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Essential Factors to Consider When Hiring a Building Contractor

When it comes to building your house from the ground up or carrying out some essential renovations on your existing house, it makes a lot more sense to hire a professional than to take on the job yourself. But choosing the wrong building contractor can lead to a lot of problems including unnecessary delays, shoddy work, and even legal problems.

This article contains some of the things you should look out for when you want to hire a contractor to work on your house.

Consider personality

Depending on the scale of the work you want done, a contractor will likely spend the foreseeable future in and around your house, either building your dream home from scratch or carrying out necessary upgrades that will change the look and feel of your house to what you want. So, if you don’t like the contractor for any reason whatsoever, go with your gut instinct and don’t hire the individual.

Individual personality matters a lot when it comes to getting work done. An untrustworthy contractor will definitely end up doing shoddy work on your property, and this can result in future damage that will cost you a lot in repairs.

Check for qualifications and licenses

Before giving someone approval to work in your property, it is important that you check that the individual or company is qualified and licensed to carry out the type of work you want done, and in your city too.

Every region and city has its own specific set of licenses and qualifications, therefore, be sure to check with your council to know the required qualifications and licenses a building contractor needs to work for you.

Another important thing to look out for is insurance. Licenses and insurance show that the contractor runs a credible business, minimises your risk of getting cheated, and absolves you of any liability should any of the workers get injured working on your property. 

Check for specialisation and experience

Every building project has different aspects, some of which will require a specialist to do properly. It is therefore crucial that you check to confirm that the contractor you are considering hiring specialises in the type of work you need done.

For example, if you want to carry out a comprehensive renovation of your kitchen, it is important that you work with someone who specialises in renovating kitchens and not a roofer. While there are places where jack-of-all-trades can work, certain projects require specific expertise. 

The contractor or business should also have an impressive track record and experience in the type of work you are hiring them for. 

Where you want to build a brand new house, it is better to work with a building contractor company that can provide all the experts needed for every phase of the building project. This is the best way to guarantee a no stress, new home build that will give you value for your investment. 

Compare contractors

It is never a good idea to pick the first contractor you find without first checking if you will find others with better qualifications, experiences, and pricing system.

At the very least, you should have three bids for your project, from where you can pick the person you will work with, but five or six contractors will give you a better picture of how the companies compare against each other. Not only will running a comparison gives you a better perspective on what to expect in terms of costing, but you will also get a clearer picture of the kind of work each contractor will provide. 

At the end of the day, you will be able to settle on a contractor that meets your requirements for cost, experience, and efficiency.

Understand that price reflects quality

While price should be one of your deciding factors when choosing a contractor, you should also understand that in most cases, the price is actually a reflection of what you should expect as the finished work.

For example, if you find a contractor that gives you a surprisingly low quotation, it could be that the individual intends to cut corners just to meet the budget. Therefore, it follows that the lowest quote is not usually the right way to go; neither does a high quote guarantee a perfect job. In fact, the more accurate bid is likely to be somewhere in between, which is why you should always have a shortlist of contractors to consider from. 

Know what you want

Finally, even though the purpose of hiring a contractor is so that you can get a professional job done, it is still you and your family that will live in the house, therefore, it is important that your ideas and suggestions are taken into consideration.

But you will not be able to make any input if you have no idea what you want with your building project, so, be sure you know exactly what you want before embarking on any construction project.

Choosing a Car Trailer for Transporting Cars

If you are thinking about transporting a car or truck, chances are you haven’t given a thought to how you will move it or the different types of car trailers available to choose from. In fact, car transportation is one of those services that are largely invisible until you actually need it. 

There are a wide range of options when it comes to car trailers – different varieties that provide a range of features and amenities, and are all suitable for people transporting cars from one place to another.

In all likelihood, you will want to buy a brand new car trailer either for personal use or for business; in that case, this article is for you. 

This article contains some of the essential information you will need when it comes to choosing the right trailer for your car transportation needs.

