Checking a General Contractor’s Credibility

In constructing a building, regardless if it is for a place of business or a place of residence, you have to place great importance in the word “reliable”.

You have to get building materials with reliable quality. And of course, you have to hire reliable workers.

General Contractor

You have to carefully check the credibility of the general contractor you have to hire before you sign the papers and close the deal with them.

In checking a general contractor’s credibility, you have to know what to look for and you have to find out how to check properly – or else, you might unknowingly be putting your trust and money into someone who would scam you or deliver subpar work quality.

There are many ways you can check the reputation of a contractor. One of the easiest ways is to simply check the internet for reviews. Be mindful of checking reviews from the actual company where your contractor works because they might only be showing positive reviews. You can research extensively and check blogs or forums. Sometimes, unhappy clients vent their dissatisfaction online and you might just come across something warning you about your potential contractor. You can also check their educational background and make sure they have the necessary skills and education for the job. The National Construction Safety Officer (NCSO) course is a good start.

Another way is to ask for a list of reference from your contractor. Ask for the most recent ones as well as old ones. Then, visit these old clients to see if their house still looks good and sturdy years after it was built. As for the most recent ones, you can visit their homes, too and ask questions regarding the professionalism of the contractor or any problem that they may have encountered during construction.

Checking the Better Business Bureau or BBB will also give you an insight of what to expect from your contractor. The BBB will let you know of any pending cases filed against any contractor or building company.

Home Renovations to Improve Energy Efficiency

There are a lot of different reasons thousands (if not millions) of homeowners all over the world have their homes renovated or upgraded. Some simply want to update the boring design of their home, others want to build additions to suit the needs of a growing family, and other homeowners renovate their houses to fix some damages.

 

If you will soon have your home renovated, you might want to make some adjustments that will make your home energy efficient. Conserving energy consumption in your household won’t only be good for the environment, but it will also help you cut down on your energy bills.

 

When you plan your next renovation, don’t forget your windows. If you are planning to replace your windows anyway, see if you can switch to energy efficient windows. Modern energy efficient windows usually have sturdier frames than traditional windows. You can also go for windows with double glazing save on energy more effectively. If replacement of windows is not on your list, you could at least have them looked at, if they are still tightly sealed and aren’t leaking in any way.

 

Air leak is a common culprit for energy waste in your home. Have a professional check the entire ventilation system, check your insulation pipes as well.

 

Wasted energy doesn’t only refer to the air leaking from your home, it could also refer to water leaking or water that is wasted. Find out if you can switch to water efficient toilets and water saving shower heads. Check for any problem in your plumbing, too.

 

It will help you save on energy a lot if you can have the insulation in your walls and ceilings improved. Better insulation means that the temperature you want setting inside your home will be retained for a longer period of time – you don’t have to make adjustments to your heating or cooling system frequently.

Wooden VS Brick Home

There are a variety of building materials you can choose from in constructing your own home. Wood or timber and bricks are among the most popular options when it comes to building materials for residential structures.

Brick Home

In choosing between the two, it’s important to remember that each has its own strength and weakness; and in order to know whether wood or brick is best for you, you have to find out these strengths and witnesses.

 

Wood

 

Strengths

Wood is generally faster to install for builders because of its lightweight.

Insulation can be easily installed in a wooden house

High quality and thick wood can last for a very long time

Eco-friendly

Depending on the type of wood, this material can easily be available

Wood is more affordable than brick

Wood can easily be modified or removed if you want your home renovated

 

Weaknesses

If not treated, wood can be vulnerable to rotting or decay

Wood can expand or warp depending on the weather

 

Brick

 

Strengths

Bricks are extremely durable and will perform excellently against storm and strong winds

Bricks are resistant to rotting, fire, and water

Eco-friendly

Bricks can last for centuries

 

Weaknesses

Bricks can chip or crack in case of an earthquake, unlike wood, which is pliable

Bricks are heavy and will take a long time to install

Brick materials are expensive

It can be very hard to remove if you want to demolish it for home renovation

 

Aside from these important properties of wood and brick that you have to watch out for, there are some other matters you have to factor in as well, such as the availability of workers in your area who are capable of installing the materials you want using. For instance, there are locations where most contractors are only specializing in working with bricks and regions where workers are experts in using wood. You don’t want your money wasted in buying a material no professional near your area can install expertly.

 

Building a Firewall For Your Home

For anyone wanting to have their very own dream house built, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if the home style and design would be the first things that come to mind in envisioning or planning the construction.

Firewall

But, aside from beautiful home designs, one of the most important features of your home that is worth planning is its longevity and ability to withstand certain potential destructive factors such as earthquakes, hurricanes, fire, and so on.

 

Building a firewall should be as vital as building any prominent part of your home.

 

Firewalls are walls especially made to be resistant to fire for a specific time period – giving you time to save your valuables (if not to extinguish the fire entirely) before the entire house gets burned.

 

There are various types of firewalls, and there are certain types that have the highest levels of fire resistance, which can be ideal for areas where incidents of fire are most likely to take place.

 

Adding a firewall to your home would be a very wise move, not only for your own safety but could also help if you are planning to sell your house in the future. Some people actually look for firewalls before purchasing a home.

 

Firewalls are often built between two rooms, this is to control the fire to an area in your home and prevent it from spreading quickly. Some homes have firewalls in between the main house and an addition or an extension, such as a garage.

 

If you already have a firewall in your home, it is crucial that you keep a watchful eye for any damage to it. A small crack or even a tiny hole can be extremely dangerous because it could allow the fire to get in. Therefore, if you notice any damage to your firewall, no matter how superficial you think it might be, have it looked into professionally.