Category Archives: Glen Miller The Home Doctor

Things to Keep in Mind When Finding a Contractor

A Home Improvement Contractor is defined as any person who possesses or runs a contracting business who, through himself or others, undertakes, reasons to have the capacity to undertake, offers to undertake, or submits a bid for residential contracting work to a homeowner.

A Home Improvement Contracting Registration is governed by M.G.L c. 142A. Contractors who engage in residential contracting agreements with homeowners for work on their primary residence of 4 units or less, are required to register with OCABR. Residential contracting is defined under the law as “the reconstruction, alteration, renovation, repair, modernization, conversion, improvement, removal or demolition or the construction of an addition to any pre-existing, owner-occupied, building containing at least one but not more than four dwelling units.

But before you start flipping through the Yellow Pages and calling every contractor in the book, let’s get your expectations on the right planet. You should expect that in this day and age, skilled contractors are in high demand, good contractors are very, very busy.

This means when you do start buzzing contractors, don’t be amazed that they don’t instantly answer their phones – they are possibly standing on a ladder somewhere with their hands full when you call. Don’t take it personally or shoulder they are not interested in talking to you, but contractors won’t answer their cell phones every time it rings. Continuous disturbances slow down a jobsite. For this reason alone, most contractors wait until they are away from the jobsite before they return your calls.

Whether you work with a common contractor for house remodeling or act as one on your own project, getting a sight into the mind of a contractor can give you a new angle into renovation projects around your home. But what are the things you have to do before you start remodeling your house?

Here are a few things:

  • Interview candidate contractors:

When looking for contractors for house remodeling it is very important to get into the mind of contractors so that you know that they are able to do what you want and that they understand what you exactly want.

  • Do not delay your decisions:

If you want that your remodel goes well never delay decisions. Make sure that everything has already been planned out by you so that there is no hustle at the time you start your work and by that nothing will be left behind.

  • Don’t change your mind again and again:

Not everyone changes mind again and again but if you are one of those people who does then remember that every time you will change your mind a new order will have to be executed. Although to you the changes might seem minor but there are always added and hidden expenses which will show on later. So always be very sure about what you want to do at the first place. Do all the research and then execute.

  • Don’t work without a design:

The most important thing to remember when home remodeling is that never work without a design. Believe me it will result in devastation of all the resources and stuff. Make sure you have a pretty and a good sorted out design and all the design considerations.

The Home Doctor, based in Livingston County including Brighton and Howell Michigan, offers a variety of home renovations to clients ranging from bathroom remodeling to age in place home modifications.  Contact http://glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/ today all of your home renovating needs.

Renovation Contractors Advice for Smooth Home Improvements

Home improvement renovations often don’t go as planned.  It is difficult without forethought and proper planning to stay on task and within budget.  There are a number of things that homeowners can do to help their renovation contractor to ensure a smooth renovation that sticks within the time table and budget allotted.

Top Advice from Contractors

Make Timely Decisions:  One thing that homeowners can do to make renovation projects smoother is to make decisions regarding the job ahead of time.  Most projects are delayed because of decisions related to the materials needed for the job.  Many times renovations will be going along smoothly until it comes time to finalize something simple like the color paint that should be used.

Don’t let what should be a simple decision derail your entire timeline.  By making the decisions ahead of time you allow contractors to schedule sub-contractors in a timely fashion.  When you change something as simple as the faucet to be installed after the renovation has begun the whole project can be thrown off.  If the faucet needs to be ordered and the order is delayed this will throw off when the plumber can come in and so on.  A change in something so small can throw a project off by a few weeks.  Make decisions at the beginning of the renovation and stick with them.

Leave Purchasing Materials To The Contractor:  Buying your own materials might seem like a great way to save money.  The truth is that yes, contractors do have to mark up materials but after the discount contractors receive the price they pass on to the homeowner will still be less than what they would cost at a home improvement store.

