How to Choose the Right Contractor for Home Repairs

When you have to choose a contractor for some of the repairs work on your home, how will you tell the difference between a certified professional and a charlatan? Research and the right questions are what you’ll need to make this important decision.

When looking for contractors, you want to ask your friends for referrals, check online for customer review sites, get info from your local home hardware store and glance through the yellow pages. Call at least three potential contractors to interview and request quotes.

While you’re asking for quotations, give every contractor the same information so your comparison is consistent. How to Interview a Contractor When interviewing a potential contractor, it’s important to ask these questions:

  1. Are you licensed in this city/state?

If your potential contractor has a license, get the number and call your local building department’s licensing office to validate it. Also, contact your Better Business Bureau and state Consumer Protection Agency to find out what’s required to obtain a license in your state.

  1. Can you provide me with 3 references from jobs done in the last year?

Use references to check your contractor’s work history, reliability and ability to stay on budget and schedule. Don’t be afraid to quiz the references on the specifics of the work they had done and to what level they were satisfied with the work. If there were problems of significance, that is what you want to unearth.

  1. What insurance do you have?

Contractors should come to you insured. They should have general liability, workman’s compensation, auto insurance, and property and personal liability. Ask for a copy of your contractor’s insurance because the last thing you want is legal and financial responsibility should an accident take place on your property.

  1. How experienced are you?

Find out how long your contractor has been in business. Anything over five years is usually a sign of a reliable, stable business. A work history less than this time period does not mean the person is not qualified or sufficiently experienced for the job. It simply means your risk might be a little higher.


  1. Do you have a portfolio?

Most contractors will have before and after photographs of their past work. Look through these to get an idea of the type of work your contractor does and his or her abilities.

With the above, I’m sure you would be able to make up your mind on the right contractor for your home repairs.

How to Repair Garage Opener the Right Way

Garage door

Are you currently having problems with your garage door opener? Most people that have this problem are often experiencing nothing more than depleted batteries. It’s easy enough to open up the back, replace the batteries, and it should be able to open and close the garage door once again, but sometimes it’s not that simple. Additionally, the garage door opener is not limited to the remote that most people use. By pressing the button that is typically by the garage door leading into the house, this button can also become faulty, and will require repairs. This article will address how to repair garage opener the right way so that you can quickly have full access to your garage door once again.


Common Problems with Garage Door Openers


Once you have determined whether or not it is the garage door opener remote control, or if it is the button, you can proceed to fix either one. If it is the remote control, there are only two options that you have available. If replacing the batteries does not work, you must contact the manufacturer, or the garage door company that installed your garage to ask them to order a new one. However, this problem pales in comparison to a garage door opener proper, specifically the device that is responsible for opening and closing the door. Let’s look at how these are constructed, and how they work, and then go over some troubleshooting ideas.


What Is A Garage Door Opener?


This is a motorized device that is able to rotate a chain or belt that rotates clockwise and counterclockwise, allowing you to open and close your garage door. This must be mounted on the ceiling, preferably from the rafters, and only consists of two components. There is the electric motor housing, which is the power behind the device, which will plug into an outlet that is either their at the ceiling level, or you must have one installed. The other is the rail mechanism, that which contains the belt which will pull the garage door up, or drop it down. There are other components including the infrared sensors which are part of the mechanism, specifically the opening and closing of the door. There are sensors which are designed to look for objects, such as people or anything else that could be blocking the door from going all the way down. All of this works together to allow a remote control to open the garage door, or close it if necessary. It is also attached physically via wires to a button that when depressed, will open and close the door as well.


How to Fix the Garage Door Opener


Most of these units have adjustments on the side which you can manually turn in order to adjust the position of the door. If it is too far up or down, it will not operate properly, and only subtle changes in these adjustments will actually help resolve the problem. Typically there are knobs which can be turned to adjust the position, allowing you to put it in the right place. This will allow the door to move up the tracks via the rollers, and also allow the springs to be properly extended, when it is all the way up or back down at the ground level fully closed. The different units are made per the manufacturer’s specifications, which will allow you to make the right adjustments. Additional ways to fix the opener include lubricating the rail, checking the chain tension, replacing the gear assembly, or even replacing the circuit board. Many of these need to be accomplished by certified garage door repair companies so that they can be adjusted properly.


In conclusion, you now have a few ideas on how to repair garage opener the right way. These are just a few of the things that can go wrong with the garage door opener that can either be fixed to buy the average person, or they may require a professional. If you are having problems that are extensive, ones that you cannot fix on your own, a garage door experts abc is only a phone call away.

Another Day in Paradise

Ah, the joy of sipping coffee on a slow morning.

Some people only get to experience this on Saturdays. I get it almost every day.

Have I convinced you that you should house sit yet?

I want to talk about something almost philosophical today. The deeper meaning behind:

How’s life?

Good? Good. (Such a shallow response)

You see, I am sitting here, in a beautiful home, making money while I relax.

Is that how you make money?

If not, I suggest you reevaluate your life. You are most likely directly trading your time for money. That is a losing proposition my friend. You have a limited amount of time that no amount of money can buy back. I highly suggest you take a strong look at your life and where you want to go, and trust me, it ain’t easy.

