Shopping for a new home can be daunting. There are so many factors to consider: size, location, amenities, price and so much more. You have a grocery list of items you want in a home, including structural integrity. No one wants to buy a home and then find out six months down the road it needs a major repair. Although all homes receive an inspection before sale, a general inspection may not reveal hidden issues. If the home you want to buy has a chimney, don’t skip a specific chimney inspection before signing on the dotted line.
Hidden Chimney Problems
A general home inspection will detect a leaning chimney or one that has noticeable damage to the masonry. However, unless the issue is visible from the outside, many chimney problems will get missed. Level I or II inspections rarely catch chimney issues that are not visible. There are structural issues within the chimney that can lead to major chimney repairs and even full chimney replacement. A chimney that is unstable can become a hazard to your home as well as your family; a falling chimney can cause serious, even fatal, injuries.
If you are considering buying a home with a chimney, take the extra step of getting a qualified chimney inspection. These inspections can uncover any hidden problems within the structure, giving you the option of asking for these issues to be fixed before you buy. If the chimney passes inspection, you have the peace of mind that you won’t need a major chimney repair in the near future.
When scheduling your chimney inspection, make sure to use an honest, reputable masonry company with many years of experience in chimney repairs and replacements.
Posted on behalf of:
Anglin’s Foundation & Masonry Repairs
If you are contemplating any large home improvement project like remodeling, roofing, painting, or pressure washing, you will need a good contractor. A great contractor can make the job go smoothly and will make sure you are happy with the results. A bad contractor can be an endless source of headaches.
To find a good Alpharetta pressure washing contractor, start out by asking friends, neighbors, co-workers and family members if they can recommend a contractor they were happy with, or warn you away from a contractor they had a bad experience with.
Other potential sources of contractors are online ratings sites such as Angie’s list and Yahoo. Remember that anyone can post on some of these sites, so read the reviews critically. Your local home improvement warehouse will also have contractors that they can recommend.
Once you have a list of candidates, interview each contractor. Explain the job and ask if they have experience in this type of work. Ask to see proof of liability insurance and workman’s compensation insurance. Find out if they have a permanent business address and telephone number and be sure to ask for a few references from recent clients. During the interview, you should get a sense of whether this contractor is someone you can work with.
Call each of the references and ask if they were happy with the work done and if they would use the contractor again. With all of this information in hand you are ready to choose the contractor who meets your requirements.
When hiring a contractor to do any kind of work around your home, you should always make sure that the contractor has sufficient insurance coverage. At a minimum, a contractor should have both liability insurance and workers compensation insurance.
Workers compensation insurance will cover claims for injuries to the contractor’s workers that happen while the worker is at your home. Some types of home improvement projects are inherently more dangerous than others, but any work that a contractor is hired to do involves some risk of injury to the worker.
If your contractor is hired for a roofing project or light construction, the risk of injury is pretty obvious, but workers can be injured on any type of home improvement projects such as an interior renovation or home theater installation. Hazards posed by exposed electrical wiring, use of power tools, or any physical exertion such as heavy lifting or hammering can cause a worker to be injured.
Liability insurance covers damage to property caused by the contractor or his workers. For example, if the contractor cut a tree down that fell on the neighbor’s car or accidently started a fire while performing electrical work, the contractor’s liability insurance would cover any claims.
Your homeowner’s insurance would probably cover most types of claims if the contractor was uninsured or underinsured, but you would be responsible for any deductible and also for dealing with the insurance company.
A reputable contractor will have good insurance coverage and will be happy to provide you with proof of insurance. Good insurance coverage is also a good sign that the contractor is a legitimate, professionally operated business. Before you hire any contractor, be sure that they have proper insurance coverage.
No matter what type home improvement project you are considering, one of the most important choices you will need to make is which contractor to use. From roofing to construction to new kitchen design, the internet and telephone books are full of contractors all claiming to be the best, the cheapest, the most experienced, or the most reliable. How can you choose a contractor that is right for you?
Start out by asking your family, friends, neighbors and co-workers if they have used a contractor for similar work in the past. If so, they may be able to recommend a good contractor or tell you which ones to stay away from.
Make sure the contractor is a legitimate business. Ask to seek a copy of their business license and proof of liability and worker’s compensation insurance. Does the contractor have a permanent business address and telephone number?
Next, ask for a few references from satisfied customers. For most contractors, a happy customer is the best source of business. The contractor should be happy to provide you with the contact information for a couple good references. Follow up by calling the references and asking what type of work they had done, were they pleased with the work, and would they use the contractor again.
Check the Better Business Bureau and online rating sites such as Angie’s List or Yahoo.com to see if any complaints have been filed or if the contractor has any positive feedback. Keep in mind that anyone can post on these websites including unscrupulous competitors or the contractor themselves so be sure to critically evaluate any comments.
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