How to Hire a Remodeling Contractor

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Are you looking for Home Remodeling Contractors in Residential Construction? Your best bet is to narrow down to exactly what you are looking to remodel in your home. You should look specifically for Kitchen Remodeling Contractors or Bathroom Remodeling Contractors and not for just a handyman. Here are some tips when selecting an working with a qualified professional contractor.

Get Recommendations

Start with your friends and family and then check in with the National Association of the Remodeling Industry for a list of members in your area. You can also talk with a building inspector, who’ll know which contractors routinely meet code requirements, or pay a visit to your local lumberyard, which sees contractors regularly and knows which ones buy quality materials and pay their bills on time.

Do Phone Interviews

Once you’ve assembled a list, it is recommended that you make a quick call to each of your prospects and ask them the following questions:
• Do they take on projects of your size?
• Are they willing to provide financial references, from suppliers or banks?
• Can they give you a list of previous clients?
• How many other projects would they have going at the same time?
• How long have they worked with their subcontractors?
The answers to these questions will reveal the company’s availability, reliability, how much attention they’ll be able to give your project and how smoothly the work will go.

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Meet Face to Face

Based on the phone interviews, pick three or four contractors to meet for estimates and further discussion. A contractor should be able to answer your questions satisfactorily and in a manner that puts you at ease. It’s crucial that you two communicate well because this person will be in your home for hours at a time. On the other hand, don’t let personality fool you. Check in with your state’s consumer protection agency and your local Better Business Bureau to make sure contractors don’t have a history of disputes with clients or subcontractors.

Investigate the Facts

Now that you’ve narrowed your list, put your research to use. Call up former clients to find how their project went and ask to see the finished product. But you shouldn’t rely on results alone. Even more important, visit a current job site and see for yourself how the contractor works. Is the job site neat and safe? Are workers courteous and careful with the homeowner’s property?

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Don’t Let Price Be Your Guide

Throw out the lowball bid. This contractor is probably cutting corners or, worse, desperate for work—hardly an encouraging sign in a healthy economy. Beyond technical competence, comfort should play an equal or greater role in your decision. The single most important factor in choosing a contractor is how well you and he communicate. All things being equal, it’s better to spend more and get someone you’re comfortable with.


Put it in Writing

Draw up a contract that details every step of the project: payment schedule; proof of liability insurance and worker’s compensation payments; a start date and projected completion date; specific materials and products to be used; and a requirement that the contractor obtain lien releases (which protect you if he doesn’t pay his bills) from all subcontractors and suppliers. Insisting on a clear contract isn’t about mistrust, it’s about insuring a successful renovation.

Finally, remember that as soon as a change is made or a problem uncovered, the price just increased and the project just got longer. When this happens be sure to get an amendment to the contracted price and scope of work.

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Tell us your stories and share any tips on choosing a Great Remodeling Contractor in the comments below.

As always please share on your favorite social media with your friends, so they are not left cold in the dark when they have to choose a Remodeling Contractor.

Remodeling Tips from your Local Designers

Remodeling Tips from your Local Designers with floating glass staircase open floor plan

Columbus Professional Designers Know the Way

Increase the peace and comfort that is felt in your home with your custom home, kitchen or bathroom remodel. With a better planned and designed home layout, home organization and storage systems, the normal pitfalls of any home can be greatly alleviated. If you have any concerns about how well your home lets you entertain, get ready for the day or to wind down afterwards, here are a few ways that we at SemBro Designs makes it better. Your home remodel can be a breeze with these remodeling tips.

