When you hire a contractor and they do a competent job, you should be able to just hire that contractor again without checking their background and starting the process over. Right? Not so fast, as one person who aspired to have new doors installed in his home learned the hard way. He hired back a contractor he had used in the past without checking any licenses, and paid about $7,500 for his mistake. [More]
The cabinets that Debbie bought from Home Depot a decade ago haven’t aged very well. She saw on the original paperwork that the ones she has came with a “lifetime guarantee”…. but that’s nonsense, right? She looked them up anyway, just in case. It turned out that the company that made her cabinets, Mills Pride, closed a few years ago. That’s too bad. But a different company starting with M, Masco Cabinetry, took over customer support for Mills Pride’s old customers. Debbie called them up and, to her astonishment, learned that Masco would replace the worn-out doors that they didn’t even manufacture in the first place. [More]
Eric’s dad bought his kitchen renovation from a local Lowe’s store. What he didn’t know is that to wander in and buy services like this from a big-box home improvement store, you personally are in charge of the comings and goings of the different contractors, and must know enough about construction to make them come in the right order. Funny, I thought that was the entire point of going to a big-box store and hiring them to install everything for you. [More]
The publisher of a series of home improvement books has announced a recall of nine of them, because of errors in their instructions on installing or repairing electrical wiring. The Consumer Products Safety Commission says no injuries have been reported so far even though the books have been published since 1975, which I think proves that nobody has ever actually attempted a project from any home improvement book. [More]
Jeffrey and his wife found their dream house. Except they failed to realize the difficulty that one tiny problem with the house might give them. The difficulty? Well, the previous owners doubled the size of the house. Only they sort of forgot to get permits for any of the additions or renovations.
If you have an open home equity line of credit you were counting on for renovations or other projects, you might want to read CNN Money’s article about how lenders are freezing them around the country. The main triggers for HELOC freezing are credit score changes and a rapid drop in home value in your area. The freeze may also be a computer-determined action, so if your HELOC suddenly goes away and you don’t think it was justified, it may be worth checking your FICO score and then contacting the lender to reopen the line or renegotiate it.