Renovations Only Go So Far:  Many times homeowners have million dollar dreams for a hundred thousand dollar house.  This is a big mistake that many people make.  The idea in a renovation is to improve the enjoyment homeowners receive out of their home.  The problem comes that comes in to play is that some homes max out their potential.  Also be careful where you spend your renovation dollars.  If your foundation is sinking then investing money into fancy cupboards is fruitless.  If you are in an area with ranch homes an upper level addition may not recoup its cost.

It is crucial that homeowners and renovation contractors have the ability to have an open dialogue throughout the remodeling process.  It is important that homeowners feel like their input is important but equally as important that they let the contractor do their job without being too much of a distraction.

The Home Doctor, based in Livingston County including Brighton and Howell Michigan, offers a variety of home renovations to clients ranging from bathroom remodeling to age in place home modifications.  Contact http://glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/ today all of your home renovating needs.

Follow These Tips When Hiring A Professional Contractor

There are times when hiring a contractor to take on home renovations rather than doing it yourself.  If this is the case it is important to choose the right contractor to work with.  A contractor that is subpar can lead to a number of problems down the road.  The guidelines below are helpful when looking to hire a professional contractor to do work on your home.

  • First things first, it is important to always trust your gut instincts when hiring people that will be working in close contact with your family. A contractor that is hired to do a renovation project will be working in your home for weeks or possibly months depending on the size of the job.  If you don’t feel comfortable around the contractor that is reason enough not to hire them.
  • Check to make sure that the contractor is licensed, bonded and insured. These accolades give credibility to the contractor’s knowledge and abilities to provide home renovation services.  If a contractor is not insured the liability resides on you as the homeowner.  If they or someone they employ is hurt while working on your homes project then the liability falls to you, the homeowner.
  • Contractors are known to specialize in the services they provide. While some contractors are jacks of all trades like a handyman there are some that offer special talents in kitchen, bathroom or basement design as a specialty.  If your renovation is of a specific nature seek to find a contractor that specializes in the renovation you are seeking.
  • Before any work is performed be sure to have a contract in place. A contract is between the homeowner and contractor to specify what work is to be done, what materials are to be used, a time frame and a detailed list of costs involved.  Most contracts on projects of any length with break down the costs that are associated with each stage of the project and go into further detail concerning expectations.
  • When hiring a contractor it is important to understand the scope at which they will be providing services verse members of their crew. If they will be hiring out individual contractors to work on plumbing or electrical it is important that they note that upfront.
  • Any contractor that you employ should be willing to work within a reasonable set of guidelines put in place. For instance, it is reasonable to state that you desire work to be performed within a specified time frame during the day.  If you only want a contractor to perform services from 9:30 to 4:00 it is reasonable to expect that to be obliged.  Note this may cost you extra because of the additional length of time to complete the project but is well within reasonable guidelines.
  • Define what responsibilities fall on you as the homeowner verse what is expected out of the contractor. Who is in charge of removing obstructions that may hinder work that needs to be done such as furniture or fencing?  This should be in writing to ensure that each party knows their responsibilities upfront.

Hiring a contractor to do renovations around your home is not any easy task and should not be done in haste.  It is true that you get out the effort you put into things.  Take time to find a local contractor with a proven track record to complete renovations around your home.

The Home Doctor, based in Livingston County including Brighton and Howell Michigan, offers a variety of home renovations to clients ranging from bathroom remodeling to age in place home modifications.  Contact http://glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/ today all of your home renovating needs.

Home Improvement Trends For 2017

Are you thinking about putting your house up for sale during the next peak selling season?  If you are considering this it is time to think about inexpensive trends to incorporate into home improvements that you are contemplating right now.  When you put your house on the market the goal is to make the home appeal to the most buyers possible.  This can be done by creating a more general environment that offers less personalization and more generalization to the space.

