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Posts Tagged ‘home improvements’

Finding and choosing Atlanta residential contractors on the internet

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

If you don’t have a friend to refer you to an Atlanta contractor, how do you go about finding and choosing one on the internet? The number once choice is to search google. I searched Google today for results that linked to Schantz Home Improvement as well as other sites. It’s crazy what people have to sift through to find not only what they are looking for, but know that what they read is true.

I’ve decided to create a new section for our blog called EXPOSED. EXPOSED Sites will get written about that our staff and marketing team finds in the normal course of doing online searches. The idea is to feature local Atlanta Contractor and related services web sites that go beyond a little puffery.  In the process, I hope to educate you a bit more about how to research online so you can make wise decisions, both for when choosing a local Atlanta contractor and for other needs.

Getting Atlanta contractors to bid on your home improvement project before final closing

Friday, June 29th, 2012

Contractors get many calls from buyers looking to receive estimates on a home they have purchased prior to final closing.  Of course they love it when someone calls them for business!  However, the usual sequence ends up like this.  The caller states they are closing in two weeks and want to start the work right after.  However, they don’t have time to meet at the home.  A detailed estimate and/or a budget amount is prepared based on a site review or via desktop software (mainly roofing or gutter work).  This is generally sent via email with a concurrent phone call.  We never hear from them. Ever. Not one word of thanks for your time or the estimate or anything!  This has been the general experience for years.  Boy! Talk about feeling used.

Is it any wonder home buyers cannot find a contractor to bid their project?  Most contractors offer free estimates, but are not willing to give free consultation especially when the owner can’t find the time to meet you.  Take the right steps and be sure to receive a valid, reasonable bid.  After all, you are the one who will rely on the information.

Contractor bids can vary by well over 100% from low to high.  So, how do you get a reasonable bid? Find one or two quality contractors and take the time to meet them on site.  The contractor will be much more willing to assist you in hopes of future business.  They will also understand what you want them to bid on and the specifications YOU desire.  Otherwise you might get a bid for a very cheap or a very expensive project neither one being what you want.  How will you even know if you don’t meet up with them to discuss your needs?  If you ask a car dealer “what’s the price for a car” you will get 100 different answers.  You need to tell them what kind of car and what options YOU want.

You may not hire that contractor for this project, but perhaps you may just find a good contractor’s name for the future.  Without taking these steps, you will have no idea if the bid you receive is worth the paper it is printed on.  So take some time out to meet up.  It will be well worth it.

Can I repaint my vinyl siding? Don’t repair your siding without reading this first.

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Vinyl siding can be painted, but this has been possible only recently due to the advances in paint.  However, it is still not advised to paint it.  Vinyl siding will expand and contract as designed.  During cold weather it may contract to the point you can see the original unpainted siding.  Painting would only be a last resort for severely faded siding and it would be a temporary solution.

What about painting other damaged siding such as Louisiana Pacific (LP) or Georgia Pacific siding products?  Both of these have suffered severe issues.  Yes, you can repaint, but whether that’s a good financial choice may depend on how long you plan on staying in your home. Any repairs made now could be money down the drain as they are essentially temporary. Upon resale, the buyer will request the siding to be replaced.  We see this every day in Atlanta, Ga,

Pay now or pay later in other words.

Cement siding requires painting every 10-15 years with a good paint job. You will certainly pay more now to replace the siding, but it will pay back in many ways.

Bottom line.  You will certainly pay more now to replace the siding, but it will pay back in many ways.  Ultimately, a siding replacement is an investment in your home while painting is an expense.  No doubt, today’s real estate market makes it difficult to take on larger projects, but the market will change.

Repair and  paint will ultimately be the more expensive choice in the 5-10 year plan.

siding atlanta

May 2012 siding project in Lawrenceville, GA. Home makeover with Alside Prodigy Siding.

Is now a good time to perform home improvements?

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

Absolutely. Contractors are generally slower and offer great deals in the winter. At Schantz home Improvement we can offer no interest financing. Then when your tax refund is received you can pay it off! Don’t wait til April as pricing will no longer be as favorable.