The Seven Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Building Contractor or Home Renovation Specialist



The building contracting and home renovation industry has experienced a lot of bad press and publicity for a number of years, and sometimes rightly so. That is because unfortunately there are a high number of unethical and dangerous practitioners operating in this industry, preying on unsuspecting homeowners by giving shoddy services whilst making unreasonable demands for the works carried out.

Below are the seven most common mistakes most homeowners make when choosing a builder or Home Renovation contractor.

Mistake 1

Not Asking For References Regarding Previous Works Carried Out

It's very easy to simply take someone at their word regarding what they can do and without seeing some form of proof. Now in the long run, not doing this has proven to be rather costly and in some cases, be rather dangerous because of simply taking on face value, what the contractor says.

Here's a test you should carry out if you really want peace of mind and a successful outcome when it comes to getting the type of work you want done in your home - simply ask the contractor for the names of two previous customers whom you can contact or even better go round and see examples of his work.

Simply phone those customers up and ask them a few questions when you are given those names and contact details. You don't have to do this whilst the contractor is there with you, although, if you do and the contractor is more than willing for that to happen, you can make a worthy assumption that the contractor has nothing to hide and is more than likely a genuine quality tradesperson. It's when the contractor is not willing to give you any past customer details, that's the time you should be concerned, very concerned.

So, you can ask any or all of the questions below to any previous clients -

What's been your overall experience of XYZ builder/contractor
What didn't you like about them?
Would you refer them to your family or friends based on the work they carried out for you?
If possible, could I make a visit and see for myself the kinds of work they've done?
Mistake 2

Not Finding Out How Qualified the Contractors Are

If we underwent heart surgery or any other major operation at the local hospital, it's a given that the surgeon is perfectly qualified to carry out the procedure. We 'd probably have no reason to distrust anything that's going on.

Creating specific home renovations and building and structural work is a skillful practice. It's a disciplined, professional craft. And, just like any regulated profession, there are certain qualifications and benchmarks that will help prospective customers to help decide whether or not a builder or contractor is qualified and professional.

It's easy to be swayed by a builder's advert or seeing their van or truck with their name and contact details on it and feel that because they are 'in the business' that they are professional and automatically credible.

Asking about their qualifications, and letting them speak how and when they achieved their qualifications, is vital if you're looking for a quality, professional contractor.

Mistake 3

Thinking a Low Quote Means Excellent Value for Money

One of the biggest mistakes when hiring a building contractor is to think that because you receive a low quote for the intended job, that you've bagged yourself a bargain. In fact, more often than not, a low quote most likely means any of the following:

Low quality materials being used for the job

Shortcuts and cutting corners in order to get the job done fast

No real attention to detail Irregular communication patterns and very little interaction ie "we'll get on with it and let you know if we need anything"

Use of unqualified staff and labourers

Poor quality work leading to the job being re-contracted at a later date. (What this means is that the job ends up costing more than probably the best original proposals and quotes from other, better quality contractors!).
The thing is, you'll be able to spot a contractor you don't won't want to carry out the work for you because if you pay close attention to these 7 big mistakes in this Consumer Awareness Guide, you'll be able to spot a rogue builder or contractor, a mile off!

Mistake 4

Going Ahead Without an Agreement or Written Proposal

Another glaringly obvious mistake is to not get anything down in writing. It's easy to go ahead with the works you want done simply based on the words from a builder or contractor. The problem with that way of doing things is that it's very easy to forget who said what and what was to be done.

And what makes things really appealing is when you're offered a discount by 'paying cash', because in that way, the contractor is essentially saying that he doesn't want to be invoiced or have anything written down because he'll be charging you much less for the work.

The fact website of the matter is once the work's done, you'll have a hard time getting hold of the contractor if there's something not quite right with the job. Because, as if by magic, you will have found that the builder has disappeared from the scene. And because there's no record of things, the homeowner will be left to

pick up the pieces - which inevitably means that more time, money and energy is spent looking for another contractor. The alternative is that the works are just left as they are, incomplete, unattended and leaving you, the homeowner with another powerful reason to distrust those in the building profession as a whole!

The big advice is to get things written down. And if the contractor doesn't want to go down that route, then you know you've come across someone you'll want to pass on, quickly.

Mistake 5

Assuming The Job Will Be Completed on Time

When hiring a builder or contractor is about having the job finish on time, one of the biggest headaches many homeowners face. It's a mistake to simply believe what the contractor verbally says when it comes to timelines and deadlines because most builders are notoriously known for breaking promises and commitments when it comes to finishing jobs.