Homeowners considering new appliances will want to consider some of the newer finishes available.  Even if you prefer white or black it is imperative that if your plan is to leave the appliances with the home that you consider upgrading to matte or stainless steel finishes.  Matte appliances are quickly outweighing the popularity of stainless steel but both are still preferred over colored appliances.  Matte finishes on appliances are great for families as they hide fingerprints, dirt and smudges that other finishes don’t.

Another popular home improvement project that is in style is cork flooring.  Cement flooring has had its day in the sun but quickly is being replaced with cushioned flooring options.  Cork is popular because it is compliments a variety of home environments.  It is offered in a variety of styles and color options.

As flooring trends go, in 2017 shag and pile carpeting will be viewed as outdated with a more popular option being cut and loop carpet.  Textures and patterns in carpet will be popular as well.  If you decide on using texture and pattern in flooring remember to remain neutral and complimentary on the walls, counter and furniture.  This will keep the home from becoming too personalized and keep it neutral for buyers to be able to visualize themselves in the space.

Technology is another popular trend that people are looking to incorporate into home improvement, especially in lighting.  Circadian lighting is a popular upgrade that is helping to sell homes to modern day buyers.  This type of lighting is in sync with the rhythm of our bodies.  The technology communicated with a phone to allow the homeowner to control the temperature settings throughout the day.  Homeowners can set the day lighting to be warmer and whiter while fading to an orange glow in the evening for a calmer more relaxed lighting option.

Water quality is another trend that has become more important to new buyers as well.  If you are looking to increase the attractiveness of your home a great way to do this is with an improved whole-home water filtration system.  This is a trend that goes right along with the popularity we have seen in previous years for home to be more eco-friendly.

The Home Doctor, based in Livingston County including Brighton and Howell Michigan, offers a variety of home renovations to clients ranging from bathroom remodeling to age in place home modifications.  Contact http://glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/ today all of your home renovating needs.

Tips When Hiring A Handyman

Many of us are not handy when it comes to even the smallest home improvement project.  This is why it is important to have a professional handyman on speed dial at all times.  In order to get the most out of hiring a handyman consider the advice below.

Get organized and maintain an ongoing list of work that needs to be accomplished.  This will allow you to maximize the work that is done when the handyman is at your home.  When it comes to the repairs and work needed on your home be upfront with your expectations.  Handyman services vary between companies and therefore it is important to make sure what you need is something that can be accomplished using the individual you have contracted.  If your request is not within the services that they offer they will be more than happy to refer you to someone who can handle your request.

When hiring a handyman look no further than friends and family for referrals.  Most handymen businesses are grown based on word of mouth alone.  If the person you are looking to hire can’t provide at least three local references then pass on them.  Any good handyman will have a large handful of regular clients that use their services on an ongoing basis.

As with any contractor working within your home or business it is crucial that they are not only licensed and insured but also bonded.  If they are injured on your property while performing work for you it is important that they have insurance otherwise you will be fully liable.

Before you allow a handyman to perform any work within your home make sure you get a signed, written estimate that includes both the cost of labor and materials.  Reputablehandyman will be able to estimate jobs within ten percent.  Make it clear to potential handyman that you are looking to hire that you understand this fact and aren’t interested in any low ball estimates.

You have to be one hundred percent comfortable with this individual as they will be working in your home close to your family.  It is pertinent that you are not only comfortable with their work and pricing but also their demeanor.

Establish a detailed schedule of when work is to be accomplished.  It should include when work is to start, an estimate on finishing with check in points throughout the project.  This schedule should be agreed upon between both parties to avoid any miscommunication in what is to be done.

Finally ask about guarantees on materials and craftsmanship.  If the handyman you are looking to hire does not offer any type of satisfaction guarantee then avoid hiring them.  You should get in writing a statement of from the handyman ensuring that they will take care of quality issues and workmanship failures for a specific amount of time, free of extra charge.

 

The Home Doctor, based in Livingston County including Brighton and Howell Michigan, offers a variety of home renovations to clients ranging from bathroom remodeling to age in place home modifications.  Contact http://glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/ today all of your home renovating needs.

