Wicked and Wonderful Halloween Decorations to Buy and Make »
Ideas and inspiration to get your tomb sweet tomb ready for the spookiest day of the year.
Ideas and inspiration to get your tomb sweet tomb ready for the spookiest day of the year.
Whether your home needs a complete renovation, or a room needs to be repaired, there are some things to know before you hire.
Home security comprises a number of different technologies, tools and techniques. Choose one that fits your needs and your budget.
I had a great experience. I showed up to buy a futon and had already found what I was pretty sure what I wanted from their website beforehand. When I mentioned it to the sales representatives they weren't aware of the particular item (the specific Mattress) I was talking about. Regardless, they took the time to lookup and find what it was that I wanted and were able to provide me with a lot more information than I had been able to find on my own. Apparently, their inventory changes quite frequently and due to their enormous selection it's hard to stay on top of it all. If you've ever been inside their show room you'd understand. They were very knowledeable about everything else that they had in the store which helped me to make the most informed decision. To top it all off, they couldn't have been friendlier or more professional and the entire process truly was very smooth, stress-free and very enjoyable. A special, 'thank you,' to both Renee and Terry for all of your outstanding help. I highly recommend.
My wife and I went to China Town, on Thurs. 6/1 and were greeted by Cassidy Backus, a design consultant, with a smile and very cordially asked if she could help us! We were interested in looking at a recliner sofa and a chair. She spent a while helping us thru the tremendous selections and gave us all the information we needed without any pressure to buy as we were only looking that day. Very helpful! We had several quotes from 2 other stores and decided to return on Friday 6/2 and met Cassidy who spent about an hour for my wife to decide on a sofa. I had already found the recliner chair, that fit me very good, which Cassidy had shown me on Thursday. We finally decided on the sofa and she made everything so easy when we made the final purchase. I would strongly recommend China Town to anyone because they have quality products and personnel to make you feel valued!
My husband and I had a great experience at Dunk and Bright. Marie was very helpful and patient with us as we made our selections. Will definitely go back in the future and ask for Marie!! Thank you!
I drove an hour to see if the great customer service I received over the web from Erin was the same in the store - D&B did not disappoint. I was greeted warmly by the front desk and helped by Mary Grace. She was knowledgeable, pleasant and efficient. We had an idea of what we wanted and Mary Grace was a big help with ideas that complemented and enhanced our vision.Even though there are many furniture stores closer geographically, D&B distinguished themselves with service that will probably bring us back.
I had a great experience! I recommend this place to everyone. They have great furniture and really affordable prices. The sales representative that helped me was very pleasant. Her name is Dalcy. She is very patient and polite! I will go back there to do more shopping in the near future.
I worked with Denise in order to find a mattress for my first apartment! She was absolutely wonderful because she showed me some wonderful products within my price range! I would do it again in a heartbeat
Kaylene was very knowledgeable and professional answered all our questions. We will definitely come back. Thank you for your service. Julie K
Great little gift shop. All made in the USA with fantastic prices. Your getting great quality without the high price tag like other gift shops.
Will never buy another piece of furniture from this store. I bought a couch and was told a date it would be available for pick up and after I arranged a truck to pick it up I was told that I was given the wrong date and that it wouldn't be delivered for a MONTH after I payed for the couch. When I asked when it would be available there response was they won't know until the truck comes. So I can even arrange for someone to help me pick it up. I am very I unsatisfied with the customer service at this store and will never shop there again.
