Do You Need a Residential General Contractor

November 29, 2011

Contractor Directory, Remodeling Contractor, contractor, subcontractors, contractors directory, construction directory

A residential general contractor is a professional who organizes and executes large home remodeling projects. People often confuse these home remodeling professionals with home improvement contractors, who usually undertake smaller tasks. The residential general contractors can easily undertake projects to add space or make better use of established space; thereby ensuring a better living experience for homeowners.

Keeping in perspective the different requirements of homeowners, residential general contractors provide expert advice and come up with innovative ideas to ensure better return on investment. These professionals are experienced, skillful and proficient to carry out different home remodeling jobs with perfection. They do not do all the work themselves; rather they delegate it to a team of professionals, including home improvement contractors, also referred to as ‘subcontractors’.

Many homeowners prefer to do home remodeling projects on their own, especially to save money. However, most they do not realize that every job is not a ‘Do-It-Yourself’ task; and thus, they often end up making things worse; thereby incurring additional expenses for mending their mistakes. Additionally, it also leads to wastage of time, which homeowners could have utilized for doing something consequential. Hence, depending upon the job, you need to assess whether or not you need to hire a residential general contractor.

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For example, if you are planning to remodel your kitchen all by yourself; you are only going to mess it up. Remodeling a kitchen is not a simple task; it demands at least five-six weeks of diligent efforts, which is usually not possible in today’s hectic lifestyle. There is plumbing, painting, flooring and electrical work to be done, which demand certain amount of skills. Additionally, counter-top, cabinet and appliances need to be installed efficiently. All this work requires significant amount of skill, hard work, patience, and time. More often than not, you will have to seek help of professionals, like electrician, plumber, carpenter, painter, floor installer and others, which may cost you a fortune. Instead, you must hire a residential general contractor, who not only coordinates the work of all of these professionals, but also takes charge of the entire project. He supervises the project to deliver quality work within the stipulated time-frame.

There are certain things that you can keep in mind while ascertaining whether you need to hire a residential general contractor or not. It is generally advised to avail the services of a residential general contractor if the job demands longer duration of time, such as more than a week. You need to hire a professional if the task requires few permits from concerned authorities; or if the job needs different experts for completion.

Depending upon these parameters, if you do decide to hire a residential general contractor ensure that he is experienced, skilled and proficient. Also make sure that he is licensed and has certain market credibility. In order to judge the potential of the contractor, ask for references and portfolio of projects completed by him. Before starting the work, make sure you finalize the payment details with the contractor well in advance. All these simple steps will help you make a wise decision and select the right residential general contractor for your home remodeling project.

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Don’t Fall Victim to the DIY Hype

May 1, 2011

Contractor Directory, Remodeling Contractor, contractor, subcontractors, contractors directory, construction directory

DIY home improvements are all the rage and many homeowners are choosing these instead of hiring professionals. Though it is an easy way to save a few bucks, one must ensure that the DIY task undertaken by you is successfully completed. A properly executed home improvement task will not only enhance the aesthetics of your house but will also add to its value.

You must realize that a DIY home improvement demands patience, perseverance, skill and tool. Hence, if you think that you have all of these you can surely complete any DIY task; but if you have even a slightest doubt about your capabilities, do not start the task. The most important thing that you need to have is time; because if you do not have adequate time to finish it then your house will be in a mess till the time you finish it.

The next thing that needs to be ensured is that you must know how to do the task, along with having all the necessary tools. With the increasing popularity of these tasks, more and more manufacturers are producing and marketing products for the DIYers. To get information about the task, you can take help of a friend who has done similar task as he will be able to guide you better as to what needs to be done. It is advisable to gather all the information about the project and then decide whether or not you have the abilities to complete the task. Moreover, something that may be cake walk for your friend may not easy for you; hence whatever you decide make sure you do not have to face incredibly difficult time while doing the task.

There are certain tasks that may sound simple but in reality they are not. For example, painting a room is a simple task but painting the whole house on your own is not because it demands significant amount of time, stamina and skill. You need to judge whether a task is actually a DIY task or not; fence building may sound easy but in reality it may not be that easy. In contrast, painting a fence is an easy task and can be successfully done by almost everyone. However, task like deck building and dry walling are daunting and should be left for professionals because even after putting in all the efforts you may not be able to replicate what a pro can do.