The Challenges In Home Remodeling

There are many challenges that homeowners face when doing remodeling whether it is a big renovation like the kitchen or something smaller like painting a room.  Avoid allowing your home improvements to become an emotional or financial burden for you or your family.  Below are the top stressors to both contractors and homeowners when it comes to taking on any sized home improvement project.

Making Too Many Changes To The Original Plan

It is important to understand that every time a contractor needs to make an adjustment to the original renovation plan that it will increase the time and money that is being spent on the project.  After the construction process has begun, any change in the materials, design or such will lead to longer lead times and increases in costs.

Miscommunication

Miscommunication can occur at a multitude of levels during home improvement projects.  Whether it is between a couple, the material supplier, the contractor or a combination of the three, a failure to communicate can cause a great deal of stress.  Prior to beginning any home improvement projects discuss the chain of command for the renovation.  Clearly set up a path that communication should follow and adhere to it in order to avoid confusion and delay with the project.

Not Following A Budget and Ignoring The Cost Of Materials

Before beginning any renovation have a set budget that clearly defines the amount of money that is to be spent on materials and labor.  Without a set budget in place contractors do not know the limitations to put on material costs and such.  This leaves a lot of room for error between the amounts that the homeowner wanted to spend verse what the contractor is expecting.  One way around this is to define a budget and meet weekly to ensure that expenses are staying in line with expectations.

Lacking a Timeline

Frustration often occurs when a timeline for the project’s completion is not in place.  An experienced contractor should have a solid idea of how long a renovation should take to complete.  When there is a delay in the project it is important that the line of communication is kept open to avoid any resentment about the changing time frame.

Taking On Too Much At One Time

Some homeowners try to take on too many projects at one time.  If at all possible don’t take on a number of renovations all at once.  It is difficult enough to manage one at a time let alone multiple different projects.  Take your time when it comes to home improvement projects and don’t take on too much.  Even when you hire a professional contractor, taking on more than one project can lead to big problems.

The Home Doctor, based in Livingston County including Brighton and Howell Michigan, offers a variety of home renovations to clients ranging from bathroom remodeling to age in place home modifications.  Contact http://glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/ today all of your home renovating needs.

Home Improvements and Their Return On Investment

Every update done to your home has a return on investment at resale that should be considered before tackling it.  Below you will find the average ROI you can expect when contracting popular home renovations.

  • Minor Bathroom Updates Average ROI 102% – Renovations to a bathroom that do not include redoing electrical or plumbing range around eleven thousand dollars. This includes replacing the tub, tile surround, flooring, toilet, sink, vanity and fixtures.   If the tub is going to be too difficult to replace consider updating the tub by re-glazing the surface.  Fresh glaze allows a tub to appear brand new.  A fresh coat of paint and updated shower curtain or doors really add to the any bathroom renovation.
  • Updated, Simplified Landscaping Average ROI 100% – Hiring a landscape designer really pays off when it comes to landscaping. For the most part it is safe plan three quarters of your budget for materials and one quarter on the design and installation.  Check around your neighborhood to determine what is appealing to the exterior of homes that are similar to yours.  A bit of color can really enhance the landscape.  For a grand impact choose one color and vary the heights of the landscape plants.   Don’t allow the landscape to become overgrown.  Keep it charming and simple.  Walkways and water features are other attractive features that add interest and visual appeal.
  • Minor Kitchen Renovations Average ROI 98.5% -Most kitchens can be completely renovated without changing the floor plan of the space. To maximize your renovation dollars re-face cabinets and drawers, change out the sink and fixtures, cabinet hardware, flooring and countertops.  Additional lighting will add substantially to the kitchen.   The overall value of your home before the minor renovation will also determine the materials you should use.  For homes over three hundred thousand dollars can be updated with higher valued materials like granite, glass and stone.  Consider your flooring choice as well depending once again on the value of the home.
  • Exterior Improvements Average ROI 95.5% – The curb appeal of your home really sells itself. Updates to the siding can really change the appearance of your home while helping to lower maintenance.  Wood siding requires real maintenance whereas vinyl siding only really requires a spring power washing every other year.  Another renovation that contractors suggest when updating your home’s exterior is the addition of a new entry door.  Fresh paint to exterior columns can really freshen up the space as well.  Add some seating and lighting to really add to the return on investment of your exterior renovation.

