Custom Home Builder Vs. Production Home Builder


Custom Home Builder Vs. Production Home Builder

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A Guide to Hiring The Right Home Remodeling Expert


The decision to hire a home remodeling expert in Virginia can be intimidating since you will find plenty of them in this region. In this blog, you will find valuable information on finding, assessing, and hiring a home remodeling expert in Virginia. Your home is your pride and certainly your biggest investment, and the best way to protect it is by hiring the services of an ethical, skilled, and professional home remodeling expert. Let us get started!

When you hire a remodeling expert, rather than buying a product, you are actually buying a service. The kind of service the remodeling expert provides will decide the quality of the end-result and your satisfaction. All right, let us begin with finding an expert.

Find a Remodeler

Get a list: The first step to hiring a remodeler is to create a list of candidates. Thumbing through the Yellow Pages is not the efficient way. Here is how you can build a list of home remodelers:

  • Visit a local home builders association and ask them for a list of qualified remodelers that are active in your area. Alternatively, you can visit their website and manually build the list.
  • Get referrals from friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, and others who have had home remodel word done recently.
  • You can even get referrals from local trade contractors, architects, building materials suppliers, engineers, and home inspectors.

Evaluate a Remodeler

The Inside Information: After you get the list of remodelers, you will need to evaluate them properly. For this, you will need to know exactly what to ask and look for in home remodelers. Here is what you should ask and look for in the remodeler:

  • Does the remodeler maintain permanent business address, email address, telephone number, and a cell phone number?
  • Does the remodeler carry various insurances?
  •                  Ask for a copy of various insurances
  • Does the remodeler have a good presence in the community?
  •                  Ask how long the remodeler has been in business. Longevity shows financial stability.
  • Does the remodeler possess a good reputation among all the people who are involved in every aspect of the remodeling industry? This includes customers, local officials, and peers.
  • Does the remodeler have a good knowledge of remodeling different types of homes?
  • Does the remodeler follow EPA LeadSafe Certified work practices?
  • Does the remodeler can arrange for the building permit?

Answers to the above questions will help you evaluate the remodeler.

Assess References: You do not want to ask questions to remodeler only, but get firsthand reviews from the remodeler’s past and current customers. To get the firsthand reviews from the remodeler’s customers, you will need to ask them some questions. Here is what you should ask:

  • Would you hire this remodeler again?
  • Did the remodeler maintain a clean job site, provide regular clean-up, and tug away debris?
  • Did the remodeler adhere to schedule and budget?
  • Did you find the remodeler easy to work with?
  • How well did the remodeler tackle the problems that arose?

Answers to these questions will again help you evaluate the remodeler.

Hiring a Remodeler

Make the Choice: With all the homework done, it is time to make the decision. Before making the decision of hiring a remodeler, here are some final steps:

  • Ask yourself if you feel comfortable with the remodeler and confident that the remodeler will do the remodeling as per your plans and budget.
  • If you are sure to the previous point, ask the remodeler for a written estimate of the remodeling work to be done. Be ready to pay for this estimate. If the project cost is high than you can afford, see if you can cut off something from the project.
  • Ask the remodeler to explain the plans and procedures to you. For example, when the remodeling begins, how does the remodeler handle changes to the initial design, schedule, or choice of materials.
  • Find out whether the contract provided by the remodeler protects you. See if the contract complies with local, state, and federal laws. The contract must be in simple English and must spell out all the work that “will and will not be” performed at your site.

If you are through with the above steps, then congratulation! You can now select with confidence the best home remodeler for your home.

Sources: Information Courtesy of the National Association of Homebuilders http://www.nahb.org

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Questions to Ask before You Choose a General Contractor


You might probably know that a general contractor is a professional on whom you can depend upon during a construction project. This professional oversees the entire construction process and ensures that project goal is achieved on-time and on-budget as per the project plan. Whether it is a big or small, residential, commercial or governmental construction project, hiring the services of a general contractor is the best idea.