Since you can judge yourself best, you will be able to make a wise decision whether or not you can complete the task and that too with perfection. In case you feel that certain home improvement task is not your cup of tea, you must avoid doing it. Moreover, doing a task that gives an impression that an amateur did it, takes away the value and appeal of your home. To avoid this, you must hire a pro who is skilled, experienced and have completed similar task with perfection.

Hence, do not fall victim to the DIY hype and do a DIY home improvement task only because your friend or neighbor did the same. Keep every aspect in perspective and then make a final decision whether or not you should do a particular DIY task.

Copyright © 2010 FlooringSupplyShop.com

Why Should you Choose Brand Name Flooring

October 30, 2010

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One of major decisions that every homeowner needs to make is to choose the right flooring material for their home. The wide variety of flooring options, make the decision all the more daunting. However, choosing brand name flooring material, over generic flooring options, proves beneficial for homeowners in several ways. Although, homeowners may have to pay little more for these branded products but it is worth spending the extra money as brand name flooring products are durable and cost effective. Once installed, homeowners can enjoy the benefit of good durable flooring, for years to come.

Branded products are beneficial in every way, as it offers better quality, guarantee and material which is durable. The leading brand names offer customers a wide range of options, including different materials such as marble, hardwood, tiles and laminate flooring. These are available in wide choices of colors, patterns and styles, which make it easier for the buyer to choose from. Moreover, the brand names ensure quality. Whatever branded flooring material you buy, would come with assured quality, which is worth all the investment. In addition, one of the biggest advantages of branded products is that all these flooring options are durable. With proper maintenance and care, the branded flooring options are long lasting which increase the overall value of the house. A company becomes a brand only when it offers quality and durable products, which eventually earns them a broad clientele. Hence, if you choose a brand name, you can be rest assured that the product is of high quality which will be long lasting.

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The leading brands in the field constantly carry out research & development, in order to produce new and innovative products. The options available to the customers increase manifold with the introduction of new & useful products. Companies also offer customized solutions to incorporate the specific requirements of their customers. Moreover, with the increasing competition, companies strive to offer better quality products at lower rates, which eventually saves customers significant amount of money.

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In addition, branded products last longer, and the flooring does not demand frequent repairs. Good quality branded products makes the flooring strong & durable to withstand greater foot traffic without fading and staining. With the use of branded products the maintenance cost for flooring decreases, which add on to the savings for the customers. An important reason why customers should opt for branded products is because these products come with a warranty. For the sake of their reputation, big brands of the industry ensure to provide quality products that prove beneficial to the customer.

Owing to all this certain companies have become household names and leading brands, whose products can be bought by customers with surety of quality and durability. Hence, in case you are contemplating with the idea of purchasing flooring for your home, consider buying brand name products. Though you may have to pay a little more for these branded products; it will save you time, effort and money as these lasts longer and offer value for your money.

Copyright © 2010 FlooringSupplyShop.com

Dealing with a flooring contractor

September 20, 2010

Contractor Directory, Remodeling Contractor, contractor, subcontractors, contractors directory, construction directory

Installing new flooring or modifying an existing one is a crucial step for every homeowner. This is so, since different rooms are exposed to different environment and foot traffic, and therefore require customized flooring solutions. It is in order to ensure that the right flooring option is selected, and that it is installed in a proper manner that a number of households opt for the services of a professional contractor. However, not everyone has an idea of how to deal with contractors in order to get maximum benefit out of them.

Flooring contractors, although expensive, can ensure to select the right flooring option for your house and install it properly. In order to avail these benefits it is however, important to assist your flooring contractor. Following are a few ways in which you & your flooring contractor can mutually benefit each other.

Most of the problems faced by people while dealing with flooring contractors are due to a communication gap. In order to ensure that the flooring work continues smoothly, you should communicate your exact expectations and requirements to the contractor as early as possible. For example, you should clearly convey your maximum budget, type of flooring you require and the reasons for selecting a particular flooring option. Since these contractors are professionals they might be able to come up with a better solution after getting to know about your exact requirements. Lack of communication generally leads to misunderstandings during the latter stages of the flooring process.