The Home Doctor, based in Livingston County including Brighton and Howell Michigan, offers a variety of home renovations to clients ranging from bathroom remodeling to age in place home modifications.  Contact http://glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/ today all of your home renovating needs.

Handyman Renovations Under $500

There are so many things that can be done to increase the appeal of a home without breaking the bank.  Below are seven of the best home improvements that local handymen can be hired out for less than five hundred dollars.

The first improvement that is always suggested by contractors has to do with increasing the curb appeal of your home.  For less than five hundred dollars homeowners can hire a handyman for the day to do just that.  Increasing curb appeal is going to involve different tasks for every home however the following improvements should be considered when seeking to increase your homes curb appeal:

  • Exterior Pressure Washing
  • Wash Exterior Windows and Screens
  • Repair Broken Concrete Sidewalks and Steps
  • Update The Mailbox
  • Edge The Lawn
  • Trim Bushes
  • Pull Weeds
  • Freshen Up Mulch

Another inexpensive home improvement that makes a big difference comes with the entryway of your home.  For less than five hundred dollars you can replace the front door, add some color to the entry, update light fixtures and add an entry door rug.  Contractors all say that the little enhancements to the home’s exterior appearance do a lot to add to the attraction of your property.  A well kept exterior translates into a home that is taken care of.

If you have five hundred dollars for home renovations another huge renovation that can be done that does a lot to increase the homes overall presences is repairing and painting the interior walls.  Handymen are often called in to freshen up interior paint.  A fresh coat on the walls and trim can really transform a room.  Don’t forget the ceiling!

Just like a new necklace can transform an old outfit lighting can change up a room.  A little pizzazz can be added throughout your home my switching up the style of lighting fixtures that are installed.  For less than five hundred dollars you should be able to budget for lighting upgrades and fresh light bulbs to almost every room in your home.  Larger fixtures such as ones you would find in a kitchen or foyer will take up the majority of the budget.  For these pieces consider looking for ideas outside the normal.  Online sites offer a great deal of large scaled budget lighting options that can be fairly inexpensive to reproduce.

No matter what home renovation that you choose there is a lot that can be done by hiring a professional handyman for the day.  For less than five hundred dollars it is possible to hire a local handyman once a year to add a different perspective to a space that needs some wow factor added.

The Home Doctor, based in Livingston County including Brighton and Howell Michigan, offers a variety of home renovations to clients ranging from bathroom remodeling to age in place home modifications.  Contact http://glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/ today all of your home renovating needs.

Projects That Add Value to Your Home

Kitchen Renovations: The kitchen is the main hub of the home.  Updates within the kitchen go a long way in increasing the value of the property and building your homes equity.  When you invest in the kitchen it is possible to recoup around sixty to one hundred and twenty percent of the investment that was put into the home improvement project.  The kitchen renovations should be kept within reason; don’t ever make the kitchen more impressive than the rest of the home or homes within the neighborhood.   Avoid the mistakes below:

1) Stop over Upgrading: Don’t invest sixty thousand dollars in a kitchen in a neighborhood that is full of first time home buyers with houses in the low hundred thousand.  The investment will not pay out in the end.  The style, size and quality of the kitchen remodel should remain similar to those in the neighborhood.

2) Paint is Important: Kitchens are easily freshened up with a coat of fresh paint.  Paint is relatively cheap and an update in color can really clean up the kitchen.  Make sure the color of the paint is a neutral color that can allow buyers to see themselves within the space.

