Contractor Agreements: The Right Way to Get it in Writing

Mar 06, 2012 No Comments

When it comes to signing a written agreement with a contractor, the bottom line is who does the document protect—you or him? Obviously, you want the former. This is how to help make sure it goes down that way: First, don’t accept a boilerplate agreement that the contractor may want to give you when you […]

Read more

An Open and Shut Case for Shutters

Feb 06, 2012 No Comments

When the wind howls outside your windows, is there anything you can do short of worrying that you’re whole house is going to be swept to the Land of Oz? Window shutters may be the answer. Operable varieties of shutters placed on the outside of your home’s windows can protect against such things as extreme […]

Read more

One Crucial Window Replacement Element You May be Ignoring

Jan 20, 2012 No Comments

When homeowners shop for replacement windows, one of the biggest mistakes made is overlooking an essential element of the purchase—the warranty offered on the product/parts and labor. The most important aspect of making sure your purchase is properly protected is to get a warranty in writing. If all you get is somebody’s word that he […]

Read more

What Paul Revere’s Contractor Has to Do With Yours

Dec 19, 2011 No Comments

A largely unregulated home improvement trade has been around basically since Paul Revere had someone swap out a bad log in his cabin.  First, those involved in tasks like these were simply called laborers, then handymen, and finally independent contractors. Although there have been many great strides made toward establishing professional standards for contractors over […]

Read more

Buying Building Materials Online: What to Expect

Dec 05, 2011 No Comments

You shop for everything else online, so why not buy your home renovation materials that way, too?  There are many good reasons to follow the e-track, but also some hurdles to satisfaction you might encounter along the way. Basically, if you have some idea of what you’re looking for, buying materials online is easy and […]

Read more

The Secret to Picking the Right Contractor

Nov 21, 2011 No Comments

There are basically three types of contractors: 1) the persnickety price gouger who will charge top dollar for any home renovation project because he thinks he’s an artiste; 2) the unreliable low-baller who will give you the cheapest estimate just to get your business and then wreck your home; and 3) the dependable craftsman who […]

Read more

Cat Got Your Painter?

Nov 07, 2011 No Comments

The last time you hired a painter to do work in your home, he was so overcome by an allergic reaction to your cats that he rushed through the job just so he could get out of your house sooner. Alas, his haste showed in the finished product. Oops. You forgot to inquire about his […]

Read more

How to Prevent Fights over Home Renovation Projects

Oct 24, 2011 No Comments

In every couple, it seems, there is the one who wants save money on home renovation projects by taking the DIY-approach and the one who wants to pay someone to do the job for them. It doesn’t matter whether the project is installing new windows on the whole house, or simply putting up window treatments. […]

Read more

Covering Window Shades and Blinds

Oct 10, 2011 No Comments

You’ve just had beautiful, energy efficient windows installed, but now its time to reflect on how you want to cover them. That means thinking about things like design, privacy and energy savings. Fortunately, from honeycomb shades to remote control blinds, there are a lot of options. From the design perspective, the basic decision you have […]

Read more

Get that Federal Tax Credit on Replacement Windows Before it’s Too Late

Sep 09, 2011 No Comments

With the Federal Tax Credit for energy efficient replacement windows set to expire at the end of 2011, there is never a better time than now to install government-approved Energy Star windows. When shopping for them, just be aware that even among windows that are Energy Star-rated, there are differences in performance. The people who […]

Read more