Although, flooring contractors would have all the tools required for the job; they would still have some basic requirements that you need to fulfill. An electric point, source of running water, place to store the tools and a washroom are some of the resources that you need to provide them. Anticipating such needs and making arrangements prior to the initiation of the flooring job would make the job of your contractor much easier. Furthermore, early arrangements will also enable you to create a working space for your contractors and make other areas of your house off limits for them.

Flooring contractors generally do not appreciate frequent interference from the homeowners, but they prefer regular inputs from them. It is therefore, important that you survey the work that is being done and convey any discrepancies from what you had planned.

It is advised to mark the area being floored as off limits for the family members until the flooring job is completed. This step would ensure that there is no damage to the floor, if used before it sets in. For example, stone and tile can crack easily if walked upon before setting. Similarly, wood flooring can scratch, if it is used before the final coating has been applied.

In order to get the best results it is important to trust your contractor and to let them work without frequent intervention. Frequent disturbances and interventions from the homeowner’s side can lead to unfavorable outcomes in the flooring process.

Copyright © 2010 FlooringSupplyShop.com

Build the right rapport with your contractor

July 9, 2010

Contractor Directory, Remodeling Contractor, contractor, subcontractors, contractors directory, construction directory

A number of people are enthusiastic to undertake ‘Do-It-Yourself’ projects to complete a home renovation job. Although DIY can cut down your expenses significantly, there are few projects that cannot be completed without the services of a professional. It is, therefore, important for you to identify the job that requires the services of a contractor to ensure maximum effectiveness.

Simply deciding that you require the services of a contractor is not enough, since finding the right one is important for the proper completion of your project. A number of people who hire contractors face problems such as delays, hidden costs and inferior quality of work. In order to ensure that you avoid such problems you should select the right contractor and build a rapport with them.

The key to selecting a professional and proficient contractor is having knowledge about this domain yourself. Your initial communication with the contractor should convey to them that you have done your homework. This will ensure that you are able to negotiate the right quote for the job at hand. Furthermore, before meeting with the contractor you can lay out a detailed scope of work for the contractor. This scope of work should lay out the different aspects of the job, plus your estimated budget and the time frame within which you require the project to be completed.

Before signing a contract with your contractor you should check their background to determine their professionalism and their quality of work. This step will ensure that you do not face any problems in the future due to the unprofessional nature of your contractor.

Once you have hired a contractor and signed the final contract with them, it is important to maintain a healthy rapport with them. You should properly convey to the contractor your quality expectations from the job at hand, and should draw a payment schedule. A proper payment schedule will convince the contractor that they will be paid on time, and will help you in keeping a tab on your payments.

It is also important to regularly inspect the renovation site to ensure compliance with your quality expectations. Ideally, you should visit the renovation site daily and convey any disparities that you might find over there. This will ensure that you are aware of the progress on your home renovation project, and that the quality of work is as per your expectations.

Finally, you should remember that not all contractors are going to overcharge you or deliberately use inferior quality material to maximize their profits. You can easily find a number of contractors who take pride in their work and strive to exceed the expectations of their clients. All that you need to do to find one such contractor is some research on your part and a little effort in selecting the right one. Once you find a dedicated and professional contractor it is important to build and maintain a good rapport with them so that you can utilize their services in future projects as well.

Copyright © 2010 FlooringSupplyShop.com

Get your facts right before tiling the floor

June 12, 2010

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Tiles offer durability and are a cost effective option for flooring; with minimal maintenance requirements, tiles can enhance the entire outlook of the room. In case you are planning to install floor tiles to upgrade your home, you must be aware of certain facts before you start working on it.

These are available in different shapes, sizes, colors and varieties, such as glass, terracotta, brick, cement, porcelain, terrazzo and quarry tiles. Among the various types, stone and ceramic tiles are generally preferred more for the floors. Ceramic tiles are available in glazed as well as unglazed options in different varieties of color. Further, the tiles are classified in four groups from I to IV depending upon durability. Group IV tiles are most durable, strong and sturdy withstanding more pressure and hence preferred for heavy traffic floors, such as patios and drive ways. Therefore, selecting the right kind of tile for flooring would depend upon the area such as kitchen, hallway, bathroom, basement or patio.

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The most important thing you must have, before installing tiles for making the floor, is a proper layout, in order to execute the installation properly. For a correct assessment, measure the dimensions of the flooring area and divide it by coverage area of the tile; this will provide an estimate on how many tiles you would require for tiling your floor. It is advisable to re-evaluate your calculations, in order to avoid any inconvenience while doing the job.