3) Eco-Friendly Appliances: Energy efficiency is important in all home improvements but especially crucial when it comes to updating your kitchen appliances.  Appliances with energy star ratings are not only good for the environment but are also less expensive for potential buyers to operate.

4) Bathroom Upgrades:  A bathroom renovation is another terrific way to invest in your home.  Adding a bathroom or updating an existing bathroom is a home improvement many homeowners chose.  A new bathroom can recoup anywhere from eighty to one hundred thirty percent of the investment made.  Again, be careful that you don’t over upgrade.  Don’t invest in overly expensive faucets or tubs.  The renovation style should stay in line with that of the overall home while noting other bathroom additions in neighborhood homes

5) Reinvent a Room: Take a space within the home and reinvent it.  Finish a basement, upgrade an attic or improve the space above the garage to add additional square foot to your home.  Consider potential uses for the space before beginning the renovation process.  Rooms that are versatile are a great bonus to potential buyers.  Basements can be transformed into extra living space that can be used as a living room, playroom or apartment for rent.  Attic spaces are great additional spaces for craft rooms, play rooms and more.  Usually an attic space will be renovated to accentuate the higher ceilings.

These are just a few of the ways to make home improvements that will bring value to your home when you go to sell it later on down the road.

The Home Doctor, based in Livingston County including Brighton and Howell Michigan, offers a variety of home renovations to clients ranging from bathroom remodeling to age in place home modifications.  Contact http://glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/ today all of your home renovating needs.

Home Improvements That Pay Off

Certain home improvements yield a higher value than others.  The first thing that comes to mind when going for renovations that increase the equity seems to always be kitchen remodels.  More important than a new kitchen is those basic home maintenance items such as a new roof, updated siding, fresh paint, basically any renovation that keeps maintenance low and appeal high.

Sometimes home improvements are needed instead of wanted.  As a handyman I have installed many new furnaces when homeowners dreamed of countertops of granite and showers that steam.  Often times as a contractor I need to remind homeowners that reliable furnaces and dry basements are far more important than updated kitchens and luxury bathrooms.

As a handyman I talk to a ton of real estate agents, architects and other contractors.  We all agree that buyers can’t get past a roof that leaks however can get over a kitchen that would seat more people with the addition of an island.  Homeowners are more likely to recoup their investment with the addition of new siding.  Replacing the siding recoups around ninety three percent of its cost, replacing the roof and windows return about eighty percent or more.

Home buyers often take basic home systems for granted.  When an offer is put in on a home it is expected that when the inspector checks the home out that the roof will not leak, the plumbing works, and heating and air conditioning systems are in order.  Basic home maintenance items will eat up a new homeowner’s budget quickly; in reality however they desire to use their financial resources to update the aesthetics of the home.  Maintenance items within the home can quickly eat away at a homeowners updating budget quicker than quick.

If 2016 is the year that you are thinking of finally get to the home improvements you have been putting off here are a few things to keep in mind.

  • What are you going to get back on your investment? How does the value of your home relate to others within the area?  If you live in a neighborhood where your home is already going for top dollar it is going to be difficult to get money back on any of your home renovations.  Installing a ten thousand dollar garage addition to create a three car garage where two car garages are the norm may not be the best investment for your renovating dollars.
  • If homes in the area have only one bathroom it may not make sense to increase the number of bathrooms in your home. A bathroom renovation can cost anywhere between nine and twelve thousand dollars.  Adding another bathroom to a neighborhood where one bath is the norm may not yield that expense in increased home equity.

It is important to understand that not all renovations are created equally.  Handymen that tell you anything other than that are lying.  Yes, you may want an in-ground pool but be sure that you know you may not get your money back out of the investment; be sure it is worth it for you.  If the value you will receive from the renovation is greater than the amount you will be able to recoup go for it!

The Home Doctor, based in Livingston County including Brighton and Howell Michigan, offers a variety of home renovations to clients ranging from bathroom remodeling to age in place home modifications.  Contact http://glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/ today all of your home renovating needs.