Open Car Trailers

As the name implies, open car trailers have no side coverings of any type. These types of car trailers or transporters can be used to transport one of more vehicles from one place to another, saving the owner huge sums of money that should have been used to pay the logistics company. 

Open car trailers typically measure between 18 to 10 feet and can be made from a variety of materials including wood and aluminium, but most manufacturers built theirs with dipped galvanised steel for better strength and durability. 

Open car trailers are the perfect car transporters for auto enthusiasts, private owners, and car dealerships. They are easy to use, uncomplicated and one of the most economical car transporters in the market. 

Even though most of the open car trailers you will see on the road carry single vehicles, there are open car trailers that can serve as multi-car transporters, transporting more than one car at the same time.

Enclosed Car Trailers

Unlike open car trailers, enclosed trailers come with side walls and a roof. This makes it more expensive than the open variant. 

An enclosed car transporter is the ideal transport solution for moving luxury and expensive vehicles that needs to be protected from damaged and harmful elements. The sides and walls protect the cars inside from the harsh rays of the sun, rain, and snow, and basically any other thing that can damage the car en-route to its destination. Some come with extra facilities like insulated walls, rubber flooring, and inside lighting. 

Enclosed car trailers typically have a lower ground clearance making it easy to load in sports cars and cars with low ground clearance. There is even the roll-back trailer variant that drops off the chassis to the ground so that you can drive in really low cars, and then the trailer is rolled back up onto the chassis. 

Enclosed car trailers come in both single car transporters and multi-car transporters, meaning that you can buy a small sized trailer for transporting one car at a time or invest in the bigger option for transporting multiple cars on a single trip.

Single Car Trailers

Single car trailers, also known as tow trucks are a great solution to car transportation between short distances and on short notice. If you have a car that you want to move quickly and easily from Point A to Point B, this is the ideal solution for you. 

Their small and study size makes them ideal for narrow roads and difficult to reach driveways. You simply hook it up to your towing vehicle, drive or roll the car onto the bed, secure the car, and off you go. 

You can use a single car hauler to move anything from an everyday vehicle to an exotic sports car; however, because it usually comes without any form of enclosure, your car will be at the mercy of the elements. Even though you can use single car transporters for long distance haulages, it is usually expensive to do so, and may put you in the wrong with the law if your region does not support long distance car transport on small trailers. 

Single car trailers are usually designed to be between 17 to 25 feet in length and typically come in 7000 to 12000 Gross Vehicle Weight Rating; however, you can find single car trailers of other specifications if you know where to look. For example, https://www.luccatrailers.nz has single car trailers of various dimensions, styles, and specifications for you to choose from. 

Note though that unlike open car trailers, a single car trailer can only transport a single vehicle that meets the exact load requirement. Anything more than that is putting yourself and other road users at risk.

Wrapping up

Regardless of why you need a car trailer, it is always best to buy the one that was specifically designed for your specific load requirements. This is the best way to get the best out of your car trailer. In addition to that, responsible driving, obeying road rules, and considering other road users are practices that add up to a favourable towing experience. 

Top Tips to Do Airport Parking Like a Pro

There are many things to consider when planning a trip, and where you will park your car pending your return is one of them.

It is less stressful driving your own car to the airport. You can transport your luggage to and from the airport with ease, and will not have to spend unnecessary time waiting for your airport pick-up. But parking and storing your car in or around the airport for the duration of your trip can be a bother, especially as you will surely want to come back and meet your vehicle in one piece.

Thankfully, with a few tips and tricks, some of which are covered in this article, you will be able to enjoy a seamless and hassle-free airport parking. 

  1. Book ahead of time

Getting a good deal on airport parking will help you save money that can be useful on your holiday or business trip, and one of the ways to get great deals on airport parking is to book ahead of time. 

