Home Improvement – How to Choose the Right Electrician for the Job

If your house has been built for several years now, chances are, it may need an upgrade to conform to modern appliances and devices you’ve added to your home through the years.

Years ago, you may have bought a simple television set. With the introduction of new television models, you may have recently bought yourself a 75-inch OLED TV complete with a home theater.

For this newly acquired asset, your old electrical outlet may no longer be sufficient, and you risk short circuiting your breakers.

To solve this problem, you can rely on professional electrical contractors to do the job for you, but before hiring one, you need to take steps to ensure you are getting only the best in the business.

electrician on the job

 

How to Choose the Right Electrical Contractor

  1. Search the web

These days, most electricians are aware of the value of having an online presence – they have their website and social media accounts. You’ll be able to evaluate the contractor’s capability and services by reading through its web pages.

Using the web as a search tool is convenient because you will not need to drive and ask around, which is too much of a hassle.

  1. Do a background check

When you have pinpointed at least three possible contractors, do another search to check on their reputation.

There are websites like the Better Business Bureau and Angie’s List that provide reviews for various businesses and trade.

Knowing a contractor’s reputation is important, so you don’t suffer from poor electrical repairs and bad experience. This ensures you don’t hire one who has been involved in questionable projects or one who left an unfinished project.

Ask your neighbors and friends if they have used or have heard of the contractors you’re planning to hire. Know what particular job they hired the contractor for and what was their experience. A satisfied customer would normally have only good words for a reliable electrical contractor and would usually recommend them.

Are they pioneers or well-known in the industry? Contractors of this type have lasted and continue to be successful in the business because they provide quality work. They care for their reputation and thus, deliver only the best service. Contractors who have been in the business for years have accumulated tons of experience and would know how to deal with various electrical improvements.

  1. Check for licenses

It is important to note that a licensed professional does not equate to excellent workmanship. When you look for an electrician, you need to know what type of electrical improvement you need because they have different specialization.

You can verify their license by getting the number that appears on the license and cross-checking it on public records. You can also ask for the electrician’s full name and check if he is listed. You may also ask assistance from local licensing offices or organizations.

 

Types of licensed electricians:

A Master Electrician has a degree in Electrical Engineering and should have a minimum experience of seven years. He can be a supervisor or a project contractor. He is authorized to create an electrical plan and can install and maintain an electrical system.

A Journeymen Electrician is licensed to do wiring and equipment installation with the assistance of a Master Electrician in residential and commercial buildings.

Commercial Electricians are required to work under a Master Electrician before being licensed. This is important because they are involved in projects that could affect public safety. They work on construction sites or commercial buildings.

To be a licensed Residential Electrician, an individual needs to undergo classroom training and apprenticeship for at least four years. After licensing, he can install and upgrade electrical equipment in homes and apartments.

 

  1. The work should be guaranteed

Faulty electrical installations pose a high risk to the destruction of life and property as it can lead to fires. The National Fire Protection Association reports that between the years 2010 to 2014, fire departments all over the U.S. responded to an annual average of 45,210 cases of home fires that were traced back to electrical malfunctions.

If you inadvertently hire an unlicensed contractor, chances are, he would not be liable for any damages you will incur due to faulty work. Your homeowners’ insurance may not also cover the damages caused by the same.

You can prevent this by checking on the contractor’s insurance policy and its coverage.

 

  1. Look for someone who understands your needs

Find someone who prioritizes listening to your electrical problems and suggesting solutions for it. If a different suggestion to what you have in mind is presented to you, ask him to explain why this is the case and weigh the pros and cons. A professional contractor will be able to explain this to you in clear and simple language.

DIY Carpet Cleaning Guide

The best way to keep your carpets clean is to limit the amount of dirt that gets into it. However, this is almost impossible to achieve if you have children and pets at home.

If you can’t prevent it, cleaning is the best solution. But don’t just clean it. You need to know how to clean it properly and what cleaning solutions are appropriate because you may end up ruining your carpet using the wrong chemicals. You may even end up voiding your carpet’s warranty if this happens.

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DIY carpet cleaning image

If you want to save on cost and don’t want to call a carpet cleaning company yet, there are excellent ways to do-it-yourself. You can clean your carpet anytime and as much as you want. This is perfectly acceptable. In fact, around 42% of carpet cleaning is done by homeowners themselves.

 

How to Clean Your Carpets

Stains

Stains are the most difficult to clean. Always be on the lookout for berries, chocolate, coffee, wine, etc. especially if you entertain people at home a lot. Once you spot a stain, do your best to immediately remove it from the carpet. Blot the liquid or scrape as much as you can without damaging your carpet fibers. An immediate solution would be hydrogen peroxide because it doesn’t harm the dyes on your carpet.

