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5 Tips for Hiring a Contractor

Morgan Contractors

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Have the holidays left you feeling as though your home is too small or outdated? If you have started looking into remodeling your home, you’ll want to read these tips for hiring a contractor.

  1. Come up with a detailed plan. Before meeting with any contractors, it is important to come up with a detailed plan for what you want the space to look like. This will help the contractor envision the scope of work that is necessary and come up with specific pricing. If you have a list of finishes, fixtures, and appliances that you would like to use in your remodeled space, now is the time to share them. Total costs of projects can vary based off of those details, so choosing that before construction starts will save a lot of time and money.
  2. Make sure that you are working with an insured contractor. Prior to starting work, you need to be sure that your contractor is insured. Accidents happen in the construction world and working with an insured contractor is key.
  3. View examples of the contractor’s work. Contractors are typically referred to people by past clients. Even if you were referred by a friend or neighbor, it is still a good idea to ask to see examples of the contractor’s work.
  4. Conduct interviews with contractors. Your contractor will become your point person throughout the entire renovation and remodeling process. You should make sure that you can trust, get along with, and feel comfortable communicating with them. A good question to ask during the interview process is: How will unexpected issues be handled?
  5. Ask about a timeline. You should ask your contractor how long they think it will take to complete the project. In order to manage expectations, you should add an additional 8-10 weeks. There are many unpredicted events that occur on a jobsite, so it is best to prepare yourself for them before construction begins and anticipate a delay.

Morgan Contractors understands that home remodeling is an emotional and financial investment. We are well experienced in local building codes in New Jersey and work with only licensed and experienced partners. No remodeling job is too big or small; please contact us when you plan your next home improvement project.

Professional Painting Tips for Your Next DIY Job

Morgan Contractors

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Thinking of making 2017 the year you put a new coat of paint on some of the rooms in your home? If so, great! With a little guidance, DIY painting can be a (mostly) hassle-free way to transform a tired living room, kitchen, or bedroom into a fun and inviting space.

To make your next DIY painting project look like professional work, here are some of the tips and tricks we use at Morgan Contractors to get the job done right. Your friends might even ask who you ‘hired’ to do it!

 

Preparation

Once you’ve picked the room, color and day or days to paint (we advise you wait for dry weather), it’s to do some prep work.

First, inspect the room(s) you want to paint. Cracked or peeling areas should be sanded/scraped and then every surface should be rinsed with soap and water, and then dried. This will avoid serious problems later – don’t skimp on this part!

Next, buy high quality tools (brushes, paint rollers and painter’s tape) appropriate for your wall texture. A thicker roller will give more complete coverage, but if it is too thick, you may get unwanted texture. Ask your supplier for advice, and try not to pinch pennies if you can avoid it – quality matters here.

Finally, protect everything you don’t want painted! This includes the careful application of tarps and painter’s tape. You may also want to remove light switches and outlets to ensure a truly professional finished look.

 

5 Professional Painting Tips

  1. Use primer: this not only ensures a more even coat, but gives you some practice with the painting motions.
  1. Let the roller do the work: With a good roller cover, you won’t need to apply much pressure, which promotes a more even coat.
  1. Brush where you can’t roll: Use a brush around the trim and in the corners of the walls, and extend about 3” out – this will help during the rolling part.
  1. Paint from top to bottom: Starting at the ceiling lets you paint over any drips or mistakes as you go down. This is harder to do working up from the floor.
  1. Paint the trim last…and slowly: By now you’ll be itching to finish the job, but don’t rush this last part! Be thorough and you will avoid the need to ‘touch up’ any mistakes you make here.

 

The Results

By taking your time and following the tips above, your next paint job should turn out to be a success – and you’ll get to enjoy the rewards of your effort for many years.

Of course, not everyone has the time or inclination to do the job themselves, and that’s okay too. At Morgan Contractors, we have more than 10 years of experience providing quality craftsmanship and painting expertise to northern New Jersey. If you are looking for a fully insured, highly reputable company to handle your next painting job, look no further – our customer testimonials say it all.

For more information about our painting services, to request an estimate or for general questions, please contact us today or call 201-401-1800.

