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    A Guide to Finding Home Improvement Professionals

    Home improvement projects may involve simply adding a bit of extra flair to your rooms, or renovating your entire home. No matter the scope, home projects are investments and must be planned carefully—beginning with deciding who will be doing the work. While it may seem tempting to save money by trying to complete home improvement projects DIY-style, this can quickly turn into an enormous and frustrating time and money pit. Find a contractor today in order to save your time, money, and sanity.

    Know What You Need Before You Find Contractors

    Depending on your home improvement project, you may need the help of a few different professionals. For a serious renovation that involves major structural change, it's generally best to first consult with an architect. A project that includes several different areas of work like plumbing and electrical may call for a general contractor. A general contractor acts as a middleman to manage all aspects of your project, hiring the necessary subcontractors and managing permits, insurances, and work schedules. For a less complicated project like installing carpets or doors, find contractors who specialize in one area of the home, such as doors or windows.

    Find contractors today to get your started on your home improvement projects. | @ fotolia.com / Highway Starz

    What to Know After You Find Contractors

    The first thing to do after you find contractors for your projects is to check their credentials on your state's home improvement licensing database. Although many states require mandatory licensing, some don't, making it important you double-check your state and your contractor's credentials before they start working for you.

    After you find contractors for your home improvement projects, most will offer you an initial estimate or bid for the job. This estimate will usually include the cost of insurance. Although at first insurance can seem like an easy thing to skip in order to save money, worker compensation, personal liability, and property insurance are crucial in protecting your home and your home improvement professionals in case of any accidents. When you find contractors, be sure to ask for a physical copy of their insurance to make sure it is up to date.

    Finally, quality home improvement professionals will usually allow for down-payments and financing throughout the project. Your home improvement professionals should never pressure you for an immediate decision or full payment before they have started work. Never pay in cash for a project—even a small one—and if possible, try to discuss payment installments that occur at regular project checkpoints. This way, if work is delayed, the contractor's payment is delayed as well. Be sure to have a clear understanding of your payment and your contract before starting work on your project.

    Bottom Line: Find Contractors and Save Money and Time

    Finding a contractor you trust can go a long way in easing stress while completing home improvement projects. Find contractors and get started on your porjects today with HomeAdvancement's convenient database of quality home improvement professionals in your area.

    Written by: Ryan Mchugh, Editor www.HomeAdvancement.com