  1. With designers who know the remodeling tips & tricks of the trade and have seen what works and what doesn’t, you can be sure that there are solutions out there for your specific home condition. Every home remodel or upgrade is unique to the family and is planned with much input and consideration for the family’s particular needs.
  2. every home remodel is unique welcome to our nest

  3. Entertaining can be stressful even when every part of your home is already perfect; focus on the more important things like great conversation and forging lifelong friendships when your home doesn’t cause you any worry. With a trusted and tried Columbus design and remodeling experts, you can be sure that the atmosphere exuded is exactly what is needed to be able to focus on the more important things in the lives of your friends and family.
  4. the importance of friends and family in the kitchen

  5. Hectic and stressed mornings when getting out of the door seems impossible can mean that there are obstacles in your overall home layout or the efficiency of some appliances. If there are constant distractions that slow down the whole family, if getting a decent breakfast on the table is a boring chore, and if no one can ever seem to find what they need, your local design and remodeling award-winning designer can help diagnose and cure the major culprits such as outdated, protruding cabinets, appliances or over-filled closets and inaccessible storage.
  6. Use your local interior design and remodeling expert

  7. After a long day spent being great at what you do, or simply getting by until evening, make your home a place where it is easy to unwind and recharge your batteries. If you have trouble fully relaxing in your home in the evenings it may have a lot to do with the atmosphere and interior design in your home. If you think of a relaxing spa experience for example, what do you notice about the lighting, the flooring, the walls and furniture? Are they glaring, drab and uncomfortable like a hospital room? An experienced designer can spot the source of trouble right away and get you on your way to having a home you can’t wait to get back to every day.
  8. elegant home living room remodeling tips with modern furniture

Get more remodeling tips by contacting us or your local designer.

If you like the photos on this page feel free to pin them on your board or share on your favorite social media below.

Columbus Home Remodeling and Design for a Custom Fit

Kitchen Remodel Deleware Pepper Shaker Kitchen Cabinets by Semro Designs

Home, Bathroom, and Kitchen Remodeling

Columbus Ohio home remodeling, bathroom renovations, and kitchen remodeling offers a world of opportunity for upgrading your home to the style and feel that you’ve always desired. Help your home grow with your family and life by making the changes that it needs most. In Columbus, design and remodeling professionals are ready to help bring a new lift to your treasured home that will not only last, but also thrill you for many years of enjoyment to come.

Home Remodeling to Update Your Home

Home remodeling is an often overlooked hidden gem of transforming houses into beautiful retreats. If your idea of updating home’s atmosphere has usually focused on changes like furniture and color only, you may be overlooking great potential in other areas of home improvement.

Floor-plan and Style Benefits of Remodeling

Often the floor plan or layout of a home does not suit its occupants as well as it could.  Your home remodel and design should create spaces that accommodate all of the life-cycle changes people experience. Since not all homes are built custom ordered, and since circumstances in life often warrant a change in a home’s floor plan, homeowners often turn to design and remodeling experts in Columbus to help them tailor-fit their home. In addition to the obvious help of a new home layout that works with your lifestyle best, you gain a glamorously crisp new look for your home!

Remodeling Options are Limitless

Kitchen remodeling and bathroom renovations are also great ways to make your home work better for your family. When you choose to remodel your kitchen or bathroom, your choices and options are almost limitless; expand, downsize, or reappoint portions of space for entirely new purposes!  Your home becomes your canvas and the capable, trained hands of your local Columbus design and remodeling team are the chisel and brush that help build a custom masterpiece.

Just share your most inspiring and seemingly impossible hopes for your kitchen or bathroom remodel, and your passionate design and remodeling team will find a creative way to make it work with your budget and schedule.  Since you get to see the projected look of the remodel from the beginning of the planning phase, you will be sure to love the results.

Choose the Best Columbus Remodeling and Design Company

Let your home become the best fit for you and your family with some help from your local Columbus design and remodeling company.  Learn how fun and simple it is to plan your home remodel with the help of highly experienced and qualified professionals ready to share with you their practiced skill and love of beautiful homes.

Universal Design is important and helpful in Remodeling your Home.

Universal Design Making Life Easier for Everyone

Call it what you like universal design (UD), accessible remodeling, lifespan design – an approach that considers the full range of human abilities and the full life cycle represents the future of home remodeling.
Now, as baby boom-generation homeowners reach retirement age, their bodies are telling them what’s wrong with their homes: steps they can no longer climb safely, bathrooms and kitchens that have become difficult to use, tripping hazards, poor lighting, and more.