Airport parking just like flight ticket varies between products and periods; therefore, if you book as early as possible, you will likely find great prices, prices that will eventually go up as more bookings are made. Where possible, try to book months in advance of your trip, but remember to use the cancellable option in case your journey is cancelled for any reason. 

You can also book ahead during the week for a weekend flight, so that you avoid paying high weekend rates.

  1. Avoid deals that seem too good to be true

Everyone knows that finding parking at the airport can be a challenge and even expensive, especially i big cities, but that does not mean you should jump at the first offer you come across.

Admittedly, airport parking horror stories are few and far between, but with millions of cars parked at airports all over the country, problems are bound to occur. These problems tend to occur more in agencies and companies that offer astonishing deals for shoddy services. If you book your airport parking with a reputable company, you can be sure of returning to meet your car in safe and sound condition. But if a deal seems too good to be true, chances are it is.

  1. Know warning signs 

When it comes to doing business with a company for the first time, it is best to always keep an eye out for red flags. Red flags are the caveat emptor that will warn you against transacting with certain businesses because they don’t meet a particular standard for reliability. 

For example, any business that does not have a traceable physical address, lack independent reviews, and has a phone contact that is always unreachable, or a poor and shoddy website design is a mistake waiting to happen. Before making a booking with an airport car parking service, be sure to check for these details. Also make sure to confirm the location where your car will be parked. Even if an airport parking service is offering really cheap prices, don’t leave your car there unless you know the provisions they have in place for when something goes wrong. 

  1. Read reviews

Independent online reviews are your best bet for getting correct details about the airport car parking service you are considering. These reviews were dropped by past customers and will definitely carry mostly unbiased views of their services. 

If the service you are planning to use has no independent reviews, it could be a sign that they are not a reliable company.

You should also be wary of companies that have 100% positive reviews because no matter how great a business is, they will always have a few unsatisfied customers. So when you come across a company with 100% reviews, chances are they paid for those reviews to be written. Always look for companies with a mix of good and bad reviews, and then find a way to strike the right balance.

  1. Confirm your transfer time

One of the reasons why it is a good idea to drive your own car to the airport when travelling is so that you can enjoy the convenience, but this should not be at the expense of your flight time.

If you have booked airport parking, make sure to confirm the transfer time to the airport terminal and factor it into your drive from home. It is always best to arrive departure at least 20 minutes before boarding, therefore if it will take another 5 minutes to get to the terminal from where you park your car, be sure to leave your house early enough so that you will have enough time to spare.

Choosing the right window for your New Zealand home

If your windows have seen better days, replacing them with new, energy efficient windows will increase the value and curb appeal of your home, while significantly reducing the amount of money you spend on heating and cooling.

However, selecting the right windows for your home can be difficult especially in New Zealand where quality of materials, insulation, and styles are among the important factors you need to consider. In addition, installing new or replacement windows is a major investment, as such, it is important that you do your homework so that you end up with windows that can stand the test of time. 

So what do you need to consider when choosing windows for your New Zealand home?

Choosing the style

Whether you are installing new windows or replacing the existing ones in your house, it is important that you know the different style options available to choose from. In the first place, certain styles will work primarily for certain rooms, while other spaces will benefit from a mix of one or more styles. 

Some of the common window styles in the country are:

  • Double hung: These are traditional double hung windows that can be installed in just about any room. These types of windows typically feature two sashes that open vertically and tilt for easy maintenance. 
  • Sliding: Sliding windows are modern styled windows that feature two or three sashes that open from left to right or vice versa.
  • Casement windows: Casement windows are usually hinged on just one side and open with the aid of a crank
  • Bay windows: Bay windows provide a dramatic view for those in the house. These types of window is characterised by three windows extending from the exterior wall, with the left and right side operable, while the middle window is permanently fixed. 
  • Bow windows: Bow windows are typically designed to have a curved top of four or more windows that can be either fixed or operable. 

Your choice of window style will depend a lot on your personal choice and architectural style of your house, as choosing a window that properly complements your house is a key factor when it comes to windows selection.

