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 [...]

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The Seven Sins of Remodeling

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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