Designing a new space

How to design a new space and what you should consider when creating a vision board.

Green Building

Ecofriendly construction products that can help save money and energy while also making your home healthy for your family.

Selecting A Contractor

Top mistakes that homeowners make when choosing a contractor for their project.

First Time Homebuyers

There's more to think about than square footage when you're debating about moving into a home, especially in this market


A money saving water preserving alternative to traditional landscaping.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Winter weather snow shoveling tip!

If you live a state that experiences snow like we do here in Colorado then you probably can’t stand shoveling snow, but there are more reasons to shovel your driveways and sidewalks other then safety and so you don’t have to walk through it. Un-shoveled snow can destroy your driveways and sidewalks! Have you ever wondered why your driveway starts to look like it is crumbling on the top and pitted and what causes it? It’s called "Spalling". Spalling is caused from ice freezing and unfreezing. As we all know when water turns to ice it expands and has the strength to break anything. Well your driveway is no different, it is a porous material that absorbs water, and then when it freezes it expands inside of the concrete and causes the concrete to chip and pit. The best thing you can do is shovel your driveway before anyone walks or drives on it, that way those areas don’t freeze. If you have Spalling on your driveway I bet that the damage is directly in line with your tires from your garage, because you forget to shovel before driving over and packing the snow that then becomes ice as you are at work all day, come summer your drive way will be damaged. An average driveway can vary from $6,000 to $10.000. There are also ways of resurfacing your driveway that can still cost a few thousand dollars. Long story short shovel your driveway!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

How to choose a contractor for your project.

So you’re ready to start a construction project at your home, and you have been seeking out the right contractor for your project. Unless you already have a contractor that you have worked with and you were happy with, then finding the right contractor can be a very stressful task. Let’s say you found a contractor but are not sure if they have the correct credentials for your project. Are they trustworthy? How long have they been in business? Once you’re done reading this post you will have the answers you need.

How do I find a contractor?

The absolute best way to find a contractor for you project is by referral. Has someone you know recently had work done to there home by a contractor, if so, were they happy with them, and the quality of their work? Was the contractor or the contact in the company knowledgeable, personable, did they seem to care about your home like it was their own? Did they stay within budget? Are they licensed? If so what type of license? Was the scope of work at you friend’s project similar to yours?

Let’s say you don’t know anyone who has done work with a contractor that they like. Now this is a little harder. Check the phone book. Check the better business bureau. Do you have a local or community paper?

Generally I have found that if you hire a company that spends money promoting themselves then they most likely spend money paying their own bills, and are more likely to pay the bills on your project.

Finding a contractor isn’t the hard part. Finding a good one is. Ask them all of the questions from above. Ask for references within the last year or two. Also ask for professional references ex: one of there sub contractors, or another general contractor. Contractors know other contractors in the same field and there is no better judge of quality than another contractor. Also ask them questions about the bad experiences that they have had with customers and or projects. Trust me we all have a few. A good contractor will be open with you about any problems that they have had in the past. It’s not the problem that they had that you should concentrate on its how or what they did to resolve it and ultimately make their customer happy.

Don’t feel pressured into using a contractor just because you got an estimate from them. Never pay for an estimate, if they want your business then it should be free, you wouldn’t pay for a catering estimate at your back yard barbeque same goes with your contractor. Ultimately trust your instinct if something is "fishy" about them or you feel that they are not being honest with you then don’t use them. There a lot more contractors out there and a lot of them are good honest trustworthy companies. Follow these guidelines and ask these questions and you will choose a great contractor for your project.