How Can a General Contractor Help You for Your Home Improvement Project?

Often times, it can be stressful to construct a home or a commercial building. It is a very daunting task. Professional service providers ensure the safety of the entire construction procedure when residential and commercial properties are being built. This is where seeking guidance from a general contractor comes in. A lot of business managers will definitely feel the load go off their shoulders as they seek help from these professional companies that can help them boost the aesthetics of their buildings.

Leading a pool of workers for a big construction job is definitely tough. Supervising and managing the entire thing needs a lot of time and effort. Not to mention, it needs to be run by someone with complete knowledge about the project; someone who can commit and find the perfect subordinates to respond to concerns and problems depending on the style and preferences of their clients.

One of the major responsibilities of a general contractor is to pay attention to the littlest details in connection with the construction whether it is commercial or residential. He needs to supervise every procedure and make sure that everyone’s working their best to attain efficiency and finish the job on time. A general contractor must hire people who are highly skilled, professional and experienced in order to come up with precise structure and magnificent set of designs.

Commercial service providers, though different from the general contractor, provides the manual labor and equipment necessary for the project. Services such as redesigning some aspects of the house employing concrete designs, carpentry and masonry are things that a general contractor should work out, if his client says so. So if you want these things in your home or commercial establishment, you can ask your professional service provider to do it for you.

Aside from these, you will never get stressed due to the project. You will have more time for other factors in your business that needs immediate attention. Just inform them of your desired outcome and they’ll do the rest for you. You can also save time and money by hiring a company to acquire the workers for your building project. As they have access to wholesale materials and products, you will also save a lot of money if you hire their services.

If you happen to hire someone for your construction needs, it will definitely be a worthy undertaking so finding the top quality contractor would be the best challenge for you to slay right now.

Should You Extend Your Home or Move?

Speak to your local council

Although very minor extensions (up to 3 metres beyond your original wall) can usually be undertaken without obtaining planning permission, it is still always best to check with your local council before you commit to extending your property. You could be in a lot of hot water afterwards if your extension flouts the rules and permission is not in place – the council could insist that the extension is demolished, leaving you not only back where you started but also out of pocket, having paid for an extension you cannot enjoy.

Ensure your plans are properly drawn

You might think you know something about extension planning – maybe you were good at technical drawing at school, or you did a course in college. Do you really want to risk the value of your home, though, to save a few pounds on professional planning? Depending on the size and scale of your project, a structural engineer or architect can do a great job for you, offering their expertise. For smaller and more straightforward jobs, your builder should be able to help you with the plans. Don’t forget, there is technical knowledge needed which involves angles, weights and in-depth understanding of materials to ensure the structure is safe – things which you probably didn’t pick up in GCSE Graphics! More importantly, your extension needs to conform to safety regulations which industry professionals will be used to handling.

Look at the loft

You could expand backwards, forwards or sideways, but what if you don’t have the room? Consider building upwards, creating rooms in your loft area. The loft is often a wasted space which houses unneeded junk, and if your roof is high enough, you might not even need to do a lot of building work to turn that unused space into a lovely new bedroom or office.

As you probably won’t be changing the layout of the building significantly, you may not need planning permission – but again, always check to be on the safe side. Your loft conversion will need to meet Buildings Regulations, which take into account safety measures such as fire safety, and the finished work will be checked by a qualified inspector. Don’t let this put you off, though – your builder should be able to advise you of how to ensure that you can meet these regulations, and you can also speak to your local council for further advice. Particularly if your family is outgrowing your house, building into the loft can be a great solution to provide extra space.

Consider the potential to add value

One of the reasons that many people consider extending is to add value to the property. An extension often offers this potential, meaning that the initial cost of building the extension is not lost. You can often, in fact, gain money when you come to sell by having an extra bedroom upstairs or a conservatory on the back.

You need to be canny about your investment, though. Do a bit of research into similar properties on the sales market in your area; if they have had a loft conversion or a kitchen enlarged, for instance, are they being marketed at a higher price that those which haven’t had work done? If the extension isn’t going to add value, then you might want to think again about how you choose to extend; having four bedrooms instead of three is going to make more of a difference to a property’s value than enlarging one room slightly. You might also consider getting a professional opinion from a local estate agent who can give you a potential “before” and “after” valuation for your property, allowing you to determine whether it’s better for you to extend or to move.

It’s worth remembering that extending is usually a cheaper alternative than moving and saves you money on fees like stamp duty, furniture removals and legal costs – not to mention avoiding the stress of moving!