Today you will find many general contractors in your locality. You can ascertain who is good and who is bad only by knowing certain things about them, and the best way to know those things is by asking a few questions. Once you know the certain things about a general contractor (in the form of answers to the questions you will be asking), you will have a fair idea about whether to hire that contractor or not. All right, let us proceed with the questions that you need to ask to a general contractor, which you are considering to hire.

  • Are you licensed? This is a basic, yet the most important question that you need to ask to the contractor. License requirement is not mandatory in some states of the United States; however, having a license shows that the general contractor is reliable and competent. There are no defined qualifications to become a general contractor; however, almost every contractor obtains license only after achieving a bachelor’ degree. Thus, when you hire a licensed contractor, you can rest assured that he has enough skills to handle the project efficiently.
  • Do you have general liability insurance? Such insurance protects your home in case of any damage or negligence caused by the general contractor or his subordinates. Remember not only to ask about it, but verify the general liability insurance with a hardcopy of it.
  • Do you have enough workers compensation insurance? Such insurance covers the subordinates of the general contractor in case of any accident or injury happening to them at the work site. You will not be liable for any medical expenses. It is the general contractor and his workers compensation insurance that cover such medical expenses.
  • Can you arrange for the building permits? Of course, you can obtain the building permits by yourself, but you should know that it is a big hassle. It would be a worthwhile if the contractor could arrange the building permits. You will not have to deal with the hustle and bustle of obtaining the permit.
  • Would you itemize your bid? An itemized bid takes much of the mystery out of the billing process. You will have a chance to know where your money will be going. By knowing this, you will be able to explore other options in place of big tag items, which will eventually help you save money.
  • Who are your subcontractors? Knowing about the general contractor’s subcontractors is a good way to gauge the overall cost of the project. It is equally important to know about those subcontractors who will be working on your project.
  • Who are your suppliers? Knowing about the general contractor’s suppliers will help you ascertain about the quality of material you will be getting for your project.
  • How often will you show up at the job site? This is essential to know since the contractor’s subordinates will work efficiently only when the boss (the general contractor) is around. If the contractor is often absent at the job site, his subordinates will usually slack off.
  • Can you give me a timeline? Asking for an approximate timeline is vital since with a rough timeline at hand you will be able to gauge the progress of your project properly. Besides, with a rough timeline at hand, you will also be able to make other arrangements.
  • How many years of experience you have as a general contractor? Experience is the key to successful completion of the project. When the general contractor has significant years of experience, he will not only adeptly manage his subordinates, but your project, as well. Besides, with enough experience, he will be able to solve any construction related problem, quickly and easily.

Keep in mind that you will want to hire a general contractor whom you can not only trust and afford, but also one with whom you can get along easily. To realize your project, you will be working along with this professional; hence, ask the above questions and be at ease, of knowing that you will be working with someone honest, competent, and reliable.

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Points To Keep In Mind While Finding The Best Commercial Construction Company


It is indeed a tough task, choosing a commercial construction company that is not only competent, but reliable, as well. Being an investor in a commercial construction project, you need to make sure that you hire the services of the best commercial construction company. This is essential for the successful outcome of the project with minimal or no heartache.

When you are looking for the best commercial construction company, you will be surprised to find numerous companies claiming to be the best. The fact, as we all know, is that not all those construction companies are best. To be honest, many of those construction companies will not be able to complete the project as you would have anticipated. So, as an investor, how would you find and choose the right commercial construction company for your commercial construction project? The answer is quite simple – you will need to keep certain important points in mind when looking for a commercial construction company.

First, and probably, the most important factor you need to consider is the price that a construction company would charge you for its services. Competition is soaring these days among the construction companies. Therefore, even if a company is providing excellent construction services, it has to offer realistic and reasonable prices. You, as an investor, need to ensure to keep everything within your budget. Do not take a wrong step to hire the best company without paying attention to the prices that the company is offering and then get into a difficult situation with making the payments. As a part of a good construction management, always consider your budget and keep everything within it.

