Are you planning a major home improvement project in the near future? Then you will probably want to hire a contractor. Here are a few tips to get the job done right the first time around and get the most bang for your buck.
Regardless how big or small the task is, make sure you spell out all the terms of the project, especially the payment
details! Another thing to think about beforehand is to determine if you will pay an hourly rate or a flat rate. If you choose to pay hourly, it is in your best interest to create a daily time sheet used daily by you and your contractor. Also, make sure to discuss an end date with your contractor, because more than likely they have many projects on their plates and you don’t want them to forget about yours.
Most contractors mark up the price for materials they use for a job. If you provide your own tools, you will actually end up saving money. With this being said, do some shopping! Visit your local stores to find the best prices for the fixtures and finishings you want.
Know your contractors specialties and make sure to get the right contractor for the job. Also, become aware that a general contractor needs to hire a specialty contractor to perform jobs that need specific licensing.
Last but not least, understand the difference between handymen and contractors. Handymen are not licensed or specialized and are usually found on sites like, Craigslist. Contractors, on the other hand, should be licensed, have many years of experience, and work in remodeling or construction full-time. If you do hire a contractor, make sure to see an updated license as well as insurance coverage.
It goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway… don’t sign a completion statement or make the final payment until the job is complete. When using contractors for home improvement projects, money is the only leverage for getting things done right, the first time around.
At times understanding the mumbo jumbo in a lease can leave you scratching your head and feeling like you need a lawyer just to sign it. Take these glossary terms and terminology will most definitely help you in your journey through moving.
Co-tenant– A person who agrees to a lease or rental agreement together with one or more other persons who will also occupy the premises.
Domicile- The state in which one maintains a permanent home to which he or she intends to return (even though residing in another state).
Forfeiture- Loss of the tenant’s continued rights under a lease.
Guaranty- An agreement as it pertains to a lease, whereby a person who will not occupy the premises guarantees that the tenant will perform his or her obligations under a lease or rental agreement.
Joint tenancy– A means of owning property by two or more owners. If one of the owners dies, the other owner or owners automatically take over that person’s portion of the ownership.
Periodic tenancy– A rental agreement that runs from week-to-week, month-to-month, or year-to-year.
Rent– The compensation paid by the tenant to the landlord for use of the premises.
Rent control law– A law (usually enacted by a city, but sometimes by a county or state) that limits the amount by which a landlord may raise rents.
Security deposit– An amount of money given to the landlord by the tenant at the outset of the tenancy, to secure the tenant’s performance of certain legal obligations specified in the lease or rental agreement – such as payment of rent and cleaning the premises at termination of the tenancy.
Sub lessee– A person who subleases a tenancy from a sub lessor
sub lessor– A tenant who subleases his or her tenancy to someone else.
Tenancy in common– A form of owning property by more than one person, in which each person owns an undivided interest in the whole property. Unlike joint tenancy, the interests do not have to be equal, and upon the death of a tenant in common, his or her interest does not pass automatically to the co-tenants, but is disposed of in the same way as all other property.
Tenant– Some who enters into occupation of property with the permission of the owner.
Tenant association– Another name for a tenant union.
Tenant at will– A person who occupies property with the landlord’s permission with no clear agreement as to how long the tenant may stay. The law will usually allow either party to terminate a tenancy at will on 30 days written notice.
Tenant union– A group of tenants who organize in order to further their common interests as tenants.