Always get a few extra tiles to make for the loss, if any, during installation. Moreover, this also helps you in having matching tiles in case you need to replace it in future, because finding matching tile pattern can be difficult. Planning, patience and labor are the key ingredients that will help you cruise through this task effectively.

You should also be aware of the fact that installing a tile floor is a tedious process which may take days or weeks to complete the job. For a small bathroom floor, it may take two or three days, however installing tiles on the floor of your living room may stretch beyond a week. The time frame also depends upon your skill. Moreover, choosing the material, estimating the cost and finally purchasing the supplies consumes few days initially.

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Before starting off with the tiling process, it is essential to lay out the sub floor. Sub flooring forms an integral part of the whole tiling process; hence make sure that you have strong sub flooring to prevent the grout from cracking. In addition, you must select the right type of grout depending upon the type of the tile. There are primarily three types of grout, namely epoxy, furan resin and Portland-cement based grouts. Among these, though epoxy is more expensive, it is highly water resistant and spreads out easily. In case of moist areas, you can use cement fiber-board for under flooring.

Once the sub floor stabilizes, it is time to lay out tiles. To hold the tiles in place make use of thinset and leave the tiles overnight. All this information will help you make all the necessary arrangements beforehand and have the perfectly tiled floor for your house.

Copyright © 2010 FlooringSupplyShop.com

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Choosing the right home improvement contractor

May 27, 2010

Contractor Directory, Remodeling Contractor, contractor, subcontractors, contractors directory, construction directory

Home improvement is a task that involves many technicalities. You need to analyze, decide and cross check a number of factors. So, it is very important that the person who is entrusted with these responsibilities must be capable enough to handle them. You should always keep few things in mind before you decide to choose your home improvement contractor. Let’s have a look at them in detail.

Idea Organization: This is something very important. Home improvement is a vast area of knowledge. As a house owner you should keep a track on the areas at which your home needs a makeover. Make a crystal clear vision on your ideas. This will help you zero in on the most relevant areas of improvement. Once you have an idea of the requirement, it becomes a touch easier in choosing the contractor.

Meet Contractors: Exercising the options is very important. Once you have a brief overview of the task, you can always meet a few contractors. Meeting and sharing your thoughts and getting their reviews helps in judging the experience level of the contractor. It also helps you get an idea on the current market trends and pricing of a particular project. You can always take the corporate brochures and handouts of the contractor to study the credentials of the contractor.

Decide on the Budget: Once you have met a few contractors, you get a brief idea of the market bids and pricing of home improvement projects. So, you can decide on your budget. You must review each quote and bid given by the contractor very thoroughly. Try and analyze the strengths and weak links of each quote with the price and your budget. You should make sure that the proposed quote justifies the services offered by the contractor.

Take References: Experience, exposure and performance plays a vital role in home improvement projects. When you make up your mind on a particular contractor take some client references from him. This will help you get an idea of his previous projects and client satisfactory levels of the contractor.

Execute a written contract: Most often, the Contractor will provide their own Contract for you to sign. Be sure to read it carefully and do not hesitate to ask any questions for language that may need explanation or clarification. Ask the Contractor how the payment schedule will be put together. Never give a Contractor more than 50% of the contract amount up front. If the Contractor has to purchase a large amount of materials prior to starting work, a payment or draw for the materials is understandable. You should always check out for certain things that must be mentioned in the contract. Clauses like scope of work, Design selection, net and gross fees, construction schedule, detailed Explanation of the Contractor’s Warranty should be clearly stated in the contract.

Level of automation: This is again a very important point. The level of automation is a great indicator of the experience of the home improvement expert. You should always check the amount of automation a contractor can bring to your home. A good automation system may include Pro melt snow mats, floor heating systems etc. These automation systems help you lead a comfortable life by bringing down manual labor to some extent.

Quality of Material: Last but not the least is the quality a contractor brings to your home, and as they say “Quality speaks volumes without saying a word”. You should always keep a track on the quality that your contractor will offer. In order to check the details of material, it is important you do a bit of research. Browsing the internet is a good idea. You can always read some books and study materials on home improvement. This will help you keep up to date with the modern trends in home improvement.

I hope if you keep the above mentioned points in mind you will be able to strike a perfect deal.