Another important thing that you need to consider is the specialization or area of expertise for which the construction company is well-known. Specialization of each commercial construction company differs from other. For instance, a particular company will build only malls while another will build only commercial offices. You need to find out whether the potential company has the specialization in the type of project you have. By hiring the construction company that specializes in the type of project you have, you can rest assured to expect only excellent results.

As far as finding the best commercial construction company goes, you have a plenty of resources that you can use. Remember, it is part of a good construction management to find the right company using the right resources. That is the reason why, use all the reliable resources you have in order to find the best construction company. To begin, make use the best resource that numerous people worldwide use these days – the internet. Use the internet search engines, such as Google or Bing, to find the best commercial construction companies working in your area, or area for the proposed site. Almost every construction company has website today, so visit the website of those companies (found on the internet search engines) and see their experience, specialization, recent work, and so on. While browsing the website, do not forget to check the license and insurance details of those construction companies. Aside from these details, be sure to ask for details of their past clients. The reviews of the past clients will be really helpful deciding and choosing the right commercial company for your project.

Source: Image Courtesy Google Images

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Checklist Before Starting a Bathroom Remodeling


Source: Image Courtesy Goal Construction

Home remodeling, especially the bathroom remodeling, is an exciting endeavor. However, before starting choosing the chic bathtub or shower design, there are certain ordinary things to ponder, so your remodeling project results just the way you desire. Since the bathroom renovation can be daunting, costly, and time-consuming, we have prepared a simple checklist to ensure that your venture stays on the right track, and the remodeling runs smoothly.

Budget

Having a budget in mind is a good idea before launching into bathroom renovation, or any other home renovation project. A budget will serve as a guideline as you decide what things to include in the remodeled bathroom. Once you know what you can spend and deduct the labor amount, you will have a clear figure of what you will be able to spend on fixtures, tile, and extras.

Time

Many people are under the impression that bathroom remodeling will take only a few days. This is not always the case. Depending upon how many things you are modifying in the bathroom, your remodeling expert will have to plan accordingly. This plan will include not only the actual duration of renovation work, but also factors such as purchasing, ordering, and receiving fixtures, tiles, cabinets, and so on. Planning time becomes vital for those homeowners having only a single bathroom in their home as they will have to make the alternative arrangements.

Hidden problems

If you are contemplating about a major renovation to your bathroom, consider going for the “deep interior”. With remodeling done by an experienced expert, you can rest assured to have a flawless bathroom that will function seamlessly and add significant value to the home for years to come. As per the age of your home and how well it was maintained, the major hidden problem you may find is water damage. Therefore, considering the hidden problem (rusty plumbing, decaying floor framing, and so on), it is a good idea to go for a complete renovation with “deep interior”.

Remodeling expert

Is it a good idea to hire a remodeling expert even for a simple bathroom remodel? Well, yes, it is the sensible thing to do. Even a simple bathroom remodel most probably involves dealing with plumbing, tiling, and even electrical. A remodeling expert knows how to deal with these tasks. An expert can also give a useful remodeling tip or two. That’s why, never overlook the benefits of hiring a remodeling expert. By hiring a remodeling expert, you will save yourself a lot of misery and time, as well. If you are living in Virginia, you will find a plenty of home remodeling experts. Since there are a lot of home remodeling experts in Virginia, there are good chances of hiring a skilled one at affordable rates.

Source: Image Courtesy Goal Construction

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Finding The Best Home Builders


When it comes to choosing a home builder in Virginia, people have many choices. The Commonwealth of Virginia thrives with the profession of construction and one will easily find a number of builders, including production builders, new home builders, and custom home builders. With so many choices, searching for the best home builder in Virginia can become overwhelming. Therefore, how should one find the best home builder? Below are a few things aside from authenticity that people should look for when selecting a home builder. Considering these things will certainly help them have the best home builder at their service.

Experience

The homebuyers should find out whether the builder has enough experience building the style of homes they desire or not. If a homebuyer desires for an eco-friendly and contemporary home, he or she will need a home builder that has enough experience working with sustainable building materials and modern designs. The best way to find out about this is to talk to the builder directly and see what home designs they specialize building. The builder’s website (the portfolio section) may also help know what home designs they specialize building.