Went into the store to buy a sectional and found one I was very pleased with. I purchased the sectional put a down payment and arrange for delivery for two weeks. I was told I would recieve a call to confirm my order and to be notified of any problems. I recieved a call early the following week, saying they have my order and would be there on time. Well as luck would have it I get a called the day before delivery telling me the item is not available for delivery and the person didnt know why. I called called the following day to have someone tell me the "cup holders are on back order" for my sectional, and it would now be 4 weeks for delievery. I decided to wait it out. 4 weeks go by and not one call from Dunk & Bright. Going into the 5th week I decide to call and speak with a manager. He does some research into the matter and tells me that the 'LANE' company has run out of fabric??? I them tell him how I was told it was cupholders, he responds with "Well it might be cupholders, I looked up the order and it said back ordered so I assumed fabric." So what he did was make up some random excuse. He then says well Im authorised to take 100 bucks off your order for the hassle. (which is a laughable 2.5%) Then says my order is still another 3 weeks out. Meaning from time of order to a POSSIBLE delivery I was looking at 9-10 weeks!!!! I said well I dont think 100 is fair if it wasnt for me calling you guys I still wouldnt know anything, And if someone would like to do better than 100 bucks off I would like to hear it and consider it, otherwise I would like to cancel my order. The manager said no more asked for my credit card number and gave me back my deposit. In my experience this was the WORST service of its kind!!!! Didnt even try to make me happy for a possible repeat sale! I worked in retail for a hardware store for 8 yrs and this kind of service would never happen. You always make the customer happy. How many customers talk about happy experiences about stores to their friends??? Now think of how many poor service experiences you hear about.... and you best believe I will spread the word of what happened to me!
There has perhaps never been a better tool for do-it-yourself home handymen than the internet. With detailed instructions and videos explaining how to perform a number of common maintenance and renovation tasks around a house, an untrained homeowner might be surprised at how much he or she can accomplish with a quick search online. But even with all of this information, there are still many jobs that lie far outside the scope of most DIY enthusiasts. General contractors are there to fill in this gap.
A general contractor specializes in seeing a home remodel or repair project through from start to finish. To do this, the contractor works with the client - whether they are a homeowner or business - to nail down the scope of the work. Then he or she will turn to one or more subcontractors for specific tasks, like equipment operation, design, electrical work or whatever else is needed.
In essence, general contractors could be thought of as middlemen between a homeowner or business owner and any number of specialists. To get their money's worth, many assume they should just "cut out the middleman" and hire specialists directly, but this often proves more difficult in practice. General contractors won't be completing an entire project by themselves, but should have a long list of dependable experts who can work together and accomplish any task. They might also serve as the manager on the site of a construction project, overseeing workers and providing guidance and assistance when needed. For larger projects, though, the contractor might only handle administrative matters and employ a foreman or other professional for on-site supervision.
There are many general contractors who also specialize in certain tasks themselves. There is usually at least one general contractor on hand to organize the construction of an entire home, for example. But general contractors could also help a homeowner add an additional bedroom, build an in-ground pool or complete a major landscaping project. They could also work with a business to add or improve office space, whether that means making more room or converting a commercial building from a nail salon to a restaurant. Basically, if it's a job that involves building or repairing, a general contractor probably knows how to get it done.
No matter what the exact job may be, a contractor will probably need to accomplish several other essential tasks in pursuit of the ultimate goal, which may include:
Every general contractor performing any kind of work on a project must be licensed to do so in their state. The guidelines for the specifics on licensing vary from state to state. Some states might only require registration of contractors, which is different from licensing. Registration typically means that there must be a written record of what work is being performed and by whom, but it does not guarantee professional knowledge. Licensing, on the other hand, involves an examination process to assess professional competence.
Whether your state requires licensing or registration of contractors, there should be a record of most professionals willing to complete certain projects in your area. Check your state or county website for more information. In states that require licensing, every licensed contractor's contact information is available online or from another public source.
Not every project needs to be completed by a licensed or registered contractor. If it's just a minor job that won't take more than a day or two, and will cost less than a few hundred dollars, it's likely not necessary to find a licensed or registered contractor. However, anything bigger or more expensive, or a project involving plumbing or electrical work, needs to be completed by a licensed or registered professional.
General contractors also must be covered by an insurance policy. This should include liability coverage for any property damage that could be inflicted in the course of a job. It should also include a worker's compensation policy in case anyone is injured on the job. Before hiring a contractor for anything, ask for written proof of this insurance to see exactly what is covered.
A number of trade associations for contractors in the U.S. exist. Some of the biggest include:
Most trade associations for general contractors will provide references for anyone looking to hire a contractor for a specific project. They may also provide a number of benefits for their members, including assistance with licensing, training, insurance and business development.