This increasingly urgent need presents an opportunity and challenges. It is an opportunity for you to redesign and improve your living space, and a challenge of finding the right contractor. It also offers us the chance to improve your standard of living.

What is Universal Design

The Center for Universal Design at North Carolina State University defines UD as “the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.” Here’s what that means for you.

  • UD creates spaces that accommodate all of the life-cycle changes people experience. That includes more than just aging. A fit young person who breaks a leg skiing might find it impossible to use his or her own bathroom. Think of UD as “grand design”—planning a home that is friendly and convenient for everyone, from grandchildren to grandparents.
  • UD incorporates green building principles, including energy efficiency, low-maintenance materials, and attention to air quality. The benefits are improved health, greater convenience, and predictable operating expenses, all of which are important to elders but attractive also to any homeowner.
  • UD helps eliminate the need for specialized, institutional-looking features that can make visitors feel awkward and carry a social stigma for their owners.
  • UD means filling a home with functional, comfortable ideas that look great and are appealing to homeowners and guests alike.
  • Done right, UD is invisible. Thoughtful features like lower light switches and higher outlets—a boon to children and people who use wheelchairs—are virtually unnoticeable.

The Struggles of Universal Design

As they have with so many cultural shifts, baby boomers are leading the charge toward universal design. They’ve watched their parents struggle with aging in homes ill-suited to the changes they went through. Now, as they face the effects of aging themselves, many are taking a more proactive approach, remodeling their homes to prepare for the hurdles to come. Most want to age in the homes they know and love, but most traditional homes were not designed for this, with second-floor master bedrooms, step-up entryways and porches, and those awful 24-inch-wide doorways into bathrooms, closets, and showers. These are problems remodelers are uniquely equipped to solve.

Baby boomers are also the wealthiest generation in American history, many having inherited the wealth of frugal, hardworking parents who experienced the Great Depression and World War II. They own a huge proportion of the country’s housing stock, often with paid-off mortgages. They are looking for comfort, convenience, and safety. And, like every generation of grandparents before them, they are thinking about their grandchildren, so investing in upgrades that make their homes work better for both young and old holds special appeal.

At SemBro Designs we understand your needs and we have new products and technologies that will make your lives easier:

  • Automatic door bottoms. These devices fasten to the bottom of an entry door, eliminating the need for a threshold while still providing a weather-tight seal.
  • Lever-type door hardware. Door levers are easier to operate than conventional doorknobs and can look more stylish too. Some have integrated LED lighting to aid nighttime navigation.
  • Bathroom ventilation fans and toilet seats with built-in lighting. These innovative products also help those with aging eyes or low vision make their way at night without turning on a bright overhead light.
  • “Invisible” grab bars. Doubling as a soap dish, shower shelf, towel rack, or toilet paper holder, these bathroom fittings provide a secure hand-hold to steady oneself in the shower or to prevent a fall.

The most valuable things we offer to our clients are insightful solutions that reflect common sense and experience:

  • We suggest installing shower valves at the opposite end from the shower head, so the cold water won’t hit you in the back of the head.
  • Place bath and kitchen sink faucets at the sides of sinks instead of behind them, so that children and people using wheelchairs can reach them more easily.
  • We can show you how easy it is to add a heated towel warmer, a toe-kick heater, or in-floor radiant heating to a chilly bathroom.

We Put the Design in Universal Design

We emphasize convenience. Wider hallways make it easier to carry luggage to the bedroom; a zero-step entry makes it easy for the twins’ Mom to push a stroller from the car to the foyer, and it makes the way easier for Grandpa and his walker, too. We stress practicality, but not at the expense of excitement. Kitchen skylight is a boon for aging eyes, plus all of that daylight will also make the colors in the new granite counter really pop. And because everyone appreciates value, these features make any home more marketable. After all, UD represents smart, sophisticated design.

While bathrooms are most likely to remain the same size, certain changes will be more popular than others. Remodeling trends for 2015 include larger showers, more accessibility features, and double sinks, according to a study done by Houzz, explaining why Universal Design represents a better way to build.

