When looking for a general contractor to do some home renovation it’s best to use the belief that you will get what you pay for. That saying definitely works contractors, so saving a dime now buy hiring a budget contractor could seriously hurt you in the long term – or even upset you a little today. What to get the job done right the first time? Hire an experienced and reputable contractor, even if he is more expensive than the competition, and you will have spent your money well.
A good construction contractor has many years of home improvement experience under his tool belt. Many residential construction contractors have many years in their field as an apprentice, whether as an electrician, a plumber or a carpenter. The opportunity to work under another experienced craftsman, another residential construction contractor, is extremely valuable. Then the residential construction contractor will eventually start his own business and continue to rack up hours of hands-on experience, making him a contractor who will be able to “eyeball” a job and know exactly what is required to give you a fair and reasonable estimate.
Experienced construction contractors, with the ability to judge quality and skill, usually hire good workers to treat them fairly, and this of course will have a positive influence on the job they do for you. Experienced businessmen, in general, have compassion for their employees, so an experienced contractor, having been a worker before, will understand the game, and know how to keep his team happy.
Can I find a good, experienced construction contractor? Yes, of course, there are good contractors out there, but you have to look in the right place, view photos of their work, call them, and ask for references. Go to AtlantaGeorgiaRemodeling.com for a good source of available remodeling contractors. Call their prior customers and ask if they were happy with the quality of the job, if it was completed on time and on budget, and how they felt during the process. – Remember you will have these workers in your home until the completion of the job, so it’s important that you feel comfortable with them.
You may not necessarily have to hire a licensed contractor since many unlicensed contractors are reliable and skilled, and just like to work that way so as to keep their prices low. But be aware that you are taking a risk.
When choosing a licensed contractor, you can check out the company record with the BBB to see if he has any suits or complaints against him. Keep in mind that there may be complaints against even the best, most honest, and reliable contractors. It’s the nature of the business, so be fair and feel free to ask the contractor to explain the situation before discounting his integrity.
But the best advice I can give you is to think like an employer and hold interviews with all of your prospective contractors. Have a list of questions and get as much information about each contractor as possible. Get as much detail about previous jobs, make sure he has done your project successfully in the past, and also make sure your personalities mesh. Do you feel your contractor has good character? Did he answer your questions to your satisfaction? Is he kind? Did he make excuses?
There are many good contractors out there, and we have confidence you’ll one that suits your needs. Best of luck to you.
If you have lived in your home for any amount of time, you are probably ready for a change. Your home is your haven, so you must make it reflect you and your personality. If you aren’t sure how to do that, this article contains some interior decorating tips to help you out.
A great way to liven up an otherwise boring or complicated space is to create a point of focus in the room. This focal point will become the highlight of the space, and everything else that’s in the room will work to support the focal point. Focal points to think about working around include fireplaces, windows, artworks, and stately pieces of furniture.
Have a theme in mind. Is there a specific color scheme you rather enjoy? Do you have a fondness for retro furniture? Deciding on a theme before you even begin your planning phase can save you a lot of time and effort. Make sure you know what you’re going for before you start planning for it.
Consider adding some artwork to your room. A nice piece of art can really make a room look “finished.” Make sure you choose a piece of artwork that goes with the colors and feel of the room. You don’t want it to compete with other things in te room for attention.
Choose colors of the same hue. When you do this, even if the colors seem like they would not “match,” they are in the same color family. That makes them blend in a way that is pleasing to the eye. When you get color swatches from a store, check out the colors in the same position on each card. Those are the ones with similar hue values.
Getting rid of clutter is the number one thing you should focus on. When you clean up your home before you fix the interior, you help it become prepared for redecorating. You may even find some old decorations that are in style again.
For a quick kitchen refresh, try changing out your cabinet hardware. Outdated drawer pulls and cabinet hardware can make a kitchen look old. If your cabinets are still in good shape, you can update their look by simply adding more modern hardware. It is inexpensive, only takes an afternoon, and you will be amazed at what a difference this change can make.
Get creative. Even if you don’t consider yourself a great artist, you can make a wonderful collection of art. Draw a symbol or an abstract piece on a piece of drawing paper. It doesn’t have to be that big. Put it in a high-quality frame. If you want really do something nice, create 3 or 4 drawings and frame them all together.
A great interior-design tip for budget-minded individuals is to switch up your rooms completely. Turn your office into the bedroom and your bedroom into the new office! With completely different functions, furniture and decorations, each new room take on an entirely new look and personality. It’s also a total and enjoyable change up for you, that costs nothing.
All the furniture in your room need not face the television. You should aim to create an area in the living room for a simple conversation by placing some chairs in another part of the room. This will be a nice place to relax and converse with a friend over a cup of tea.
Don’t spend a fortune on light fixtures. Sure, putting in new fixtures can make the whole room look better, but many people make the mistake of getting them at ridiculous prices. They can be purchased for much less on various websites, including Amazon. Also, discount stores usually have lovely fixtures.
A good trick to use if you want to make a room in your house brighter is to place a mirror on a wall opposite a window. If you place the mirror strategically across from a window, it will give them an impression of there being two windows. This makes the room look much brighter.