A true professional will give you specific timelines he expects to complete the job. And the reason he can give such a reassurance - and with extreme confidence - is because he's thoroughly analysed the job that has to be done.

More importantly, he's developed a number of carefully constructed business methods and ways of doing business that makes the whole customer and contractor relationship, a wonderful one.

Mistake 6

Creating a 'Part Works' Arrangement

There are hundreds of DIY books, tip sheets, informational resources that are available showing people how to create their own patios, extensions, kitchens, bathrooms, etc. The fact of the matter is that even armed with the greatest will and intention in the world, there are only a handful of people in a thousand who can start, finish and follow through with particular DIY house projects.

The number of botched up, unfinished and incomplete jobs, is scary.

The big mistake here is negotiating with a builder to finish off the job you have started. Now although you may have invested time and money in getting the job half done (or to whatever state or condition it's currently in) the worst thing to do is get a cheap quotation for someone to finish off what you've started.

And, if you do find someone who agrees to 'patch up and make good what you've started' be prepared for the ugly things that follow because it's more than likely that the whole job will have to be started again with a new contractor - thus costing you even more money as well as hearing about the total dissatisfaction of it all from members of your household.

Mistake7

Not Asking for Written Guarantee

Mistake No 7 is not asking for any guarantee on the finished job. And it's easy to skip this part because when you're looking at a finished piece of work, one automatically assumes that everything will be fine and that there will be no need to call on the contractor or builder again.

Of course, we all know that it's only AFTER a job has been completed that we then see how good the work really is, because that's the time a written guarantee is essential.

When you ask a contractor "do you guarantee your work?" (which essentially means that - depending on the kind of job - that you the customer, will be covered against any kind of collapse, structural damage, botched up job! ... and if after asking this question and the contractor says" yes" but does not give you anything in writing, then that maybe the red light signal to put a halt on things.

Professionals delivering excellent service and super quality work will have no hesitation in giving a written guarantee. And the real fact of the matter is that because it's your home, and because you'll be living there for some time to come, it just makes plain commonsense to get the best job you can afford from a builder or contractor you can trust.

And if it means paying more than the quick fix, fly by night contractors, (because all they are after is your money, without giving an equivalent value in return) then you'll find in the long run that it's always the best option and, it'll work out to be the cheapest option because there will be less expense needed later on in fixing and re-doing the job because of poor craftsmanship.


You don't have to do this whilst the contractor is there with you, although, if you do and the contractor is more than willing for that to happen, you can make a worthy assumption that the contractor has nothing to hide and is more than likely a genuine quality tradesperson. And, just like any regulated profession, there are certain qualifications and benchmarks that will help prospective customers to help decide whether or not a builder or contractor is qualified and professional.

It's easy to go ahead with the works you want done simply based on the words from a builder or contractor. The fact of the matter is once the work's done, you'll have a hard time getting hold of the contractor if there's something not quite right with the job. ... and if after asking this question and the contractor says" yes" but does not give you anything in writing, then that maybe the red light signal to put a halt on things.

Best Tips For Properly Cleaning Your Built in BBQ Grills



Regularly cleaning your built in BBQ grills helps ensure that they will perform at top level for many years. Regular cleaning will also keep your BBQ from having a strange or burnt taste.

Unfortunately, while many homeowners would never think of leaving their indoor kitchen appliances severely dirty after use, there are numerous people who believe that it is okay to do with their BBQ Islands and stand-alone grills. However, doing this actually makes clean up more time consuming and difficult. It also decreases the efficiency and life of your grill.

Grill Cleaning Basics

After each use, let the grill cool until it is warm to the touch. There are different types of grates-- porcelain, cast iron, and stainless steel-- and you should check your owner's manual for specific clean up instructions.
With charcoal grills you can actually line the inside of the grill with aluminum foil. Then when you are done cooking, you would just let the grill cool and take out the aluminum to throw it away. If you do not do this, just make sure that after you scrape down your grates you take out the ash catcher and dispose of any ash and debris that it's caught.
Some gas grills have "clean" settings that burn away any remnants of food that have fallen into the grill. After you have scraped down the grill, turn on this setting for a few minutes.
You should occasionally clean the outside of your grill. Make sure that you use a cleaner that will work with your specific grill. If you have a stainless steel grill you should use a stainless steel cleaner. Wipe down the grill lid and other exterior parts of your grill. With stainless steel you should rub in the direction of the grain and never use steel or wire wool. Both materials will permanently scratch the surface of your grill.
At least once or twice a year, you need to give your built in BBQ grills a deep cleaning. Below are some tips that you should always follow when doing this. All you'll need is a regular scrub brush, a wire brush, a bucket, and detergent. You can also use rubber gloves to keep your hands clean and a drop cloth if you would like to protect your patio floor.