Combine work on your home to keep down costs

Although extending could be cheaper than moving, you are still going to have to find the money from somewhere. If you’re lucky enough to have some cash tucked away for a rainy day, that’s great. But if you haven’t, you might need to think about other options, like reviewing your mortgage, for example, to see if you can liquidate some funds.

Another good tip is to get your money’s worth; you should have as many minor alterations done alongside your extension as you foresee being necessary in the near future, so if you have had a few small jobs piling up, ask the builder for a quote for the whole lot. This way, you can haggle for the best price on both materials and labour, establishing a blanket fee for the works rather than having lots of little jobs done, which could prove costlier.

Find a reputable builder

We have all heard horror stories about disreputable builders who knock holes into your home and then fail to complete the job, or undertake shoddy work which requires repairs within a few months. There are plenty of builders who can be trusted, though – and the best advice to follow is to take a recommendation. Have any friends, family or colleagues had work done on their homes recently? Are there any builders in your extended family? If you don’t have any luck finding someone, then look into the government’s TrustMark scheme, which vets tradesmen before recommending them to consumers.

Potential changes

The government is currently in talks over whether to relax planning laws for a three-year period, allowing people to extend their homes by up to 8 metres without seeking planning permission. The idea is to ease housing shortages by making existing homes bigger and to help create more jobs for the industry. This plan has received significant opposition, however, from local councils who are worried about a “free-for-all” on extensions which could affect the appearance and function of local communities. If you’ve been thinking about extending but couldn’t face waiting for planning permission, though, it’s worth watching this space to see how this story develops!

House Cleaning Services – Do It Yourself or Use Professional Cleaners?

Everyone loves a clean house, well almost everyone. However it is quite a challenge to maintain a clean house all year round to a standard where every crook and cranny in the house is cleaned spotlessly. There is no doubt a clean house ensures a germ free environment and one way to achieve this is, to either do it yourself or contract in professional house cleaning services to do it for you.

The advantage of using professional cleaners is of course, they are professional cleaners, it is their livelihood and they have a good understanding of the type of cleaning products and chemicals to use on different surfaces and material furnishings in the house. As well they will undoubtedly clean in areas easily overlooked by the non professional house cleaner. Applying this knowledge to the job will ensure the longer life of surfaces and materials that may be subject to heavy wear and tear.

Using the wrong cleaning products

If you do decide to undertake the task of house cleaning services yourself then it may be advisable to do a little research into the type of cleaning products you should use for the different surfaces in your household. Failing to do this could end in disaster with damage to some of your prized finished surfaces and material coverings including carpets in the house.Most home owners today live fairly busy life styles with work, family, sports and other social activities so regular house work and cleaning are sometimes put down the bottom of the priorities list of things to do. Busy householders would rather spend their free time engaging in more enjoyable activities. Many I imagine will be more than happy to contract in professional house cleaning services to undertake what can be a laborious and time consuming job.

A quick flick through your local papers or going online will quickly reveal a number of cleaning businesses in your locality that are only to happy to offer a cost and obligation free quoting service. You may be surprised to find a number of very competitive quotes among cleaning businesses in your area.

The benefits of contracting professional cleaners are:

1. They will probably do a better job than yourself, professional cleaners will take the time to clean in obscure areas that home owners sometimes overlook. Eg. cupboards and wardrobe shelves that gather a lot of dust over time, ceiling fans, draws etc.

2. They will use the right cleaning chemicals for the right surfaces, stainless steel, wood, ceramic, Formica, marble etc.

3. They will complete the job within a specific time frame. Once the job is started they will work until the task is completed.

4. The time it would normally take you to do the job can be spent with your family or doing any other activity that you enjoy.

5. You may be surprised to find there are some very good and cost effective professional house cleaning services out there.

Making a good impression

Most home owners will be aware that visitors or family friends who come to your home will usually have an opinion about yourself based on how well you keep your home. Most people are that way inclined unfortunately always judging others either openly or secretly. As they say first impressions are lasting, so it is important to make a good first impression by presenting your home in a clean and tidy fashion.Unfortunately it is the reason many home owners will not have people around to their homes because they are embarrassed about the state of their homes. Contracting in professional cleaners can definitely help solve that problem.

Cleaning a house spotlessly isn’t for the faint hearted, it requires hard work and dedication. Home owners who have given the big spring clean a go in the past will be the first to agree. It’s a job that can’t be done in half measures and requires a professional approach. Personally I think that engaging professional house cleaning services on a regular basis is the way to go if you enjoy your free time and want to maintain a clean house all year round.