Shaving cream can also remove most stains. Spray shaving cream directly on the stain and let it sit for about 30 minutes. After that, blot the solution using a piece of white cloth. Finish the process by mixing equal amounts of water and vinegar and spray it on the affected area. Wipe it off with a clean white cloth.

 

Chewing gum

Scraping off chewing gum from the carpet may just spread the sticky substance even more. Try putting ice cubes on it for about 30 seconds. That should harden the gum. You can then go ahead and scoop it up with a spoon. If there are still some left, use a pair of scissors and cut the ends of the affected carpet fibers. This should not be noticeable.

 

Wax

Candle wax could sometimes drip on the carpet. Remove it by putting a white cloth over the affected area and iron it. This should melt the wax and allow you to scrape it off with a butter knife.

After this, use paper towels over the wax. The wax binds with the paper towel. Do this several times until the wax is completely gone.

Remember to use only white colored towels because colored ones could add more stains to your carpet. Do not also place the iron on the carpet for more than 30 seconds because it could burn it.

 

Dirt

Vacuuming the carpet several times should do the trick of removing dirt and grime from the carpet. You can do this on a weekly basis. For dirt that has embedded itself within the inner fibers of the carpet, you may need the help of professional carpet cleaners who have the right cleaning solutions and equipment.

5 Crucial Home Improvement Mistakes to Avoid

Home improvement ideas are everywhere on the internet. There are even shows that offer home improvements to those who badly need them. And voila! The house looks perfect. You, on the other hand, can’t help but wish you could do the same to your home.

If you can afford it, why not? Home improvements are a great way to make your home stand out and increase its value for reselling purposes. And sometimes, your home just really needs a facelift.

DIY home improvement tools

If you recently acquired a new home, you may not like the way some parts of it look and want to customize them to your liking. The wall painting may be too dark for you and want something brighter.

Whatever it is you want to do, it is best to do your homework for home improvement ideas. It would help to know several home improvement mistakes so you can avoid them, and not risk incurring higher project costs.

  1. Diminished home value

Consult a professional designer or planner before starting your home improvement project. Know how much it would cost and if it could enhance the overall value of your house. A house planner can tell you if your ideas can add value to your home or not. You would not want to risk such a loss.

You should not also overbuild. Certain residential locations have prescribed house designs and area so be aware of this.

  1. Rushed home improvement project

Rushing a home improvement project is probably one of the worst mistakes you can make.  is probably one of the worst mistakes you can make. An unplanned and hurried project could only lead to disaster and huge expenses. It is always best to plan and prepare for the task at hand. This also gives you ample time to check prices of materials and the most reliable store to buy them from.

If you plan and is satisfied with what you want to be done, then you can go ahead and start.

  1. Hiring the wrong contractor

The best way to avoid this is to do your research before deciding on a contractor. Most contractors have websites that tell you what they offer. Check their customer reviews, too.

It’s best if you have at least three contractors to choose from and compare them. Make sure they are worthy of your trust because you will be letting them in your home.

  1. Changing your mind while the project is on-going

Sad to say, some people who don’t plan often change their mind when they see the result and ask the contractor to start all over again. That would be wasting too much money, materials, time and effort.

  1. Wrong estimate and not having enough money

Unforeseen expenses often come up when the project is on-going, so it is important to have extra money handy. Do not start a project if you only have the exact amount based on the contractor’s estimate because some materials may have been inadvertently forgotten when the costing was done. Also, the biggest cost you’ll pay for is labor so you should have more than enough.

Quick Tips for Home Improvement and Remodeling

The home is a place where we can relax and unwind after a long day of work. But what if your home is the opposite of that? Instead of being a haven, it is chaotic and disorganized. Time to reclaim the purpose of your house by doing home improvement and remodeling.

A lot of people think that improving the home needs top dollars. Well, it could be the case if we are talking about a major renovation work. But often, the house just needs a little change to make it homey. Here are some tips that will not put a dent in your wallet.

DIY it!

You do not need a major in carpentry works to be able to make some improvement at home. Thanks to online tutorials, you get both the idea and the procedure on how to do it online. You can even purchase kits to make your home improvement DIY project a success.

Declutter

As they say, we can’t organize clutter. So three things to do with your clutter: donate, sell, or junk it. You will be amazed at the significant change that can happen to your home just by disposing of things that are merely dust collectors.

Ask the pros

Do not be afraid to ask a neighborhood contractor for suggestions and quotation for home improvement. You might have been making the wrong idea about the price, and you can already afford that project you want.

Bottom line here is something to make your home improvement project a reality. A step in the right direction is all it takes.