Choosing the right materials

Windows can be built from a variety of materials, each of them with its own merits and demerits. For example, while real wood is ideal if you are looking for an original traditional look, it is very expensive. 

The most common choices for windows in New Zealand are wood, aluminium, and uPVC, each of them perfect for specific houses and style. However, if you are looking for something that is not expensive, yet durable and easy to maintain, look into strong aluminium windows. Some of the features of well designed aluminium windows are:

  • Durability
  • Low maintenance
  • Affordable
  • Long lasting
  • Multiple styles, colours, and designs
  • Can be customised to match the look and feel of your home

Of course, an aluminium window may not be the best idea for traditional styled houses, as the combination of modern materials will contrast badly with the old world charm of an authentic traditional house, but it will be perfect for modern houses, offices, and even commercial business places. 

Getting the best performance

It wouldn’t do to install new windows in your house and start facing the same set of issues almost immediately. A new window should not only enhance the aesthetic value of your property, it should also enhance the performance of your house so that you enjoy a better mix of form and function. 

To this end, when considering new or replacement windows, you should keep the performance aspect in mind. The following factors will add the performance of your new windows, so that you enjoy better energy efficiency, better noise production, and value for your money: 

  • Glazing type: If you want enhanced energy efficiency, you should opt for either double glazing or triple glazing. These types of windows provide up to nine times the efficiency level of single pane windows, as well as the ideal Low-E value and U-Factor for maintaining the perfect temperature in your home. The type of glazing and glass you choose will also determine the level of acoustic insulation you enjoy. Better sound resistance mean less noise from outside to disturb the peace and quiet inside your house. 
  • UV Resistance: Ultraviolet rays can damage a lot of things in the house. It can damage sensitive furniture and artworks, carpet, books, paint, and even cause harm to overly sensitive skin. Invest in windows that carry appropriate coatings so that you can prevent these harmful rays from ruining the inside of your home. 

Getting the best quality

Up until 1987, houses in New Zealand were not insulated, neither was double or triple glazing used. This caused a lot of energy efficiency problems for Kiwis including condensation, heat loss, and so on; making a lot of homes barely manageable once the summer is over.

The quality of the windows you choose is therefore important when it comes to durability and practicality. One of the ways to ensure high quality windows is to work with a reliable and qualified windows supplier and installation company. Of course, you may spend a bit more than if you hire a glazier off the street, but you can be sure of windows that will fit the purpose that match the expenses.

How to Choose a Lawyer

Settling a matter in court can be an intimidating process. Most people won’t have a vast knowledge of the legal system or experience of civil court cases. These people need to find someone who will represent their interests in court, but how to choose that expert?

Picking the right attorney is a crucial decision in a legal dispute, and can heavily influence the outcome of the matter. It is a significant decision, but how exactly will you know which advocate is the right one?

Where to Look

If you’re not familiar with this field, it’s better to ask someone with experience of lawyers. Unions, for example, offer representation. If you have friends or family members that could recommend someone don’t be shy to ask for their advice.

A Lawyer for Your Needs

Not all lawyers are the same. Some are experts in criminal matters, while others specialize in employment disputes. Analyze your situation before looking for a lawyer with the set of skills your case requires.

how to choose lawyer
how to choose lawyer

Background Check

You’re putting a life-altering matter in the hands of an attorney. Before you agree to this and sign a contract, make sure to do your due diligence regarding the law firm and the lawyer(s). The easiest way to do this is to contact the lawyer disciplinary agency closest to your location.

Amateur private investigation work has never been easier than today, all thanks to the internet and social media. Use modern technologies to your advantage and seek out the experience of previous clients before making a decision. There are various legal forums around the web.

how to choose lawyer
how to choose lawyer

Pay Attention to the Firm

His/her house tells a lot about the man/woman. The same rule applies to lawyers, and their home is the firm at which they work. You will see the conference room when meeting potential lawyers, but you want to see more than that.

