September 2016 (70 )

From Jim's Notebook:
Hiring A Contractor
Ask the right questions up front.
  • How long has the contractor been working under the current name?
    Ideal for it to be at least 3-5 years as a business under the current name - not just "years of experience".
  • Does your work require a license?
  • Do they have an office? Working out of a garage or pick-up truck = here today, gone tomorrow.
  • Does the contractor carry insurance? General liability and worker's comp are a must. Provided they have worker's comp insurance, if a worker gets hurt on the job the property owner cannot be sued.
  • Does the contractor have their own employee's, use sub-contractors or both? Beware of the suitcase contractor - a real contractor will at least have some employees of their own and use subs for specialty jobs.
  • Are there unanswered complaints with the BBB?
    A ny business can have complaints against them. The good ones always answer regardless of the complaint.
  • Is your contractor willing to give you a reference list?
  • Will your contractor stay on the job once it starts or will they be bouncing around between projects?
And remember:
  • Never sign the contract on the first visit. Don't let the contractor pressure you into signing by saying the price is only good for today. Sleep on it and if they won't honor the price the next day, find another contractor.
  • Never pay upfront when you sign the contract. Clearly negotiate the schedule of payments with the first being when the work begins with the final being due upon completion.

Managing the allergens in your home...
Your HVAC system's role in air filtration.
Jim speaks with Chris Alonzo of Carrier about the how your HVAC system effects the air quality in your house.


Your Questions - 
Jim's Answers

DIY Fence
Jim goes over all the basics - materials, procedures, etc.

Septic Systems
James just bought a house with a conventional septic system. Jim tells him how to maintain it and what lifestyle adjustments he will need to make.

A Trend We Really Like
Wood on Walls
The emerging trend of wood on walls is a good way to balance refined and rustic looks. Whether you're looking to create an interesting accent wall or define a whole new space, putting wood on walls gives you the chance to add depth and character to your home. 
Watch this for some beautiful examples:

Thanks for listening!

Jim Dutton

10th Annual CMNH Golf Classic 
October 17

The Greater Houston Ace Retailer Group invites you to attend the 10th annual CMNH Golf Classic benefitting Texas Children's Hospital of the Children's Miracle Network.

The Palmer Course
The Woodlands Country Club
Contact Sandra Williams 281-481-5858

Hey Houston!
Come on out and see Jim next weekend at  the  Texas Home & Garden Show.
 Texas' best resource for expert advice, money saving tips, remodeling ideas, landscape features and everything you need for your home and garden...and Jim will be broadcasting live Saturday!
September 24-25
Houston's NRG Center

Listen to Jim's take on dozens of subjects. Follow us on Sound Cloud...

Tune into 
Texas Home Improvement this weekend!

Saturday 12N-2:00pm

Saturday 2:00-4:00pm

Saturday 2:00-3:00pm

 Saturday 2:00-3:00pm

Sunday 2:00-4:00pm

Need a little more Texas Home Improvement during the week? Check out our podcasts. Available on iTunes and SoundCloud.

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