Copyright © 2010 FlooringSupplyShop.com

Rise of DIY due to economic slump

May 20, 2010

Contractor Directory, Remodeling Contractor, contractor, subcontractors, contractors directory, construction directory

One of the most exciting, yet challenging aspects of owning a house is taking care of the related home renovation and repair jobs. Some homeowners hire professional contractors for their home renovation job, while there are others who prefer to complete the job themselves. The latter, known as Do-It-Yourself (DIY) enthusiasts, usually take up DIY projects as a challenge and try to complete them in the most effective way possible. However, a number of individuals refrain from undertaking DIY home renovation projects due to the concern that they would not be able to complete the job effectively.

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Now, with the economic slowdown and the credit crunch in the markets people are on the lookout for ways to curb their extra expenditure. It is for this particular reason that the current economic slowdown has fueled the growth of DIY projects across the globe. One of the main benefits of completing a home renovation project yourself is that it will let you save on the cost that you would have been incurred in hiring a professional. Another benefit of completing a DIY project is that it gives you a sense of accomplishment.

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There are a number of projects, such as building a patio, repainting the walls and re-grouting, which can be easily completed without professional help. All that is required to complete a DIY project is basic knowledge about the job at hand and the proper tools. Considering the current economic slowdown and the increasing popularity of DIY projects a number of DIY tools have been introduced in the market. These tools, along with a basic knowledge can ensure that you complete the job at hand in the most effective way possible.

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Although this trend of DIY projects is extremely popular during the current economic slump, there are indications that this trend will continue even after the economic scenario improves. It is during the current scenario that a number of people have learns the basics of various home renovation jobs such as tiling, grouting, carpentering and flooring. Now that people have experienced the benefits that a DIY project offers there is a good possibility that even when the economic scenario improves they will continue with this trend. Further, the tools and resources purchased by people can be used by them in the future as well, thereby providing added incentive to complete a home renovation job themselves as competed to hiring a professional contractor for it.

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It is quite evident that the current outlook is that of uncertainty and financial instability; therefore every opportunity to save on extra expenditure will be appreciated by people. Since home improvement and home renovation jobs can involve significant expenditure, DIY projects are a logical step ahead for a number of people. However, there are still a number of jobs that should be handled by an expert only due to the dangers involved. For example, a home renovation job involving changing the electrical wiring should be completed by a professional electrician only. For other simpler projects, such as tiling and grouting, you are free to trust your skills and complete the job at hand yourself.

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DIY only if you have the skill and patience

April 24, 2010

Contractor Directory, Remodeling Contractor, contractor, subcontractors, contractor's directory, construction directory

It is always advisable to think about the pros & cons before taking up responsibility. Performing a task may not be as easy as it may appear to be. One should take up a job only if capable enough of finishing it with perfection.

It is never advised to undertake a job unless you are not sure of completing it. When it comes to individually finishing a task to perfection, patience is the most important virtue required to do it. If you do not possess the necessary skills required to execute the job you are bound to make severe mistakes. It is therefore advisable to get professional help if you are not sure of accomplishing the task on your own.

Your home is your most important asset. When it comes to renovating your house or performing repairs you must do it yourself only if you know how to do it. People of late are becoming conscious about the kind of flooring they have in their houses. A lot of people are resorting to changing their flooring and go for more eco-friendly options. However, when it comes to changing or renovating the floors it is highly essential that unless you possess the necessary expertise, you should hire professional help.

Though DIY is a better option since it is the cheapest option as you do not have to pay anyone for getting the job done. However, make sure that you can skillfully complete the job because a single mistake on your part can incur more expenses to fix the problem. Moreover, insurance policies generally do not cover accidents caused while performing a DIY job. Hence, before you plan to start a DIY construction or renovation work at your place, contact your insurance company and make sure that you and associated perils are covered by your insurance plan.

In case you are planning to renovate your home on your own, you must understand that it will take time, skill and patience. Moreover, before you start any job, make your plan of action, and according to the layout, ascertain that you have all the requisite tools. Apart from this you must also know about the legal restrictions and get a building consent from your local council, if the law requires. You must carry your work in a systematic manner so that the job is manageable and can be completed on time. Further, it is advisable that you start with simpler task and then move on to difficult jobs.

