Home Safety and Working with Contractors

You have decided to remodel your bathroom, your kitchen, or perhaps add a pool to your backyard. Many people take on these tasks themselves, spending a lot of time and effort to upgrade their homes. Others contract the work out to professional craftsmen and laborers. If you are going this route, the first step is to find a good contractor. Do not be afraid to use Internet pages to see how a contractor fares in the court of public opinion.

General and specialized contractors should be licensed by the state. This guarantees that they will have the requisite knowledge to carry out the task. It also ensures that they have been tested on local and state regulations. Finally, it means that they are bonded. Surety bonds allow homeowners to collect damages from contractors that do not fulfill their obligations. If a contractor is bonded, you know that funds will be there when the time comes to sue. This may not be the first thing you worry about when seeking a contractor, but it can give you some peace of mind.

Once the work has begun, you must take certain steps to keep your home safe, as strangers work in your home on different parts of the project. If you cannot be home yourself, make sure that the person you hire is there and accountable for the people they hire. Learn about your utilities and the cutoffs for power and water in your house. Research the kind of work being done and know if there may be asbestos particles or other dangerous materials dislodged into the air. Finally, keep children away from all work areas. You may need to virtually seal off parts of your home. Work sites contain too many dangerous elements (nails, broken materials, chemical solvents and sealers, open spaces, etc.) to allow children to move freely through them.

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