Costco member Erik J. Martin is a Chicago-based freelance writer who is actively shopping
for a worthy portable generator.
experience and a solid reputa- tion are key points to verify in your search. One way to start is by inter- viewing a number of contractors listed in the phone book. Ask for references and follow up on them. Word-of-mouth referrals can also be ffective, but they’re a little like movie reviews in that people have their own opinions, which you may or may not agree with. Be discerning. Asking a reputable general contractor about remodeling contractors is another ave- nue to explore. When candidates explain their approach to the job, listen carefully. Be aware that not all contractors, or their sub- contractors, are licensed, insured and bonded. These qualifications are a must, and can be verified by the local licensing board. RESTROOM REVIVAL CONTINUED FROM PAGE 39
Spell out the details An essential aspect of dealing with a contractor involves a well-written con- tract that spells out every detail of the project, including a time frame for the various steps to take place and for securing the permit. A good resource for writing the contract yourself is
www.renovation 101.com, which can be used for assistance on spelling out specific needs. Do not pay a contractor in advance. Partial payments at various tages of completion are the norm for emodel jobs. This usually includes a 10 percent “hold-back” until the job is completed to ensure that problems are resolved. Should a misunderstanding with the contractor arise, see the licensing board for arbitration of disagree- ments or correction orders for code violations. A newly remodeled bathroom pays tan- gible returns by increasing the value of your home, but should also pay off in pleasure and pride. C
Kip Koehler, a former construction consultant
based in Prescott, Arizona, is author of
Custom Home Do’s & Don’ts (2010) and
A Better Bathroom (2012).
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