CONTRACTORS

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Is It Wise to DIY? A New Survey Says, Not Always
We Americans are a can-do crowd, particularly when it comes to maintaining and improving our homes. Need proof? Look ...
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Bob Vila Radio: Nailing Your Remodel with a Contractor
Already found a contractor for your next project? You might be happy with your hire, but planning ahead is the best w...
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5 Questions to Ask Before Replacing Your Roof
Replacing the roof: Many people do it only once, if at all, in their tenure as the owner of a home. For that reason a...
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10 Things Your Contractor May Not Be Telling You
So, you’ve finally hired a contractor for your home renovation. You’ve done your homework, checked references, and even have a written contract. You think you're ...
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How To: Avoid Crooked Contractors
Any suburbanite with a driveway knows the drill: A couple of guys arrive in a beat-up truck with a bucket of asphalt in the back, claiming to have done a job “jus...
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5 Steps to Hiring the Right Roofer
Whereas other home upgrades are purely elective, roof repairs aren't a choice; they're essential.  Besides being crit...
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Keep Your Contractor Happy: 3 Major Missteps to Avoid
Is the roofer or tile setter not returning your phone calls? Don't take it personally.  Economists agree that home im...
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To Hire or Not to Hire an Architect or Designer
If know what I want, why do I need a designer at all?Perhaps you don't. But understand that, strange as it may seem, ...
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Contractors, Contracts, and Costs
Dankmar Adler—architect and partner of the great Louis Sullivan in the firm of Adler and Sullivan—once remarked that ...
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All About General Contractors
A general contractor or GC is hired to take a set of plans and turn them into a building. He'll orchestrate the comin...
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How To: Hire a General Contractor
The routine for hiring a general contractor is not radically different from that of hiring a designer. You want to hi...
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Being Your Own General Contractor
There is no mystery to being a general contractor, though some skills with peo­ple, finances, and general good sense ...
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Hiring a Construction Manager
A construction manager is another alternative to hiring a general contractor. It may be a good way for the homeowner ...
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Contracting the Contractors
Do you need contracts? Yes is the short answerContracts are a crucial part of the paper trail that will help assure t...
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Estimating Checklist
Cost overruns are certainly common in renovation work, but there are steps you can take to try to anticipate some of ...
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Some Notes on Dealing with Contractors
There'll be surprises along the way, some of them delightful and some not. But here are a few matters for which you s...
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How To: Settle a Dispute with Your Contractor
So, you tried to anticipate everything. But the fact is, no one can plan for every exigency. So here are some ways to...
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The Decorators and the Landscapers
When your job nears completion, you may want a couple of other pros to come in and help with the finish. I can't emph...
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Growing Home: An Approach to Adding Space
As real estate markets across the country deal with sluggish sales and plunging prices, many people who, just a coupl...
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Supervise the Work on Your Home
It’s important to oversee the details of any repair or remodeling job done on your home. There are a number of ways t...
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Resolving Job Site Conflicts Between Homeowners and Contractors
When Fern Dickey saw what a fantastic job a contractor did on her neighbor’s remodel, she had no problem figuring out...
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Working with Your Architect
Hiring an architect should save you time and money, minimize bumps, streamline the building process, and provide an a...
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Protect Your Home from Job Site Theft
Job site theft is a rampant and growing problem that costs the construction industry more than $1 billion a year, acc...
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The Low-Stress Home Renovation
For eight months, Sue Gladstone’s home in Suburban Boston was a maze of plastic construction sheeting covered in a ha...
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Who Should You Hire to Manage Your Construction?
Construction Manager vs. General Contractor?A construction manager is an alternative to hiring a general contractor. ...
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Home Building Projects Estimating Checklist
What follows is a long – yet hardly exhaustive – list of costs common to home building projects. You probably won't h...
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Take the Home Remodeling Questionnaire
Whether you plan to talk directly to a contractor or to begin by hiring a designer, you will save both of you time an...
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3 Budget Busters and How to Sidestep Them
Interior designer Patricia Brown has counseled hundreds of clients through renovation projects large and small. She e...
