Life in the USA
Home and Apartment Maintenance
If you live in one place long enough, you will probably have to deal with a number of issues regarding home maintenance and improvement. You might have to deal with home improvement contractors, architects, designers, interior decorators, gardeners, painters, and other professionals in the field. Finding reliable services at the proper price is never easy in the United States, since there is a confusing array of choices. The consumer has to be careful since anyone can go into the home improvement or painting business with just a few dollars. Licensing requirements for home improvement contractors vary widely by state and locality.
When dealing with a home improvement business, try not to pay in advance. Ask for a written estimate and schedule of the work to be done for the price. Ask for recommendations from satisfied customers. There are many reputable firms in every community, and the best maintain lists of references from customers with whom they have worked. If the prospective contractor does not seem to give you straight answer, remember that he or she has plenty of competition.
A company called Angie's List has made a reputation for itself by acting as a central databank for recommendations and reviews of local service providers, including home improvement contractors, automobile repair services and many others. The website charges a membership fee, but considering the secure feeling reviews can bring, and the money you can save, it is well worth the small cost.
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