Home Advisor releases report for “aging in place” or universal design

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the population of older Americans (over 65) will rise from 35 million in 2000 to more than 73 million in 2030.

With medical technology advancements in recent decades, Americans tend to live longer than decades earlier. According to the National Vital Statistics Reports released by the CDC, on the basis of mortality experienced in 2006, a person aged 65 years could expect to live an average of 18.5 more years for a total of 83.5 years. Continue reading “Home Advisor releases report for “aging in place” or universal design”

Asking the right questions

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When interviewing a contractor, ask

Do you…

  • Offer at least a one year written warranty?
  • Respond to warranty calls immediately?
  • What is the process for doing so?
  • Have a guaranteed price using a fixed–amount contract? Is this a single page agreement or a thorough detailed contract covering what is included, and more importantly, what is NOT included in the project?
  • Provide a written start and completion date?
  • Have written agreements with employees and trade contractors to ensure performance?
  • Use a Pre–Contract Meeting for the project to ensure that everyone who is involved in the production phase of the project is familiar with the details, consequently eliminating “surprises” and possible change orders?
  • Have a list of outstanding references that we may contact on our own?
  • Acquire permits and use licensed trade and mechanical contractors (plumbers, electricians, etc.)?
  • Have a license and certified staff for performing RRP Lead renovation required by the EPA on all homes 1978 and older?
  • Practice clear communication in a timely manner consistent with today’s technology?
  • Have a license as required in our area?
  • Have written testimonials from past clients? Show clear and well–done photos of past projects?
  • Possess at least $1 million dollars in liability insurance coverage and require that all trade contractors possess the same, in addition to their own workman’s compensation?
  • Have a clean reputation on the internet?
  • Offer unique and attractive designs?
  • Have a detailed systems/processes to carry the project through the sales-to-design-to-production phases?
  • Have an idea of how long the project will take to complete, as well as how long the design and planning phases will take?
  • Have a plan for how you will respect our home and our family?

Visit this page and download A Homeowner’s Guide to Selecting a Reliable Contractor for more information.
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