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While do-it-yourself home improvement is the rage, some projects are just too difficult or too vital in contributing to the overall value of your home to try on your own. That’s when hiring a trusted local contractor can save time and money.

Cosmetic changes can be done by most homeowners, but when there are structural changes involved, many people find themselves in way over their heads. The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) further warns homeowners that remodeling a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, or family room is not a typical do-it-yourself project. Most homeowners need professional help in understanding the design specifications of a project, understanding and budgeting the proper materials for the job, and completing a cost-efficient remodeling effort that adds functionality and overall value to the home.

Before leaping into a do-it-yourself project, ask yourself if you have the know-how, patience, time, and stamina to complete the job right. You may need to obtain local permits, safety gear, and helpers. And most materials and labor estimates done by amateurs are dangerously lower than actual costs.

Finding a trusted local contractor, the NKBA says, requires you to ask prospective bidders to show you a portfolio of completed work, a list of references and, especially, their appropriate licenses. Even if you’re looking to save time and money, you don’t want to compromise on professionalism.

When seeking a trusted local contractor, call the Better Business Bureau to see if there are unresolved claims against your prospect and make sure they have a permanent office or business location. Be sure that your prospective contractors are insured for workmen’s compensation and liability. It can be painful to save time and money initially but end up paying out a settlement for injuries sustained by a worker or sub contractor.

To find a local contractor, please visit www.GuideToHomeImprovement.com.

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