Many experts and analyst have made recommendations on how to buy upgrade products for the home improvement, we have taken the time to read many of their advises trying to help you minimize the risk of buying yourself a disappointment, rather than a great product, and here is a summary of what they say:
1. Put together a plan or a design, Get a clear picture of what you would like to get, you can use our gallery of pictures to help you. Some hardware stores also have galleries of products available on-line. And if you are not sure, you can always ask for expert advice. We can offer you advice and you can consult with us, but you can also get help from experts like architects or refer to publication magazines for more ideas. With many products and colours and styles to choose from this should be the hardest part of your project.
2. Once you know what you want, it will be a lot easier to get a price or a quote from local contractors, when you don't have a clear picture contractors will bid on different projects since each one of them has preferences of the materials they are more comfortable working with, and quite often they will try to convince you to do your project their way.
3. The usual, verify the reliability of the contractor, ask for references, make sure he is not going to take your money and run, do your due diligence before you buy. Do not sign on the spot to those door-to-door canvassers that come around with great deals and offers “If you sign now”. Remember the golden rule if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Overall, make sure you know who is going to be responsible for doing the work.
4. Most contractors are honest people trying to earn a living, some will deceive you and very small group of them will impress you with their professionalism and work ethics. Make sure you select a person you can talk to and agree with, and make sure that person has done the type of work before. The lowest bid is not necessarily the best bid, if a contractor works for free (or a low income), chances are that he will not be in business for a long time and will not provide you with any warranty and more likely will not meet deadlines.
5. As part of preparation for the work you (or your consultant) will need to investigate the environment for the project and that includes the by-laws applicable to the area where your property is located, (some by-laws restrict you in the type of fence you are allow to erect, the height, the materials etc), in some cases you might be required to obtain a permit from you local municipal or town authorities to erect high fences or add a gate into an existing fence, any digging involved need to be checked against the utility companies for buried cables, lines or equipment, the type of terrain will also determine the depth of the digging and any reinforcement required.
6. For small project or for people with extremely busy schedules you can decide to take your project as a compose-as-you-go, project. Often it will run over budget and late. When a client decides that they don't care for a certain detail in a compose on the fly project, then the contractor takes the financial hit of changing it, or the client gets a change order, either way, someone is upset. In summation, no-one should work for free, sometimes what appears to be a bargain is not, planning is always prudent and doing your homework is absolutely necessary for a successful outcome to your wood work or home improvement project.
7. If your project involves a warranty, make sure you obtain and keep a copy of it in a written form, if the warranty is done through an on-line registration service, make sure you get some form of acknowledgement from the registrar, either through email or any printable form, or a file you can permanently store, for future claims.