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Category: Loan Agreements

Residential Home Improvement Contractors: Protect Yourself With These Tips

By Dan Fritschen

As I say so frequently that I’m beginning to bore myself, “most remodeling contractors are honest and reliable individuals who want to do quality work at a reasonable price.” Unfortunately, there are just enough contractors out there (or people who claim to be contractors) who take advantage of their customers that some reminders and tips are helpful if you want to do everything possible to protect yourself and your property during home improvement.

1. Don’t make assumptions about referrals. Exercise the same due diligence in evaluating and checking out all contractors. You might have friends or relatives, co-workers or neighbors referring you to contractors they have used with good results. Many people are also simply trusting recommendations from home improvement stores. Even when you are referred to a contractor, check him or her out before you sign a contract. Consumer Reports recently released findings from a study of people who hired contractors to whom they were referred by the two leading home improvement stores. Their survey indicated that people who used these referrals had more problems and were less satisfied with the work than people who used other contractors.

2. Build your remodeling budget in a way that creates a 20% cushion for unexpected surprises. Although the National Association of the Remodeling Industry suggests an allowance of 10% to 20%, I think you are safer to budget for a 20% cost overrun due to surprises. There are literally hundreds of things that can happen or that can be discovered once remodeling begins that will result in a cost overrun. It is not uncommon, for example to discover termite damage, dry rot, damage from leaking pipes, outdated wiring, etc. My point is that you should not use your entire budget on the basics. You will be much more comfortable with your budget if you leave room for surprises.

3. Get a contract don’t deal with a contractor on the basis of a proposal. If at all possible, get a contract that states a final price for the work, not an estimated cost that can go up or down. Your contract should be as specific as possible and as detailed as possible. It should also contain some kind of warranty for both the installation and the products or materials. You can also specify in the contract that all materials used will be new materials and meet the standards outlined in the contract. It should also state that any changes made during the construction period will be authorized only by written change orders that explain the difference in cost up front. If a contractor is unwilling to sign a contract stating the final price of the remodel, find another contractor.

4. Know what your insurance covers and take out a liability policy if necessary. It is usually easy to call your insurance agent and ask what is covered in terms of damage to your property, loss of property or possessions, and injury or death of a worker on your property during the construction period. You should also be certain that the contractor carries workman’s compensation insurance and liability insurance against injury or death of a worker and against damage or loss to your property or possessions. If you have any concerns about adequate coverage, discuss it with your insurance agent and consider taking out an additional policy during the construction period.

5. Monitor all liens placed against your property during construction (construction liens) by any contractor or subcontractor and ensure that they are removed when the project is finished and the contractor is paid in full. There are unscrupulous contractors who accept payment for a job and then do not remove the liens. In most of these cases, the homeowner is not aware of the lien until some time later when trying to sell the home or take out a loan for further improvements. When homeowners try to resolve the issue, the contractor claims that the bill or part of the bill was never paid and demands payment before removing the lien.

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6. Never do business with someone who comes to your door offering their services.

7. Never pay a contractor the entire bill up front. Work out a payment schedule that reflects work completed, and put the payment schedule in the contract.

8. Specify the quality of workmanship and the quality of materials to be used in the remodel or addition in the contract. Not only should you specify materials quality, you should check materials to ensure compliance with the terms of the contract as they are delivered to the construction site. Insist that the costs of all building materials be specified.

9. Include all job specifications in the contract. The more specific the description of the work to be done, the more protection you have. Job specifications state exactly what work is to be done, how it is to be done, the quality of materials to be used, when it is to be complete, and that it must pass inspection.

10. Check all licenses, permits, proof of insurance, and state or local certification before you hire a contractor or subcontractor. Check to be certain the contractor has or obtains all necessary permits, licenses and certificates. Check with issuing agencies or insurance companies to confirm that insurance and licenses are current.

11. Insist that the contractor show you proof of bond coverage for the total replacement cost of the project.

12. Be sure the contract includes the appropriate information about how conflicts will be resolved, when and how the contract will be or can be terminated, and that lien releases will be provided upon payment.

13. If you give the contractor a key to your home for use during the construction period, change the locks as soon as construction is completed.

14. Take the necessary steps to protect your property and your possessions. Put away all valuables in a safe place. Define the construction area for everyone tell your family not to enter the area during working hours; define limits of access to the rest of your home for the work crew. Protect your landscaping by covering shrubs if necessary and taking other steps to reduce accidental damage. Seal off the construction area from the rest of the house to confine dust, etc.

15. If you are remodeling an old home, make sure any work with potentially hazardous materials is done under the safest conditions and that hazardous materials are completely removed from the work site immediately and disposed of as instructed by your local government. Be sure any lead paint is properly removed; be sure any asbestos is removed and disposed of correctly; be sure old horse hair plaster (that could contain arsenic) is disposed of properly.

These tips will help you protect your family, your property and the people working on your remodeling project. Residential home improvement contractors should be very willing to cooperate on all of these points.

