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Create a Livable Outdoor Space by Adding a Deck

Outdoor livable space is a popular trend. You can set up an outdoor seating area, outdoor kitchen or outdoor dining space. This allows you to entertain guests outside or host a larger party than what your home can hold. This trend inspired my wife and I to build our own outdoor livable space. However, one of the biggest decisions we faced was what the base for our space would be. We could use concrete, lay pavers or construct a deck. After doing a lot of research, we decided on a deck. It was a challenging decision, but we are pleased with the outcome. In fact, we are so happy we decided to start this blog and help educate other people on decks and livable spaces. Learn the benefits, learn the downside, learn how to care for your and learn what kinds of wood are best for an outdoor deck.

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Create a Livable Outdoor Space by Adding a Deck

Hiring A Contractor For Your Remodeling Project

by Kelly Simmons

One of the best things you can do to improve the value of your home for yourself and your family is to renovate its old and tired spaces. Whether you are planning on beginning a small renovation or a major remodeling project, one of the most important parts of the process is your selection of a contractor. Choosing an experienced, skilled contractor is the best way to ensure that your project is completed quickly, smoothly, and to your satisfaction.

Unfortunately, choosing a contractor from the many that likely serve your area is never a simple task. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the process or just looking for a place to start, consider these three tips to help you begin your search.

Build a Short List

There's more to choosing a good contractor than just flipping through the yellow pages and picking the first name that catches your eye. One of your first steps should be to gather a list of likely candidates. Looking for reviews online is a good way to start, but even better is speaking with people that you trust about contractors that they have worked with in the past.

Another slightly less common option is to contact local public adjusters. Public adjusters work with contractors to help people rebuild after their homes have been damage, and often they can recommend reliable local contractors that may fit your needs.

Estimate Your Costs

You should come up with a rough ballpark of your total costs before contacting any of the contractors on your list. It can be difficult to get good estimates without speaking to professionals first, but do as much research as possible in order to get the most accurate figure you can. It is not important that you know exactly what your project will cost, but it is important that you are able to judge whether the contractors you speak with are low-balling or high-balling their estimates.

Be thorough when estimating your costs! Take measurements, come up with detailed materials lists, and do your best to determine average local labor costs.

Interview Potential Candidates

Treat hiring a contractor just as you would treat hiring an employee. This means that you should be conducting both phone and in-person interviews. Contact the best contractors from your list, and ask some basic questions over the phone. Most contractors will be busy and won't want to have in-depth phone conversations, but use this time to eliminate any contractors who seem to be giving you unreasonably high estimates or who you feel are just telling you what you want to hear.

Once you have a smaller list of 2-3 contractors, you can begin in-person interviews. This is going to be the final stage of your selection process, so you want to find someone that is both within your budget and that you feel you can trust. Go over your estimate with the contractor when you meet them in person. Determine if there are any discrepancies, and if so, ask them to explain their costs. These are professionals who are skilled at estimating project costs, so defer to their judgment while keeping in mind any costs that seem unusually high or low. Start contacting contractors, like those at Lehman Construction Services Inc, today.

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