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Not Doing It Yourself (page 2 of 4)

For all of us, there are tasks for which we need professional help to complete a home improvement project. Whatever help you require, here are some guidelines for hiring professionals.

Excerpted from Do It Yourself Home Improvement

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Electricians
An electrician will carry out all types of electrical work, usually for the wiring of outlets, light switches, phones, and televisions. Most states require electricians to be certified but specific requirements may vary by county and state jurisdictions. Check with the city building department about the specific type(s) of required certification and/or licenses and verify that your electrician meets those requirements.

Flooring Installers
General flooring companies can tackle any floor requests, ranging from initial leveling to waxing a hardwood floor, for example. However, make sure they have the relevant experience in all areas. You can also employ carpet installers, wooden floor specialists, or floor tilers.

Excavators
Before a building starts to go up, excavators generally do all the preparatory work, including digging for foundations and routes for drainage and utilities. Many are employed by a builder, but some work independently. It can save time and money to employ an excavator and his equipment for the day to carry out all of the heavy earth-moving requirements on a project.

Laborers
Skill and experience in this trade vary greatly. Good laborers are skilled at helping another trade to finish a job. General laborers will price themselves based on knowledge and experience, and hourly rates will vary widely. Personal recommendation is essential.

Painters and Decorators
A good decorator will carry out all aspects of decorative coatings, including painting, papering, and, in some cases, tiling. Specialist tilers sometimes tile both walls and floors as a full-time occupation. Good decorators can provide very-high-quality finishes-a preferable option when looking to hang expensive wallpaper, for example. Make sure that the number of coats, type of paint, and general quality of materials is specified in any painting job. Decorators can be an excellent source of ideas for new effects and finishes.

Drywall Repair
Minimal drywall repair is easily done by the "do-it-yourselfer" but large scale jobs require skill. Pricing for repair work is usually set according to square footage or estimated time. Check that the price includes all coats required and whether painting is included. They may also offer "tacking" services-cutting and fixing drywall before repair.

Excerpted from Do It Yourself Home Improvement

© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

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