Archive for August, 2013

3 Vital Questions to Ask a Home Remodeling Contractor Before Hiring Them

Saturday, August 31st, 2013

When you are looking to remodel or renovate your home, you will have many important decisions to make. For example, you will need to decide whether you want to renovate you entire house, or just work on a specific room like your kitchen or bathroom. Do you want to update your home while keeping the same style, or do you want to change the look and feel of it completely? How about adding a patio or a swimming pool? While all of these decisions are very important, no choice you have to make is more vital than picking out which Los Angles home remodeling contractor you will use for the job.

When it comes to contractors, one thing that you must always remember is that they are not all equal when it comes to skill set. Some are unreliable. Some are uncreative. Some are unscrupulous. That is why when you are choosing a contractor for your home remodeling job, you should ask them some questions that will give you a better window into their business. Then, you will be much more comfortable making a final decision about which contractor you should choose for your job.

Here are 3 vital questions that you should ask any contractor before hiring them:

 

1) Are You licensed and insured?

Asking a contractor whether they are licensed and insured can be done before you even invite them out to your home to discuss your project. And simply put, if the answer to this question is anything other than a straightforward “yes,” then you can cross them off the list. Depending on where you live, find out what licenses a contractor in your area needs before asking. As far as insurance is concerned, make sure they have both liability and workman’s compensation. Once they tell you they are both licensed and insured, ask them to see documentation. This needs to be done for two reasons. One, unscrupulous contractors may lie and tell you they are licensed and insured, even though they are not. And two, contractors have been known to use a license that belongs to someone else. Check the name to make sure it matches the contractor you’re speaking to.

2) Who will be at the job site, and who will be supervising?

It is always important to know just who will be setting foot on your property, and if there will be adequate supervision. One of the main reasons this is so important has to do with question one. More specifically, any subcontractor who works on your job should also be insured. If they aren’t, you might be at risk as the homeowner. It is also nice to meet the supervisor and have their contact information. In many cases, the supervisor doesn’t have to be on site at all times. But if something goes wrong, it’s extremely important that you know who to contact first. Additionally, you should also have the phone number and email address of the contractor him or herself.

3) Have you done similar work, and can you show me examples?

Just because a contractor can install wood floors, doesn’t mean they are great at redoing kitchen cabinets. Just because they are great painters, doesn’t mean you want them tiling your bathroom floor. Not all contractors are great in all areas. That’s why it’s vital that you ask them if they have experience doing work similar to what you need done. If they say no, it’s probably time to move on. If they say yes, ask them to see pictures. You also may want to get a reference from a homeowner who had a similar job done just to be sure.

If you would like to speak to a reputable Los Angeles home remodeling contractor who is very happy to answer these, and any other questions you may have, please give us a call at (213) 232-4783 or contact us here. We can also have one of our team members come out to your home to give you a free estimate on your project.

Choosing the Hardwood Floor that’s Right for You: Real Wood vs. Laminate vs. Engineered

Monday, August 5th, 2013

If you are looking to improve the overall look of your home’s interior while increasing its value, a great way to do it is by replacing your old carpet or tile with a brand new hardwood floor. Whether you own a single family home, a condo, or a townhouse, the durability, beauty, and warmth hardwood floors bring to your home make them a great choice for anyone. There are also endless styles, colors, shapes, sizes, and patterns for you to choose from, allowing you to match your hardwood floor to your home’s existing look and feel, or create a whole new atmosphere altogether.

Once you’ve decided to have a Los Angles hardwood flooring contractor help you install your brand new hardwood floor, one of the biggest decisions you will need to make involves which type of wood floor you want. The main choices are real wood, laminate, and engineered wood, all of which offer unique benefits that may fit your personal needs.

Real Hardwood Floors

Thing main thing that distinguishes real hardwood floors from any other type of floor is that they are actually made entirely of natural, solid wood. Because of this, most people consider them the best looking of all the available types of hardwood floors. With real wood floors, the natural beauty of the wood really shows through, giving your home a warm look and feel. On the negative side, real hardwood floors are the most expensive of the three wood floor types, and are also the easiest to damage. They are especially vulnerable to damage from heavy objects or water leaks. However, real hardwood floors can often be sanded and refinished to remove any abrasions they may incur. But if you can afford the extra costs, real hardwood floors might be the best option for your home.

Laminate

From a materials perspective, laminate floors are the complete opposite of real hardwood floors. Where real hardwood floors are made entirely of wood, laminate floors have absolutely no wood in them at all. However, you would never know it by looking at them. Available in a ton of styles and colors, laminate floors are made of a high density fiber with printing on the top that makes them look just like basically any wood you want. But why would you want wood-looking floors that aren’t made out of wood? For starters, laminate floors are incredibly durable and very difficult to scratch. They can handle the type of pounding your floors might receive if you have pets or children, and are the easiest of the three types of wood floors when it comes to cleaning. Laminate floors are also very cost-effective, allowing you to get that “real wood” look you want, but at a much lower price.

Engineered Hardwood

Despite the name, engineered hardwood floors are actually made up of real wood. In essence, engineered floors are mostly plywood, with a thin wood veneer of your choice glued atop them order to create the look and feel you want. So why not just go with a real hardwood floor, you ask? Engineered hardwood floors offer some unique advantages that real wood floors do not. For example, engineered wood handles both heat and moisture much better than real wood. It can also be installed in situations where real wood cannot be, such as directly over concrete. And in most cases, it is a bit less expensive than real wood floors. So if you’re looking for a real wood feel, but with a more durable material, than an engineered hardwood floor is definitely something to seriously consider.

If you need additional information about the different types of wood floors available for your home, or if you would like to have one of our team members come out and give you a free flooring estimate, please give us a call at (213) 232-4783 or contact us here, and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Also, you can visit Google ‘Images,’ type in the phrase hardwood floors and you will be amazed at the number of pictures that will appear. For a more refined search, type in real hardwood floors, laminate wood floors, or engineered wood floors.