You need to find a way to give people value that is not in direct relationship to your time spent on the project. In other words, you need to be making money, while sitting and drinking coffee. What can you think of that would allow you to do this? It is not house sitting, trust me. I am getting paid to waste my time hanging out in someone’s house. I don’t have freedom to go and do things. I need to be here and watch this house. So you could say I have limited freedom. I can do what I want within this house. Like write and blog, of which I am currently doing. It allows me to make money in addition to this house sitting job. If there is a way to grow revenue from it, such as ads or some other stream of income, all the better. I enjoy writing, so it doesn’t feel like work. I have a good work-life balance too.

What I encourage you to do, right now, is think about 5 different ways you could make money without putting in direct effort. They could be crazy ideas, but just think of some, and write them down. Don’t do any of these ideas. They will probably be terrible and a waste of effort. It is mental exercise. We are strengthening your idea generation muscles. You will wait until an idea so good comes up that you can’t stop thinking about it. An idea that you dream about, and after 60 days, if you still want to do it, START.

That is how you get the chance to sip coffee.

That is how you get freedom.


The Pay Scale

Why do people seem to always be focused on money? Sure, it is a “universal language”, and “money talks”, but it shouldn’t be our main focus.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying money can’t buy happiness. In fact, not having enough of it, can drastically lower a person’s happiness level. This is often do to the person having to compromise significantly on their quality of life. Maybe they can’t afford to get their broken tooth taken care of, and this brings them pain everyday. Maybe they can’t afford new floors. Maybe they can barely afford to eat. Maybe they can’t afford to live on their own, and end up quarreling with the people they live with everyday. One way or another, if this person isn’t bringing home enough bacon, they suffer. And their happiness levels decrease.

Statistics show that optimum happiness is reached at an average annual salary of about $70,000 dollars. Any more than that provides a negligible increase in happiness. You could make that much money replacing windshields. So what does this mean? Should minimum wage be increased to $35/hour to ensure everyone is happy? Of course not; that would increase the cost of living tremendously. What it means is that you should try to reach this goal somehow, whether through earnings or investments. This is enough money that you could easily take care of yourself and not have to worry about suffering due to monetary reasons.

Scale of happiness

Now, for the reason I bring this up. I am constantly asked how much money I make by house sitting for my clients. Have you googled it? You might be surprised by the average annual salary of a house sitter. The results came up at around $50k per year. Are you surprised? Now what if I told you that was just the average. Some of us professionals make quite a bit more than that. I will tell you that I am above the “happiness line”. I don’t suffer due to monetary reasons.

It was NOT easy getting to this point however. People have to trust you, and to build trust takes time. Time and references. References and time. I am in these peoples’ houses, day after day, all while they are gone. I am in their sole private place. This takes immense trust, and I am rewarded for it. You see, I have the ability to wreak havoc if I wanted. If I was a teenage girl, I could throw a house party and invite all of my friends and tear the place up and never get another house sitting job. That would be the end of my career. But luckily, I am not a teenage girl, so I still have a career. I could sell all of their possessions in their home, which is usually worth a sizable portion of money, all before they got back. And that would be the end of my career, and my life, because I would probably end up in jail.

Let me tell you, people who make a sizable amount of money, have usually earned it. We have put in the time, the dedication, and effort. We have waded through the setbacks and slow times. We have been there with no money, and suffered. It is all these trials that have made us who we are today. They were our “trials by fire”. They gave us an appreciation for what we have now. We don’t take these high paying jobs for granted, as we know the amount of work it takes to get them. We know what it means to fail, over and over again, and to get back up, over and over again. It isn’t easy. Please don’t think that I am saying that we are better than you. Understand that we have been in the same situations as you have. Understand that we now have wisdom, instead of knowledge, and we now have the scars to prove that we went through our own battles.

If you would like advice on how to become a house-sitter, well, I hope this article has helped you. If not, I am sorry, and you will have to just get out there and try it for yourself.

The Modern Home

Keeping up with the Joneses. It is something no one wants to admit to doing, but everyone does it.

We want to feel like we are on the cutting edge, all the time. We want to talk about the newest gadgets, and our new toys. We want to show it off to our friends and brag about how great it is, and how much it impacts our lives. We invite them over not for the joy of being together, but for bragging together. Buying the newest and best of anything becomes a social experience.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am NOT saying this is a bad thing. If it gives us something to talk about other than politics or the weather, I am all for it! Unfortunately, there are some negative effects that we have seen, such as people living above their means and going into debt. That is a bad thing. However, if we are responsible about it, the whole experience becomes quite enjoyable.

So, keeping up with the Joneses; I do it with my house. I love decorating, moving things around, buying new furniture, painting anything and everything, and then as soon as it becomes close to completion, I want to do it all over again! There are so many great ideas out there, I just want to try them all!

Where do I come up with these ideas? House sitting. I take care of peoples homes, basically living in them temporarily. This gives me a unique perspective on home design. I am able to actually try out many different arrangements and setups. From old homes to new houses, I have seen it all! It is exciting living in a new house.

Nowadays, we see technology being integrated into our homes. All sorts of wireless technology implementations. We can play music from our phones over the loudspeakers throughout our houses. We can unlock the door with the push of a button on our phones. We can adjust the thermostat with an app. These are amazing times we are living in.

Follow along as I write about all the different details of the numerous ideas that I come up with. Who knows, you might find something you want to implement in your home!