Request a tour around the premises. If they accept, which they should, they have nothing to hide. Pay attention to details: is the place neat and tidy, the expressions on the employees’ faces, and how the staff interacts with each other. Unhappy and frustrated staff members are red flags to watch out for.

Ask Other Attorneys

This is the best advice we can give you. If you know any lawyers ask for their opinion about your candidates. Every profession has secrets known only to its “club members.” A fellow attorney can tell you about the competence, work ethic, and much that you won’t find on the internet.

Picking the Right One

Choosing the right lawyer can determine the outcome of the dispute before it even begins. For that reason, it is important to choose the right one.

Before making any decision, you should know what kind of lawyer you need. Not all are the same. The next step is to look at the right place. Always conduct a background check before making a decision. If you know any lawyers, ask them for advice and their opinion on potential picks.

7 Home Improvement Projects You Can Do Yourself

It does not have to be expensive or hard to fix up your home. You just have to ponder on and apply these recommendations below when doing your next do-it-yourself home development project — and maybe along with a few helpful instructional YouTube resources.

Using this short simple step-by-step guide, you can master the ways of home improvement DIYs in the simplest ways. The results will look just like Giorgio Armani!

Home Improvement Projects

1. Patch and prime

There are so many frugal patch and prime tricks you can apply.  But first, you have to prep the wall for optimal coverage. Then you will be needing a smooth surface so the walls can be blemish-free. 

Bigger holes can be quickly fixed with wall patching kits which can be found in home development stores. The method to use is easy which will make your newly painted walls look beautiful and smooth finishing. 

2. Paint your walls

When you choose painted surfaces over wallpapers, you will realize that painting a room is very easy. Remember: You do not have to be in a hurry when painting so you can achieve good results, especially if it is a project setup. What is utmost to make the job a whole much easier is preparation.

When you do not want to use the whole paint and primer approach, you could use an all-in-one paint to greatly lessen your painting time.  

3. Fences

Fences, they say, make good neighbours. That statement may not always hold true, but fences often do some good in certain neighbourhoods or circumstances. If you desire some privacy or you want to change your crumbling fence, you should always remember to have a survey to point out the right line properties, and two, indicate on the pipes when you have underground sprinklers. 

Nevertheless, there are some fences which have good advantages for a Do It Yourself home development. The simplest type of fence to build is the black aluminium type product, which is built to resemble wrought iron.   

4. DIY Your Old Bathroom Cabinets

When trying to replace your old fashioned cabinets in your kitchen or bathroom which look like those in the ’80s, consider going for pieces that are worth the resources and time and also relatively affordable. You need to follow a step-by-step, easy guide for a total bathroom cabinet makeover and make all old bathroom cabinets look brand new. You can find some great inspirations at https://archipro.co.nz/products/bathroom/vanities-and-basins and achieve your dream bathroom look.

 5. Update old floors

Shabby old floors can define your mood, but re-sanding the floors can be way above one’s capacity. If you plan to keep an old carpet or abandon hardwood floors, it will take a small measurement and a few hours during the weekend to tidy the floor and change the entire look of the room. A few coats of long-lasting floor paint or peel-and-stick tiles gotten from the local home store would go a long way.

 6. Light fixtures and plumbing fixtures

Provided you are used to the fundamentals of the proper safety process, turning off electricity and water when working is part of the home DIY project routine. In lighting, the main factor is to know the number of space you need to accommodate for a new lighting appliance. For instance, there are ceiling fans of different blade sizes to fit the size of the room. When changing a bathroom faucet, you have to buy a faucet that fits the existing holes in the sink. 

You can find and follow some good hands-on instruction on YouTube or online workshops for the various for any detailed guide you may require.

7. DIY Vanity Concrete Countertop Overlay

There is no decoration as chic and modern as a countertop overlay. When you need to replace an old-fashioned countertop, you can try to beautify them before adding a DIY countertop to the bathroom and revamping the overall look.