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Six Top Tips to Getting the Most From Your Home Remodeling Contractor in Massachusetts

Massachusetts has been a busy spot for home remodeling requests so far this spring, which may be a good sign that the economy is rebounding in the New England area. A good residential remodeling contractor can breathe new life into your home. Most can handle a wide variety of renovations that include anything from refreshing an aging kitchen or bath to adding and constructing a new room. As is the case with most home improvement and repair projects, a small amount of due diligence can eliminate misunderstandings and make sure you get what you want. The following six points are vital considerations before making your choice:

Experience Suited to Your Massachusetts Project

Whenever you are constructing a separate addition or remodel to your residence, make certain your Massachusetts contractor possesses the proper background and has completed comparable assignments previously. As much as this seems common sense, always make sure hire you don’t hire a flooring contractor to perform your entire renovation job. Their measure of experience is going to be restricted to ensuring your tile or wood floors are done correctly – not necessarily other kinds of construction.

However, a suitable home remodeling contractor will likely be a person who has practical experience supervising virtually all stages of construction from the basic foundation, to roofing, and interior finishing. If you are only seeking to have your home painted, a painting professional will likely be acceptable to complete this sort of work on your house.

List of Materials

Any sort of estimate you get from a licensed contractor needs to include a reasonably comprehensive list of materials, yet it will obviously be determined by the extent and difficulty of the project. The listing supplied by an individual adding a counter top in your kitchen will be significantly different that one a contractor putting in an additional room in your home would provide. In either situation, it is best to make certain you get a written summary of the supplies being used in your project.

Verify Massachusetts Insurance

This is a huge consideration and it must be asked early in the process and verified. Make sure you request proof of liability insurance coverage and worker’s compensation protection from the prospective contractor. The obligation to have liability coverage must be considered an unconditional requirement for every service provider, which means you will want to avoid anyone undertaking work on your residence without this. For most contractors, worker’s compensation insurance is required.

Always Get Local References

Any reputable contractor that does good work and has a favorable background should be able to present you with references from recent happy customers. Phone or e-mail these people to ask how their experience was, and if they would endorse the contractor.

MA State License

Depending on the type of work being performed, virtually all contractors must have some kind of state or county license(s). Obtain the telephone number and get in touch with the proper state or county board for proof of licensure and to ensure it is current. Many people advertise themselves as registered, yet not everyone has current credentials. If the contractor will not supply you with their licenses, it is a good idea to avoid doing business with them.

Deposits & Down Payments

Based on the extent of your project, the contractor may request a down payment before carrying out the work. Use caution so as not to pay an excessive amount upfront before any work is performed. 10% is generally sufficient to show your commitment to getting the work done. The outstanding balance should be disbursed during the remainder of the undertaking. This can be usually be determined by how big the project is and the costs involved. In the event the contractor needs to make large investments in supplies for your assignment, anticipate making staggered payments as the project progresses.

The Average Cost of a Basement Remodeling Job

As part of our very popular “Average Cost” series, we would like to address the question; “What is the average cost of a basement remodeling project?”

The average cost of a basement remodeling job can depend on a lot of things. The three biggest factors affecting the cost are the size of your basement, its present condition, and the desired finished product. While the average cost nationwide is $45,000, you could spend anything between $500 and $100,000 depending on what you’re going for.

The current state of your basement can have a big impact on your final cost. All finished basements need moisture-control and insulation. If this has not already been taken care of, it’s going to add to the cost. Installing plumbing and electrical wiring is another expense. Adding windows and extra lighting will up the cost as well. A basement that is partially finished may cost much less to complete than an entirely bare space.

It’s generally accepted that in newer homes, basement remodeling will cost on average $20-$25 per square foot, meaning around $30,000-$50,000 for a 1,500 to 2,000 square foot basement. It’s also possible to finish part of your basement and leave another part unfinished.

Converting a basement into a comfortable and legal renting unit usually costs between $30,000-$50,000 as a national average. This could mean adding bathrooms, kitchens, and windows if necessary.

What you want out of your basement is the ultimate factor in determining the final cost. You can finish the walls, ceilings, and floors to create usable added living space for as little as $1,000-$5,000. It’s additions such as bathrooms, wet bars, entertainment areas, elaborate moldings, heating, and additional wiring for lighting that can increase your price tremendously. It’s possible to spend upwards of $100,000 depending on the dream in mind. As with all home improvement projects, the more elaborate the plan, the higher the price tag.

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Basement Remodeling: How to Determine the Best Use of your Basement Space

The basement is usually the last space to be remodeled in a home. And, by the time most homeowners get to this space, they may be bursting with ideas or fresh out of them. Following is a basement remodeling checklist. It will not only help you define how to use the space, but keep you within budget once your plans are defined.

What Are Your Family’s Needs: Before tackling a basement remodeling project, clearly outline your family’s wants and needs. Do you need a playroom for the kids; a workout room for the whole family; or an office for a home business start up?

Many approach the basement with a “want list” in mind. But in order to make sure you’re not just wasting money, you should take into account how you all actually live as a family. This way, you’ll get the most bang for your remodeling buck!

How Long Will You Be in the Home: This is a question every homeowner should ask before tackling a basement remodeling project. Consider this: Remodeling Magazine’s 2008-09 Cost vs. Value Report puts the average cost of a full basement remodel with wet bar and bathroom addition at $61,011…