For instance, if you are planning to tile your bathroom floor you must ensure, that you have a proper layout and accordingly priorities your time. In case you can only work on weekends, then you must be prepared to bear with half-done bathroom for at least a couple of weeks. Apart from this, the drying time will take a couple of more days. Before starting the job, make sure you have all the tools and a plan of action in place. The biggest consideration is that you must have patience, skill and will to complete the task. Moreover, if someone among your friends or family has completed similar work, take their help as they will be able to guide you better and give tips to successfully complete the work. Once you successfully completed simpler tasks, you can move on to tedious job as you would have acquired the necessary skill by then.

Hence, judge yourself and decide whether you have the skill and patience to undertake a DIY work. If not, contact a professional contractor.

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Select the right contractor for your home improvement project

March 24, 2010

If you are planning to make renovations to your house, you need to be careful while selecting the contractor for the job.  A hasty decision in such a situation can lead to extra repair or maintenance expenses.

Although there is no dearth of contractors, you need to select the one who can fulfill your specific requirements, just the way you desire.  Before finalizing a contractor you need to take into consideration some important factors.

Though you may find numerous listings of contractors in the yellow pages or on the internet,  it would be advisable to do some reference checks by consulting your friends or relatives who may have got their homes renovated.  If you are unable to find any recommendations from your family or friends  you can resort to any of the contractor referral service websites on the internet.  Selecting the right contractor is highly crucial, since only a well experienced contractor will be able to execute your home renovation project with perfection.

Once you have shortlisted the contractors, it is advisable to do some reference checks from their previous clients; getting a background on the kind of work they have done will give you a clear insight on the quality & skill of their work.  You will also be able to assess whether the contractor understands your requirements or not.

Checking the credentials of the contractor is an important step and should not be overlooked.  You can contact your state’s licensing agency to determine the validation of the certificates and licenses held by the contractor.  Another important aspect that you should look for is the liability insurance coverage held by the contractor.  Carrying adequate general Liability Insurance and Worker’s Compensation Insurance is essential to avoid unnecessary claims of negligence arising against you.

Get estimates and compare contractors on the basis of what they are charging for your particular project. However, one word of caution to people who want to select contractors solely on the basis of their price; a low priced estimate could be due to the fact that the contractor uses low quality material to complete a job.  Although such a deal will cost you less it is generally not recommended to opt for it.

Finally, after you have shortlisted and finalized a contractor you should get all the agreements in writing.  Carefully review this written document and sign the contract only if everything is satisfactory.  A contract should contain various details such as the starting and completion date of the project, the payment terms, detailed job specifications as well as a ‘right to cancel’ clause that would allow you to cancel the contract within a specified period of time in case you are not satisfied.

Although the task of short listing and selecting a contractor for your home renovation project can be quite complex, by following the above mentioned points you will definitely be able to select a contractor who will execute your home improvement project as per your requirements for the best price.

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New Contractor Locator Is a Win-Win For Both The Customer and Contractor

March 21, 2010

Free Service From The Flooring Supply Shop Matches Customers With The Contractors They Need

The Flooring Supply Shop recognizes that too often when a customer purchases a new product, they either lack the time or skill to install it on their own. The problem has always been finding a contractor the customer could trust. That problem has been eliminated with the contractor locator service now being offered at the Flooring Supply Shop. Customers can search by zip code and distance from their home to find just the right contractor for their home improvement project. Contractors can sign up to be part of the listing by going to:

http://www.flooringsupplyshop.com/contractors_directory

The best part about the service is its price…FREE! There is no “finders” fee for the customer, nor any registration costs or fees to the contractor. Contractors can actually receive a reward of up to $500 dollars for successful completion of a contracted job. This new service is one of the many ways The Flooring Supply Shop puts the needs of its customers first and shows dedication to the top contractors throughout the United States.

About The Flooring Supply Shop

FlooringSupplyShop.com is a seamless, totally integrated, interface to back-end customer service, inventory, and order processing departments. At FlooringSupplyshop.com you get the convenience of 24/7 online ordering and customer service. Since 1986, flooringsupplyshop.com and International Flooring Center, Inc. have been providing a broad selection of Tile, Tools, Setting Material, equipment and accessories. They ship directly to contractors, and DIY homeowners.And provide outstanding service. For more information, visit them today at http://www.flooringsupplyshop.com/.

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