Local Expertise

The homebuyers should find out whether the builder is familiar with the locality, where they want their new house. For instance, if the homebuyer wants to live in DC metropolitan area, he or she should know whether the potential builder has built any house in that area. Local expertise is important as each locality has its own construction rules and regulations. If the builder does not have any idea about local construction rules and regulations, it could mean trouble. There will be delays in obtaining essential building permits. Besides, if the construction has already started and it does not adhere to the rules and regulations, the whole construction needs to be undone. This will just be a great inconvenience in terms of time, money, and efforts.

Quality

When making a huge investment in a new home, whether a production home or a custom home, it is natural for the homebuyer to expect quality. Quality, however, is something that is never given and should never be taken for granted. It is necessary for the homebuyers to visit the homes the builder has built in the past, and ascertain the type of quality they can expect from that builder. Homebuyers must get a handful of references from the builder and make a visit to those homeowners.

Commitment

The best home builder in Virginia is the one that takes pleasure in delivering quality results and doing everything possible in the best interests of the homebuyer. Assessing commitment implicates observing how the builder speaks about the project. Is the builder passionate? Is he knowledgeable? Is he able to commit to complete the project in time and on budget with exceptional quality? If yes, the builder is worth considering.

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Kitchen Remodeling Ideas


For many people, kitchen might probably the most important area in their house. It can be said that the kitchen is the most used as well as where many people spend most of their time, whether they are preparing meals for their family or just sitting at the kitchen-table savoring coffee with a couple of friends. Nevertheless, whether the kitchen is small or large, it seems always that this part of the house tends to be the gathering place. It has been said that kitchen renovations can greatly improve the value of a home.

A complete kitchen upgrade is an expensive, time-consuming, and tedious task; however, there are certain ways to renovate and update the kitchen without causing inconvenience to family members, upsetting family members life, and more importantly, without spending a fortune. So, consider some of these tips and maybe you can use the savings for some other purpose!

Revive your kitchen walls

A fresh paint can do wonders. We know that kitchen walls get dirty quite easily, even if we clean them regularly. These dirty walls can make a kitchen look old and grimy. Try to make the walls colorful. Adding some colors to the walls can significantly transform the kitchen. If the kitchen is grey, why not consider going white, blue, or green? Colorful kitchen are pretty much trendy these days as seen in many of the top decorating magazines.

Not want to try colors? Well, try wallpapers. Wallpaper can make a room livelier, adding buzz and energy. Well, the kitchen is a room too, and a perfect one to apply wallpaper!

Jazz up jaded cabinets

Replacing cabinets can be costly and an arduous task. If the cabinets are not too old; if they are in good condition, but outdated, a new coat of paint or a brown mahogany wood stain can easily update the look of the cabinets. A coat of white gloss paint will certainly irradiate, brighten and wake up the kitchen. One can make a bold statement by adding some vivifying colors to the cabinets, as well. To create a classic look, one can try staining the cabinets with a darker, mellower color.

If homeowners choose to make cabinets darker, they should consider light source, as well. A kitchen must never be too murky. One may need to make the existing lighting brighter or add more lighting in the kitchen.

Change your countertops

This could be too expensive, but there are also numerous affordable options available. There is really no other way to revive jaded countertops than replacing them. People sometimes may advise to paint them, but we will not. This is one thing where a little investment will certainly pay out well in the long run. There are different material countertops available such as stainless steel, cork, wood, and even concrete. So, choose the one that matches the kitchen setting and your pocket.

Change your kitchen hardware

Something as simple and inexpensive as changing kitchen hardware can instantly uplift the kitchen’s looks. Some homeowners like their old cabinets; they are fine with just the way they are, yet those homeowners still want to revive their kitchen. Well, homeowners, be amazed! Replacing something as simple as a handle or a drawer pull can give complete new looks to a drawer or cupboard.

Note: Image Courtesy Goal Construction

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