A Few Tools and Tips for Homeowners

1. If you're planning a design change in your home but are having difficulty deciding on a color scheme then yours is a common problem. With the dizzying array of organic and artificial hues to choose from and the panoply of manufacturers all with proprietary combinations it is easy to get overwhelmed while still in the planning phase of your project. For some interesting design ideas check out Benjamin Moore's Color Trends for 2014 and to see how a chosen palette will look in your space utilize a Virtual Painting Tool, one of the many technological advancements helping streamline the home improvement process. Also keep in mind that different colors have additional applications beyond the basic appearance. Bright hues, for example, can make a room seem more spacious while dark colors bring a room together making a large space more inviting.

2. Many homeowners working on a budget attempt to reduce the overall cost of their project by opting for one of the cheaper paint brands. While this maneuver will certainly save you money in the short run it may prove more costly later when the inferiority of the bargain basement paint begins to show, ultimately costing you more in repaints then doing doing the job right the first time would have. If you want to protect your investment and save yourself money over the long haul use only quality Benjamin Moore or Sherwin-Williams paint. Your wallets and purses will thank you.

3. One easy way to cut down on the cost of a professional painting contractor is by handling some of the prep work yourself before your contractor of choice arrives. This includes moving furniture, removing any hanging objects from the walls, and cleaning any surfaces that you intend to have painted. However, be sure to inform your contractor of your plans and solicit their advice so the preparations are executed correctly and you receive an accurate quote that reflects the contributions you've made.

4. Anyone performing any modifications to the appearance or structure of your home is required to have a Home Improvement Contractor's License. This state regulation is being strictly enforced, particularly in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy when so many fly-by-nighters added more grief to an already bleak situation. When choosing a painting and remodeling contractor always check with the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs to be certain they are licensed with the state and that their company is in good standing. You can even check to see if any actions or complaints have been filed against them. In addition, ask for proof of General Liabilty coverage to you know you're protected in the event of a mishap. It should look something like this (Certificate of Liability Coverage).

5. While we would love to be your contractor of choice, if you're an avid do-it-yourselfer we would prefer you did the job right. Correcting faulty work is always more costly than getting it right the first time. To that end, feel free to contact one of our representatives. We will gladly offer whatever tips and advice we can free of charge. Or visit one of the trusted sites listed below. They won't steer you wrong.

www.thisoldhouse.com

www.diynetwork.com

www.familyhandyman.com

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