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Home Owner News Archive


What guidelines are useful for finding an architect?

Start by finding out who designed the projects that you like in your community. Get referrals from people you know, or the local American Institute of Architects (AIA). Interview three to five firms to get a range of possibilities for your project. But only select firms that specialize in residential ...


There seem to be no shortage of contractors; how do you identify one who is less than reputable?

They often give themselves away. The telltale signs: ...


Are there specific questions I should ask a contractor?

According to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, sometimes it's not the responses you get that are important, but what you don't get. So you should trust your instincts and pay attention to the information that is obviously missing. Nevertheless, here are some questions NARI suggest you ask before ...


What guidelines should I follow to find a contractor?

Always exercise caution and be comfortable and confident about your final decision. This means selecting a competent and reliable contractor with a track record who can complete the job without hassles or negative consequences. What you can do: ...


Should the architect and contractor have a “vested” interest in one another?

It does not hurt to have a situation where the architect and contractor already have an existing working relationship. In fact, such an association could benefit a project by ensuring the smooth integration between the design and implementation. In a residential project, there is sometimes a triangle of tension between ...


What are the specific responsibilities of the contractor vs. the architect?

Beyond having the architect create the design and the contractor implement it, both professionals have additional responsibilities. The contractor is responsible for pricing the project and ensuring that it is completed in a timely fashion. The architect is responsible for getting the construction drawing completed with proper specifications and architectural ...


Who should be called to the project first, the contractor or the architect?

Opinions vary about which professional to call first. Some say the architect comes first because "you have to design it before you can build it." The architect, who is trained to resolve problems creatively, can help define the project in ways that provide meaningful guidance for the design. The architect ...


Who are the professionals that do home improvements?

They vary depending on the size and scope of your job. General contractors are companies or individuals who contract with you to manage all aspects of the project, including hiring and supervising subcontractors, obtaining building permits, and supplying materials and labor equipment needed to do the project. Specialty contractors, on ...


Should I hire a professional or do the job myself?

It depends on the complexity of the project and your ability to do the job well yourself. Really consider whether you have the time, skills, tools, help, and legal knowledge of local regulations to get the job done. While you could save up to an estimated 20% of the project ...


What factors should determine whether I decide to move or remodel?

Your personal needs, preferences and finances are all factors. If you've lived in your home awhile and prefer to stay in your school district or neighborhood, improving your existing space may work best for you. If a second bathroom is what you desire, it may also be cheaper to convert ...


Remodeling Activity Rises Slightly In Third Quarter

RISMEDIA, Dec. 7, 2007-Remodeling activity held up well during the third quarter of 2007, according to the National Association of Home Builder's (NAHB) Remodeling Market Index (RMI). The current market conditions indicator increased slightly to 46.2 from 44.8 in the second quarter. And the future expectations measure comes in at ...


Determining if Your Zip Code is Healthy

RISMEDIA, Dec. 6, 2007-Where you live may be as crucial to your well-being as how you live, according to an article published in the December issue of Oprah magazine. Taking steps ranging from investing in a HEPA filter to purify air or selecting a bedroom farthest away from the street ...


New Life for Energy Legislation

RISMEDIA, Dec. 4, 2007-The framework for a November 30 deal between Congressional leaders offers new hope for the passage of energy legislation. However differences on some key issues still remain, and it may yet get derailed in Congress or vetoed by President Bush. ...


Five Ways to Capitalize on Home Energy Efficiency Improvement Tax Credit

RISMEDIA, Dec. 3, 2007-U.S. homeowners have just one month to utilize a soon-to-expire federal tax credit aimed at encouraging home energy efficiency. The tax credit, created by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, allows for a tax credit of up to 10% of the cost of materials for certain home ...


How to Protect Properties for Year-Round Conditions

RISMEDIA, Dec. 3, 2007-The 2007 hurricane season comes to a mostly quiet end for coastal residents, but a national safety group warns that the nation's prolonged drought conditions could leave many regions trading the threat of strong winds for wildfire. ...