No matter what you need accomplished, you want to choose a contractor who can get the job done right at a reasonable price. Obviously, this is easier said than done, but there are a few steps you can take to ensure you find a trustworthy general contractor.
The first, and perhaps most reliable, way to find a general contractor is to ask friends and family members for a recommendation. If you know anyone who has had major work done on their home, particularly if it's a similar job, ask them who they hired and if they were pleased with the result. You could also ask neighbors about who they've hired if you notice work being done on their house. Many remodeling contractors post signs in front of homes to advertise their services. As a general rule, it's rarely a good idea to hire a contractor who solicits work by going door to door.
If you are considering hiring a contractor without a personal recommendation, ask the contractor for references from past clients, and do as much background research on them as possible. Look for any complaints (or compliments) online to get a better idea of their track record. There are a number of websites specializing in connecting contractors with people or businesses who need work done. These sites may also allow past clients to submit their own reviews of the contractor.
Before hiring a contractor, make sure you are both in agreement on the project's budget. It's normal for most contractors to charge clients a premium not only for the labor expenses and zoning expertise, but for acquiring the materials as well. Be as clear and concise as possible regarding what you'll be purchasing yourself and what you will be paying the contractor to complete. Homeowners may be able to find a better deal on raw materials when they purchase these directly, but they first need to be sure they aren't buying the wrong things.
Don't forget to discuss how the project will be finalized and what will be done about cleanup. Plans for how the work site will be cleaned at the end of each day as well as at the conclusion of work need to be put in writing. An experienced general contractor should make every effort to keep the workspace clean and prevent dirtying or damaging any other area. Even so, talk with the contractor about the daily schedule, the logistics of transporting workers and equipment, and how cleanup will be handled.
As previously mentioned, you need to make sure to follow any state and local regulations regarding construction work, which includes hiring a licensed or registered general contractor. Ask the contractor for proof of their certification before signing anything, as well as their proof of insurance. You should also check your homeowners insurance policy to see if they offer coverage for contracted work. You may want to call your insurance provider and ask for more details on what your plan will and won't cover.
Perhaps the best way to feel safe about a contractor and the work being done is to hire a contractor you trust. This is why relying on personal references from friends and family is so important, and will often provide a great deal of peace of mind. If you aren't able to obtain a reference, work to conduct extensive research on the contractor as well as the work you are hiring them to perform. This should bring everyone's expectations into alignment and result in a safe work environment.
Before any money changes hands, there should be a contract to sign. Make sure the specifics of the work to be done and all costs are listed in the contract, right down to the most precise details. If you forget to have something included in the contract after signing it, there's rarely a chance of recourse.
Once the specifics of the job are nailed down, be sure to discuss the payment schedule with the contractor. This is important because paying too much up front offers the homeowner minimal leverage if the quality of work does not meet expectations or contractual specifications. Try to establish a reasonable pay schedule with the contractor, such as paying 10 percent of the total cost for each 10 percent of the work that is completed. It's a good idea to include this payment plan in the contract as well.
Finally, look into getting a lien release signed before work begins. If there is ever a dispute regarding payment over the course of the project, a contractor or subcontractor could place a payment claim, or lien, on your property. This can trigger a long legal process that may be frustrating. To avoid this, ask the contractor to sign a lien release, which is a legal agreement that states that any payment accepted is final. This can come in handy if a contractor has his or her own payment issues with their subcontractors. Signing a lien release form certifies that any payment made by a client to the contractor is enough to pay for any goods or services rendered. A lien dispute could also be prevented by performing due diligence prior to picking a contractor, as any contractor with good credit and a long track record of satisfied clients should have no trouble paying for materials and labor once all contract conditions have been met.
Once work is underway, it's never a bad idea to check up on the progress of the job, either by staying in touch with the contractor over the phone or visiting the site in person. If you work with a trustworthy professional, it's probably best to keep your distance and allow everyone to stay busy. If you want to keep an eye on things, make sure workers wear the right safety gear and that everything looks to be moving along according to schedule. Finally, once work is finished and you are satisfied, be sure to thank your contractor and tell friends or family members about your experience.