After learning more about the advantages of Universal Design, you may well ask why all homes aren’t built this way. New homes still have a long way to go toward full accessibility. But that just means remodelers are here for you at every step of the way, and for many years to come. All the more reason to start today. We strive to make Universal Design our standard practice, building these ideas into every scope of work. Life is full of surprises. Find a local remodeler who creates homes that work for all people, no matter what life throws at them.

Visit our Project Gallery page to see more exciting photos of our work.

How to Make an Insurance Restoration Claim with Your Local Contractor

modern interior with stair under water flooded basement

Do you know how to file an Insurance Restoration Claim For Storm Damage, Structure Damage, or Fire and Water Damages. It’s always good to have the knowledge before you actually need to use it.

Have you seen that report on the news of about a car driving through the house, or the latest storm damage. Whether it was the thunderstorm that knocked down your neighbors tree onto your house, or the 100 year flood in your area that completely covered your basement. You should seek professional contractors advice along with your insurance agent. The agent is usually on the insurances side, where a Home Remodeling and Restoration Expert is on your side, so it is beneficial for you to use a Home Remodeler to help.

Minor damage can lead to big problems later on. Many insurance policies limit your time to file a claim, so don’t wait until you have water dripping through the ceiling, mold in the attic, or your roof caves in to call in an expert. Protect yourself by hiring a reputable contractor to represent your best interests. You have paid your homeowners insurance, so make sure you get the maximum value for your claim. SemBro Designs are experts in handling insurance restoration claims. Often times with little out of pocket expense.

Insurance Restoration Claim Tips

  • Don’t Delay! Most insurance policies limit your time to file a claim
  • You can’t be singled out for a rate increase due to storm damage
  • Insurance restoration contractors advocate for you
  • Always hire the best contractor, not the cheapest
  • Always do your homework and understand your rights


Insurance Restoration Claims Process

Filing a storm damage Insurance Restoration claim can be a frustrating and confusing process. You should remember that your insurance company is in business to make money and may try to deny your claim. So we’ve created a 7 Step Guide to make the claims process easy to understand.

Step 1: Assess the storm damage. Record the date of the storm, signs of damage you can see from the ground, and take pictures of any damage. Search online for news stories of the storm hitting your area, so you have proof if it is ever required.

Step 2: Make sure your contractor performs a full property inspection, including the roof, windows, siding, AC units, screens, concrete and all other exterior surfaces.

Step 3: Read your insurance policy carefully and contact the claims department of your insurance company directly. Be prepared to provide pictures and the estimate from the contractor you have chosen to work with.

Step 4: Insist your contractor is present during the adjuster inspection. Your contractor’s job is to make sure the adjuster plays fair, and provides you with a fair assessment. Remember, the insurance adjuster works for the insurance company and may have an incentive to deny your claim, if they think they can.

Step 5: If your claim is denied, don’t worry. You are entitled to meet with three insurance adjusters. Remember, even a small amount of damage should result in an approved claim. Any type of damage can devalue your home and damage should be fixed immediately before it leads to greater damage down the road.

Step 6: Once your claim is approved your insurance company will send you 2 separate payments. The first payment, or materials deposit, covers the cost of materials. Make sure your contractor orders materials in your name, and gives you a copy of the receipts for bought materials.

Step 7: After your materials are delivered, your contractor will get to work. Any changes to the written bid should be submitted in writing for your approval. No additional payment is due until all the repairs are complete. Once your project has passed a city inspection, you will have a chance to approve the job before making final payment. Make sure the job is done to your satisfaction and your contractor signs a lien waiver, before handing over the second payment.

When filing an Insurance Restoration claim, remember most state laws prohibit insurance companies from cancelling policies for filing claims in an Act of God storm damage situation. In most states insurance company cannot single you out for a rate increase. If the insurance company is going to raise rates, they have to raise everyone’s rates in your area. So, if you don’t file a claim, your personal rate increase will pay for everyone else’s claim except for yours.

Let the insurance restoration experts at SemBro Designs give you peace-of-mind when it comes to working through the process of filing insurance restoration claims, working with adjusters and restoring the damage.