One thing that you can do to better prepare for the interior decorating project is to watch television shows, read magazines or search the internet for different design ideas. There are many sites that allow you to view rooms when they are fully furnished or manually alter the style to your liking.
If you are thinking of designing or revamping an area of your home, focus on the basement. This can add another dimension to your home and can serve as a game room, movie room or play area for your kids. Pay attention to detail and match your design throughout when designing your basement.
Leather is a perennially popular finish for high-quality furniture. If you want to incorporate leather furniture into your next interior design project, resist the temptation to pick an exotic color that matches your new decor. Leather furniture can last for decades. You want to buy it in neutral shades that will fit in not only with your current interior planning ideas but also with new concepts you may try out in the future.
Paint or varnish old furniture before replacing it. That side table that you want to toss out? Try a silver varnish on it first and see if you like it better. Sometimes all you need to create a new look is a quick varnish or paint. Get creative, and even think about using a stencil. You may find you like the new look of that old furniture!
One of the best ways to add pizzazz into the entertainment room of your house is to incorporate a large flat-screen television. Even though this will set you back a little bit, it will be well worth the cost if you spend a lot of time watching television with friends or family.
Salvaged materials fit well when redesigning a green bathroom. You can find materials from antique tiles to sinks that have all been recycled. There are millions of possibilities, so use your imagination and hit the salvage yards! You don’t have to spend a lot on supplies in order to have a green room that’s ideal.
When designing a particular room you should think about who will be using the room after it has been decorating. For example, if you entertain often, you should determine whether or not guests would join you in that room. You want to be sure that you have adequate seating for however would enjoy the room at once.
With all of the knowledge, you gained you might feel a little overwhelmed right now. This is fine, just remember that you can reread this article if you have to. It is always a good thing to understand the material you read so that you can apply everything that you read to the best of your ability.
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Practical Home Repair – Tips for Replacing Old Electrical Receptacles
A good way to check the electrical integrity of your home is to make sure the outlets are all properly wired for ground. Older homes are prone to having two-prong outlets, a sure sign that they aren’t wired for today’s appliances. This is not a problem in newly constructed homes, as they will have three-prong outlets installed. Three-prong adapters are a handy work-around, but they are unsightly and prone to sag under the weight of the power cord.
Once you grasp how simple household wiring is, you can proceed with installing new outlets. The replacement process begins with the removal of the cover plate, but not until you are sure that the electricity has been turned off.
Remove the outlet by backing out the top and bottom screws that hold the outlet in place. Note the position of the black and white wires.
It’s a rule-of-thumb that the wires are connected with matching colored screws: Black to Brass and White to Light. All wall outlets are wired according to this rule.
The third wire is the ground wire, a bare copper wire that is wound tightly around the sheath of the cable. You can discover the ground wire attached behind the clamp that is held in place with a large screw at the top or bottom of the outlet box. The black wire is the “hot” wire, the white wire is the return, or cold wire, and the bare copper wire is the “ground”.
Begin withdrawing the old outlet by removing the screws holding the black and white wires to the socket. The old outlet should now be detached from the wires..
To unwrap the sheath of the electrical cable, you have to loosen the screw holding the cable clamp in place. Then unwrap the copper cable after pulling enough of it through the box. After the copper grounding wire is accessible, return the cable to its original position and tighten it in place using the clamp.
There’s no need to unwrap the entire length of copper wire. All you need is enough to make a connection to the ground lug on the replacement 3-wire outlet. The ground wire is now affixed to the ground lug on the new outlet. The grounding lug screw can be found attached to the metal attaching piece.
Continue by affixing the white and black wires to their corresponding brass and white screws. A pair of needle nosed pliers will make this a little easier. If the wires have a loop formed at their ends, needle nosed pliers will help you opening and closing the loop so you can make a good connection. Be careful to make a “nice and neat “connection without any wire left sticking out in any direction. Tighten the holding screws firmly, checking the wires for security as you go.
Alternately, you can use the wire insertion feature on the back of the receptacle to connect the wires. Just straighten and strip the wires to the correct length. One way to determine the correct length of wire to use with this feature is the manufacturer’s guide formed onto the body of the outlet. Read over the manufacturer’s instructions if you have any questions about how to cut and strip the wires.
Once everything is connected properly, it’s time to push the wires and the receptacle back into the outlet box. Once the new outlet is in place, attach it to the box and reinstall the cover.
Within everything back in place, turn the power back on and check the outlet for proper operation using a circuit tester. If everything works and the circuit breaker doesn’t trip or the fuse blows, congratulations are in order. Well Done!
I hope you found this article helpful and practical. For further practical home repair tips, why not browse through the articles at Practical Repairs.com
Kyle Issac is a freelance writer with years of home ownership, property management and home repair article writing experience. His articles are featured at PracticalRepairs.com and are focused on how anyone can make their own Practical Home Repairs. Looking for Home Repair Tips? Whatever your home repair problem is your can discover the best home repair tips at http://www.practicalrepairs.com