Copyright 2008 by ABCD Publishing

About the Author: Dan Fritschen, the remodel-or-move guru is President and Publisher at ABCD Publishing and operates three very popular websites —

, which helps homeowners make this important decision on the basis of knowledge and reliable cost estimates, and www.remodelestimates, which offers a variety of articles on various aspects of remodeling and remodeling cost estimate calculators, as well as referrals to great contractors throughout the nation, and

). He is the author of three books on home remodeling.


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Bad Credit Personal Loans Available Up To $10,000

By Jessica M Peterson

Need a loan fast but bad credit is standing in your way? Learn how you may qualify for a bad credit personal loan for borrowers just like you.

The current US economy is seeing a number of Americans losing their jobs to layoffs and more are facing wage freezes and reductions in hours. It can be even that much more difficult to make your paycheck stretch to make your ends meet if you have bad credit, let alone make payments on time for the bills you already have. In most cases, qualifying for a loan from a traditional bank would be out of the question, especially in these times.

Fortunately, there are lenders available to offer you a bad credit personal loan to help you with whatever expenses you may have. Bad credit personal loans are for people with less than perfect credit who need money fast. These lenders will not judge you or make assumptions about why you have poor credit. Everyday they work with folks just like you to help them get closer to financial stability. You could be one of them.

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Your Bad Credit Personal Loan Interest Rate

Before you apply for one of these loans, you should be aware of the overall costs to you over the life of the loan. Because of your credit situation, you will have higher interest rates and finance charges than a borrower with good credit. However, this would be a positive step in the right direction for you if you abide by the agreed-upon terms of the loan, including making full payments on time or ahead of schedule. In fact, with some lenders, you can see a reduction in interest if you are consistently paying down the loan month to month. Once you’ve done this, this will show other traditional lenders that you can handle the responsibility of borrowing money and you may qualify for their lower interest loans in the future.

Borrow $10,000 Or More

Depending on your current need and monthly income, you could qualify for a bad credit personal loan of up to $10,000. If you are married, it is suggested both you and your spouse apply for the loan because the lender will consider both of your incomes when determining how much they are willing to lend you. Your chances of being approved for the loan increase substantially as well.

With bad credit personal loans, you are not required to disclose the purpose of the loan, so you’re not limited to how the money you get will be used. So you could use the money to help catch up on other bills, pay for education expenses, or a new career wardrobe. By applying for a bad credit personal loan online, you save a lot of time because you can qualify within a few hours, not days or even weeks as you would at a traditional bank. You can even choose to have the funds deposited in your bank account via an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) within twenty-four hours or receive a check in the mail.

About the Author: Jessica Peterson is an

Bad Credit Unsecured Loan

Consultant with more than twenty years of experience. For more information about

Personal Loans

, no credit check loans, guaranteed loans, personal loans, car loans, guaranteed student loans and other financial products please visit


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No Income Proof Secured Loans: Secured Source Of Financial Assistance

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By Kenneth Robert

Most of the loans are available in the market with the basic pre requisite of income proof. In fact, lenders often approve the loan, only after considering the borrower’s definite source of income. However, this kind of clause can create problems for those borrowers, who do not have the provision of regular income source. Many self employed people or unemployed applicants cannot make arrangements for income proof. Hence, for this section of society, financial industry has evolved the solution of no income proof secured loans. Under this category of loans, the borrower is not required to submit any pay slip or other income proof. The only thing that settles the approval of this loan is the offered collateral. This security can be deposited in any form such as your home, proper, car or any other valuable asset.

No income proof secured loans are customized with simple and lucid regulations that are easily manageable. Moreover, as this loan scheme is is secured in nature, the borrower can expect low and affordable rate of interest. In addition to this, even your poor credit report will not create much of a hassle for the accomplishment of this loan. The amount of loan offered under the provision of no income proof secured loans is basically decided on the basis of your collateral and purpose. However, all these beneficial aspects are available only with a reliable lender. Therefore, it is important for the borrower to act extremely selective while finalizing the loan deal. Always opt for a certified money lending agency to neglect the chances of misuse and illegal possession of your collateral. Also, make attempts to evaluate the monetary value of your collateral as that will settle your loan amount.

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Therefore, if you are planning to go for higher studies and wish for a decent financial help then immediately opt for the beneficial loan scheme of no income proof secured loans. For more information on no income proof secured loans, you can easily visit the finance institutions, where the financial executives will provide each and every detail about the loan. A more approachable and convenient medium is Internet. In fact, you can also inquire about the various money lending agencies offering the service of this loan. Hence, now nothing can possibly obstruct your accomplishment of convenient loan assistance.

Any applicant can apply for no income proof secured loans through the traditional method as well as the online system. Nowadays, people often opt for the online application procedure due to its simple features and quicker assistance. For this purpose, you simply have to get registered with a certified money lending agency and then you can start with the processing of the loan by downloading the online application form. This form may request for your personal details such as contact numbers, residential proof and purpose of the loan. Along with this mandatory set of requirements, you also have to send documents related to your offered collateral, so that the lender can have the complete legal assurance. Try to finalize the entire loan deal under the supervision of a financial advisor.

About the Author: Kenneth Robert is an expert financial advisor therefore he can tell you how to look better, live better and breathe better by giving you tips to improve your finances. To know more about No income proof secured loans and Secured personal loans visit


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