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10 Renovation Steps You Don't Want to Skip
Before you dive headfirst into that renovation project, make sure to assess the full scope of the job—from budgeting to sourcing materials to hiring the right con...
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In Quest of the Best Roofing Contractor
Re-roofing our 1908 American Foursquare-style house reminded me of a Frank Capra movie. For once, things actually wen...
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Reading Between the Lines on Customer Review Sites
Unhappy with the job your contractor did? Peeved at your local hardware store's churlish service? Annoyed with the ru...
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2 Professionals Who Can Save You Thousands
"Satisfaction goes up when you have concrete expectations," says CA-based contractor Dan Fritschen.  The unglamorous ...
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Cost and Competition: Remodeling Heats Up
If you are thinking that this is the year to tackle a bigger renovation project that you’ve been postponing, you’re n...
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What Your Contractor Won't Tell You
Licenses, bonding, and insurance: Every contractor is required by law to have these essential documents in order, but...
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Reviewing Redbeacon: The Contractor-Finder Market's Newest Competitor
[Ed: This post was updated with additional information from Redbeacon on 1/28/2013. ]Three-year-old startup Redbeacon...
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Bob Vila Radio: Surviving a Remodel
While they’re always inconvenient, major remodeling projects can also become a real strain on your relationship if yo...
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Construction Contract Checklist
All contracts you sign should begin with the parties to the agreement. Your name and address and that of the contract...
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Quick Tip: Hiring a General Contractor
The Bidding Process Is Telling By now, most homeowners know that you need to get quotes from several contractors befo...
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Supervising the Construction
During your construction project, you will have to deal with the workmen. Even if you feel comfortable with them—and ...
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Your Home's Construction Schedule
How long do the steps take? No two jobs are the same, but here are some reasonable estimates of what will be required...
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Bob Vila Radio: Hire a Pro
Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 60 stations around the country (and growing)...
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Cookies & Other Tips for Coping with Remodeling
What was I thinking when I promised myself—and more importantly my husband, Phil—that we would be ready to move into ...
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The Three P's in Supervision
As your renovation or construction project is going on, you will have to deal with the workmen. Even if you feel comf...
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The Insurance Certificate
When you hire a GC, subs, and other on-site workers, ask whether they have insurance coverage. Each should have a bla...
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A Recipe For Renovation Contracts
All contracts you sign should begin with the parties to the agreement. Yours and the contractor's names and addresses...
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Questions to Ask a Contractor
After a damaging storm, it can be hard to find a contractor who will repair your home right away. Although it is temp...
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Touring the Completed Basement Remodel
Bob meets with homeowner Sarah Monzon to recap the project, from the initial preparation to the renovations to the finishing touches.
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Architects Tour the Newton, MA Project
Bob meets with the architects, Mark and Geoffrey, who visit the project site every two weeks in order to check on progress, and to make sure their plans are being...
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Discussing the Budget
Bob and carpenter Paul Morse go over the details of the budget and discuss whether or not they'll be able to finish the project under the estimated cost.
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Initial Tour
Restoration contractor Richard Marks shows Bob around the elegant, though quite run-down, Federal-style project house.
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Federal-Style Home Layout
Bob visits a Federal-style home undergoing reconstruction, and having an addition put on, in Charleston, SC. Restoration contractor Richard Marks guides Bob throu...
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What to Look for in a General Contractor
Bob and developer Joe Fitzgerald discuss what to look for in a general contractor.
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Costs for Building the Victorian
Bob and contractor Bob Ryley review costs for the Victorian-style remodel-and-build project in Martha's Vineyard, MA.
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Meeting the Wayland Homeowner
Bob meets with homeowner Paul Paresky and tours the project. Expanding the lakefront home with a second floor addition will be a major undertaking. General contra...
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Contractor's Tour of the Interior
Bob accompanies carpenter-contractor Bob Ryley on a "contractor's tour" of the home with the aim of assessing any needed modifications to the interior.
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