Your Annual or Semi-Annual Cleaning

Take out your grates and place them in a solution of warm soapy water. Let them soak a while and then scrape them down with your wire brush.
Turn off the gas at the source if you have a gas grill. If you have a propane grill, disconnect the propane tank.
Disconnect the ignitor wires, remove the ignitors, remove the burners, and remove the flame guards.
Scrape the inside floor of your grill to remove and loosen debris build up. Take your scrub brush and wash the entire inside area of your grill with warm soapy water.
Check your gas tubes. Insects or pest may have gotten inside of them restricting proper gas flow. Scrape the outside of the tubes gently with your wire brush. Also check them for cracks or holes that should Barbecue Cleaning not be there. , if there are any cracks or holes replace your gas tubes.
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Check your burners. If they are severely clogged it may be time to replace them. Gently scrape down your burners with your wire brush.
If you use lava rocks or briquettes, check them to make sure that they are not encrusted with a lot of food debris. , if they are they will produce a burnt flavor and you should replace them.
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If your grates are rusted you should replace them as well.
Built in BBQ grills are today's best choice in grills. These BBQ Islands make outdoor grilling easy by virtually bringing your indoor kitchen outside. You can customize them just about any way you want with counters, bar space, drawers, refrigerators, sinks, televisions, and more. You can even have one custom built for your stand-alone grill.


With charcoal grills you can actually line the inside of the grill with aluminum foil. You should occasionally clean the outside of your grill. Wipe down the grill lid and other exterior parts of your grill. At least once or twice a year, you need to give your built in BBQ grills a deep cleaning. Built in BBQ grills are today's best choice in grills.

Hire a Professional Painting Company to Save Your Home From a Bad Painting Job



If you think that painting a home is a simple affair, you can not be more wrong. Not only painting your entire residential property is time-consuming, but it is also tiring and complicated. If you want to save your home from a bad painting job, you must hire a professional painting company. Here's why you should start your search for an expert who can make your home beautiful:

· No Unpleasant Financial Shocks

A professional painting company provides you with a detailed budget of the painting job. A comprehensive budget will help you to plan your expenses properly. It will aid you in avoiding any unpleasant shocks in the future.

· Meticulous Preparation

A beautiful painting job requires meticulous preparation. Sadly, inexperienced and amateur painters have no idea about preparation. If you hire a professional painting company, it will undertake the following tasks before painting your property:

- Understanding your requirements,

- Creating a detailed work-plan,

- Covering the fixtures,

- Protecting the furniture,

- Cleaning the painting area, etc.

· Wide Experience

You may not have the experience of painting a difficult surface such as wood. A professional painting company will be experienced in working with different types of surfaces such as concrete, drywall, wood, vinyl, etc. So, do not worry if you want to paint the exterior brick walls of your home or the swimming pool. A professional will fulfill your expectations accurately.

· Safety and Security

Are you worried about providing entry to a stranger in your home? Do not worry about it. A professional painting company conducts a thorough background check on each of its painters. It is concerned about its reputation in the market. So, it employs painters after stringent background checks to ensure your safety.

· Complete Home Restoration

If you hire a part-time painter or choose to paint the home on your own, you won't be able to take advantage of multiple services that a professional painting company offers to its customers. It is better to choose someone that provides painting services as well as renovation services. Employing an expert will enable you to obtain services such as:

- Drywall replacement,

- Ceiling restructure,

- Installation of wooden cabinets,

- Swimming pool restoration,

- Installation of electrical fixtures,

- Deck repair, etc.

· Accurate and Timely Results

A professional painting company has to maintain its reputation in the market. It ensures that its painters meet the deadline. You can be assured of beautiful results because it employs expert and trained painters who use quality products only.

· Benefit of Warranty

Even though hiring a professional painting company is costlier than choosing an untrained painter, it is beneficial in the long run. Because it offers and provides long-lasting results one year warranty of the painting job, it is.

Painting is often considered a simple job. But remember that precision, patience and proficiency are required to avoid a bad painting job. So, it is better to employ a professional painting company who can make your home beautiful.


