Hello again and welcome to yet another addition of “Contractor’s Corner”.

The following addresses last week’s tip and will also touch on the relationship between the homeowner and contractor.  Last week’s monthly tip was: “Please, please, please stop at three contractors when getting estimates for work on your home”. Getting more than three would be an overflow of opinions and paralyze you from being able to make any decisions.

Well, Carol P. from Freehold NJ writes: “Okay, I now have two contractors giving me a price to renovate my Kitchen. I like both of them. How do I decide which one is best suited for me?”  Carol, you started off by saying something very important “you liked them”. Liking them goes a long way, especially when someone will be in your home for more than one week.

Think about it – Generally speaking, in a kitchen renovation, you and the contractor will be working closely together for about four to six weeks. This person or persons will be in your home for at least 40 hours a week so it truly is important that you like them.

Rule # 1:  “Go with your gut”. If you like someone, you like them. If not it’s probably your intuition telling you to “Stay away”. I’m sure your intuition has warned you about this kind of stuff before in your life.

Now, everybody knows to ask for referrals. Always a good thing right? But I never heard of a contractor giving anyone a referral that did not rave about him, so:

Rule # 2: “Who loves you now baby?” Along with asking for past referrals, ask your contractor for the name & number of the job he is currently working on. Hopefully its something he is halfway through completion.

(It’s been my experiences that people who are “in the moment” of having an experience with someone are more likely to be truthful. And this is true to the experience of homeowner and contractor relationship.)

Ask the homeowner: 1) what time does he show up and leave? 2) How does he communicate with you? 3) What condition does he leave the job site? And here’s the BIG one: 4) how does he handle unexpected situations? It has been my observation of 30 plus years of experience, what separates the GREAT contractors from the so-so ones is how they respond to unexpected situations rather than how they react to them.

Carol I hope this helps you in making the decision that is right for you. And for the rest of the readers: If you would like to know how to get the very best from your contractor once you have hired them, contact me directly and I’ll tell you how.

My Monthly Tip: Winter is rapidly approaching. It is time to button up your home! Some of the greatest heat loss occurs through your old sliding glass doors, entry door from house to garage, and pull-down attic steps. So…replace those sliding doors with a named brand quality double insulated glass doors; install a new fire rated, B-label steel door similar to a back entry door to the garage; and purchase an attic blanket for those pull-down steps. These solutions will help keep you warmer this winter because as you’ve heard before “they keep saying…it’s going to be one of the coldest winters on record”. Brrrr

I look forward to your questions and helping you in your home improvement needs and projects.  You can visit our website at www.pbs-renovations.com  or contact me at: (732) 751-9129.

J.R. Ferullo