5 Tips for Hiring a Residential Electrician

A poorly wired house is a fire waiting to happen, thousands of residential fires are started every year because of faulty wiring.  A fire can be started from just one damaged wire.  Long before that happens you will notice signs such as getting shocks, the lights dimming when you use an appliance and breakers tripping on a regular basis.  Never mess around with electricity yourself that is best left to the professionals and on that note here are 5 tips for hiring a residential electrician.

1. Determine the Work You Need Done

Before you start calling electricians you need to determine what the scope of the work is.  If you are building a new house then you need the whole place wired.  If you are flipping a house or renovating yours, let the electrician know whether you need new outlets put in or the wiring upgraded.  If you are calling because you’re having problems with outages or some other problem then describe the problem in detail.  The more information you can give your electrician the better.

2. Get a Couple of Quotes

There are probably a dozen or more qualified electricians in your town that specialize in residential clients.  You want to get at least three different quotes from different electricians, that will give you enough for an average price for the work you need done.  Another thing you need to ask is how long it will take to get the job done.  The job may only half a day but it could be weeks before they have free time to get it done.  Good electricians are in high demand so it could take a while before they can get to you.

3. Choose an Electrician

Before you hire an electrician always do some due diligence and make sure they have all of their licenses, permits and insurance in order.  The electrician should have no problem providing the documentation. You also want to check ratings and online reviews to see what other customers have to say.  Your electrician doesn’t have to be the most personable guy around but he does need to be good at his job.  Check with the BBB in your area to see if there have been any complaints.

4. Get a Quote in Writing

As with any contractor you want to have an agreement in place that includes the scope of the work and the final price for the work.  If you have something in writing in place that reduces the chances of “extra charges” on the final bill. Also if the payment is scheduled out then that should be included on the quote as well.  Some electricians will require a deposit, but if they want the entire amount up front that is a red flag.

5. Go Over the Work

Once the project is completed then you want to have the electrician show you everything that was done. Everything should be up to code mistakes with electrical work are dangerous.

Hiring the right electrician is important, going without electricity is one thing but poorly done electrical work is dangerous.

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How to Put Vinyl Flooring in Your Home

How to Put Vinyl Flooring in Your Home

Putting in your own vinyl flooring is one of those DIY projects that you can tackle on your own.  The idea of putting in your own flooring may scare you at first, start with a small room and once you see how easy it is you will have the confidence to install it anywhere.  Let us show you how to put vinyl flooring in your home, you can get it done on a Saturday afternoon.

Getting Started

To get started the vinyl needs to be at room temperature so that it can be laid properly.  If you have been storing it outside or in the garage then you might want to bring it in the house the night before.  Clear the room of all furniture and find the main wall of the room, the biggest wall with no doors or impediments.  You want to roll out the vinyl from here. You want to see how it looks and if the pattern works.

If everything looks great then it is time to start cutting the vinyl to fit the room.  Leave at least 3 inches overlap when you start cutting the vinyl to fit the room, make sure that everything is covered before you start cutting.  The old saying holds, “measure twice and cut once” if you cut too much off then you have ruined the vinyl and will have to buy a whole new sheet.  You can start cutting the corners first to make sure it will lay nicely against the wall. Here is how to cut the corners so that it fits your room.

Cutting Around Fixtures

Most people don’t want to install their own flooring because they are too intimidated to cut the vinyl around the fixtures like heating vents in the kitchen or toilets in the bathroom.  It isn’t as hard as you think all that you need to do is make your own template of the obstacles, to do that you want some sturdy paper that won’t tear easily.  Start with the front half of the toilet and make a template, grab another piece of paper for a template in the back.  Put both pieces together and you have a pattern you can use to cut the vinyl.  Once you have all of the fixtures cut out then it is time to lay the vinyl.

Laying the Vinyl

Now that you have all of the cuts done for the obstacles on the floor it is time to start laying the vinyl.  You can start by putting down the vinyl adhesive and lay the flooring on top.  You want to keep a utility knife handy, make sure you have fresh sharp blades, dull blades can end up ripping your vinyl.  Make the final cuts with the utility knife up against the wall and trim any excess from around the fixtures.  You will need to let the floor dry before everybody comes walking through the room.

Vinyl flooring is a great addition to your home, it is easy to install, clean and maintain.  It is very affordable compared to other flooring types.  If you’re still not comfortable laying your own vinyl flooring then a flooring contractor can have it done for you in an afternoon.

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5 Reasons to Choose Aluminum Windows

5 Reasons to Choose Aluminum Windows

One of the most common home renovation projects is replacing your windows.  Windows and doors are one of the biggest contributors to the overall design of your home.  They are also going to make up a big part of the budget especially if you are putting on an addition or building your dream home. You want windows that look good, are energy efficient and that last for years.  Aluminum windows fit that bill, here are 5 reasons to choose aluminum windows.

1. The Quality

Aluminum is lightweight yet durable, it is recyclable and one of the most plentiful metals, making it a better choice than other metals or wood framed windows.  The finish is high quality yet it still looks great in any home.

2. The Design

When shopping for windows homeowners look for large panes with very small frames around them.  These types of windows work in both older homes and in new construction.  Since you are using aluminum rather than wood the metal allows for slimmer frames.  Once you have the overall style of the windows chosen now it is time to pick your finishes.  You can choose from a couple of different colors so that your windows blend with the finishes on your home.  You have the option of picking colors for the interior and exterior.

You can also choose how you want the windows to open.  How the windows open will depend on their placement height and the size of the window. Your windows can open outward, parallel, tilt or turn.

3. Home Security

We have all seen the movies and television shows where a burglar breaks into a home by jimmying the windows open.  Good secure windows make that nearly impossible, these windows are durable and strong.  They will meet the security standards of any security system and you can get them with a multi-point locking system.  No one will be getting in your home through your windows.

4. Energy Efficient

If you own an older home with older windows you are losing heat through the windows.  If you have to cover your windows in plastic over the winter to keep your home warm then it is time for more energy efficient windows.  If you live where temperatures drop significantly in the winter you may want to consider triple glazing rather than double.  Another thing to consider is how well your windows block out noise.  If you live in the city with traffic and blaring sirens then look for a product that is noise efficient.

5. The Cost

Lastly we come to your budget for new windows.  You need to balance the other factors in this list against what you can afford to pay.  Don’t overlook the cost of installation as well.  Fortunately aluminum windows not only add value to your property but they are price competitive too.  Check out pricing from a couple of window contractors before you make your decision.

 

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