If you want to save your home from a bad painting job, you must hire a professional painting company. A professional painting company provides you with a detailed budget of the painting job. If you hire a professional painting company, it will undertake the following tasks before painting your property:

If you hire a part-time painter or choose to paint the home on your own, you won't be able to take advantage of multiple services that a professional painting company offers to its customers. It is better to employ a professional painting Toronto Condo Painters company who can make your home beautiful.

Get Rid of Your Unwanted Trash and Scraps With Junk Removal and Hauling

If you have old junk and scraps metal lying around that you 'd love to get rid of then why not hire professionals to take care of your junk removal and hauling needs. You can find junk removal services for all kinds of needs including your personal needs and your business needs.

They will even take care of hauling off trash from retail and construction sites for you so that you won't have to worry about getting rid of the unwanted junk yourself. They handle the tough jobs so that you don't have to be bothered with it. A good junk removal company knows that you do not want to be bothered with old junk. They have the expertise to rid you of it in a professional manner. They will also make sure that your old junk is completely recycled. This is good news in this time of environmental awareness.

Wherever you or your junk are they will take and come care of it for you. Once they haul it away you will never know you had a heap of junk. They will leave your property clean without a speck of debris left behind. You can always count on top quality service and professionalism with junk removal and hauling employees. They are not just ordinary trash men, they have experience in the proper removal of unwanted junk and other items that need recycled.

There are also items such as old scrap metal from junk vehicles and oil from the as well that these junk removal companies deal with. The friendly and helpful team is always willing to lend their help with hauling your junk away and giving you the aesthetic beauty of your property back. If you are tired of looking at a heap recycling of old junk in your back yard, call the professionals to come and pick it up.

They also take heavy appliances which can be pretty tricky to haul away. If you have an old refrigerator/freezer, TV or even a hot tub or scrap metal then you can be at peace knowing you don't have to move such large items alone and you can have them hauled at a very reasonable price.

No longer do you have to beg and plead for your friends and family to come help you haul all of your junk away. You will need to be prepared to answer some pertinent information about yourself and your junk hauling needs.

Go ahead and look online today for the best prices when it comes to junk removal and hauling of your scraps and trash. Let the professionals do the dirty work so you don't have to. Once you see the professional job they will do while still leaving your home or place of business in tip top shape, you will certainly be glad you did.


They will even take care of hauling off trash from retail and construction sites for you so that you won't have to worry about getting rid of the unwanted junk yourself. A good junk removal company knows that you do not want to be bothered with old junk. You can always count on top quality service and professionalism with junk removal and hauling employees. There are also items such as old scrap metal from junk vehicles and oil from the as well that these junk removal companies deal with. Go ahead and look online today for the best prices when it comes to junk removal and hauling of your scraps and trash.

Safety Precautions With Chain Saws

Chain saws can be very efficient tools that provide a great deal of assistance to people who need to do a job quickly and effectively. It should be noted, however, that a chain saw can be a challenging piece of equipment, so taking the right safety measures is always of the utmost importance. When using a chain saw, the proceeding tips give some insight as to how you can protect yourself from injury.

Be sure to have safety goggles, steel-toes boots, and gloves when performing work with a chain saw. Any loose clothing could become entangled in the chain saw and seriously injure you.

It is also very important that two hands are used to start a chain saw, as one should always be on the unit while the other one pulls on the starter rope. This is a dangerous way of starting the chain saw and could potentially lead to very serious injury.

There is a separate set of parameters that you should follow so there is no possibility of injury if trees or limbs are being cut down. It is highly advisable never to saw while standing on the tree and cutting between the legs. This is extremely unsafe and could lead to lacerating one or both legs. The same principle applies for simply standing normally and trying to make cuts with it out in front of the upper torso. Always make sure that you keep the unit to the side of the body so you are able to limit the chance that the moving blade will come into contact with the body in any way. Keeping the tool from making contact with the ground is also advisable, as the possibility of debris striking the chain or the face breaking away and causing massive injuries are both very probable to happen if the moving chain were to touch the ground even momentarily.


It should be noted, however, that a chain saw can be a challenging piece of equipment, so taking the right safety measures is always of the utmost importance. Be sure to have safety goggles, steel-toes boots, and gloves when performing work with a chain saw. Keeping the tool from making contact with the ground is also advisable, as the website possibility of debris striking the face or the chain breaking away and causing massive injuries are both very probable to happen if the moving chain were to touch the ground even momentarily.

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