When is the Best Time of Year to Install New Windows?

Morgan Contractors

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Replacing the windows in your home is a great investment and brings many benefits, including reduced energy costs, improved safety, easier cleaning and greater comfort and beauty. So, if new windows are part of your 2017 home improvement plan, you should find a reliable installer and decide when to schedule the installation.

Keep in mind that professionals can replace windows at any time of year, though opinions differ about the ‘best’ season to perform the service. At Morgan Contractors, we believe the best time of year to install new windows is whenever is most comfortable and convenient for you and your family.

To help you schedule your window replacement job, here is a quick look at the pros and cons of installing windows at different times of the year.

 

Spring

Springtime brings with it warm weather and lots of sunny days, which provide plenty of flexibility when scheduling your installation. You’ll also save a little time on spring cleaning – those bright new windows won’t need much work to look great! Just be aware of the possibility that a few more bugs and some extra pollen may get into your home while the work is being done.

 

Summer

This is another popular time of year for window replacement because of the long stretches of pleasant weather. You’ll also get to enjoy more sun in your home during the long and bright summer days. Keep in mind that this is a ‘busy season’ for many contractors, so you may have to be a bit more flexible in your schedule. Also, high heat and humidity can pose some interesting challenges for window installers, especially in older homes, but experienced professionals shouldn’t have a problem.

 

Fall

If you are looking to reduce your energy bill as the weather starts to turn cold, the early fall is a great time to install new windows. This is another busy season for contractors, but if you can be flexible in your schedule and don’t mind a few extra bugs during installation, your new windows will provide great protection against heat loss, rain seepage and even a few annoying leaves.

 

Winter

When temperatures are near freezing, window replacement may seem like a bad idea, but in truth, winter is a great time of year to schedule this service. First, there are no bugs or allergy issues to worry about. In most cases, contractors also have the best availability during colder months. Finally, you’ll feel the results of the new windows immediately – with both a warmer home and a lower utility bill!

 

Getting the job done

Once you’ve decided on a time to install your new windows, it is essential to find a reputable and capable company to perform the service.

At Morgan Contractors, we have more than 10 years of experience providing quality craftsmanship to northern New Jersey, which makes us an outstanding choice for your next window replacement or other home improvement project. Best of all, we are willing to work with you to get the job done no matter what season you choose!

For more information window installations, to request an estimate or for general questions, please contact us today or call 201-401-1800.

5 Tips to Make Your Remodel Last

Morgan Contractors

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There are a multitude of options to choose from when remodeling your home. It is no surprise that any construction project requires an investment of time and money. With that being said, you are probably wondering what the best way is to make your remodel last. Keep reading and we will inform you about 5 tips that will increase the longevity of your remodel.

  1. Choose durable products. Durable material is key to ensuring a long-lasting remodel. Although it might be a more expensive, upfront cost, the long-term benefits of durable products are immense. You won’t have to worry about repairing or replacing the material right away.
  2. Incorporate windows. Windows allow you to live in a space filled with natural light. Keep in mind that you should select windows that are temperature-controlled. This means that they control the heat that comes in and goes out during the warmer and colder months.
  3. Design timeless permanent aspects of the room. One of the most popular reasons for remodeling a home is because the current space is outdated. If you want your remodel to last, you should design a timeless space. You can add current, popular trends in accessories.
  4. Paint the walls in relaxing colors. You want your home to be a space of tranquility and rejuvenation. If you select colors that are calming in the home, you will enjoy them for a much longer time.
  5. Don’t forget about functionality. When you think about all of the possibilities you can do with a remodel, you might get carried away. Another main reason why people choose to renovate their home is because the current space is not functional. Don’t forget about including practical elements into your renovation plan.

Morgan Contractors understands that home remodeling is an emotional and financial investment. We are well experienced in local building codes in New Jersey and work with only licensed and experienced partners. No remodeling job is too big or small; please contact us when you plan your next home improvement project.

5 Tips for Restoring Your Home

Morgan Contractors

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*Content Updated: November 8, 2017

5 Tips for Restoring Your Home

Was your home recently damaged from fire or water? Did you recently purchase an older home? If you answered yes to either of those questions, you will most likely need to restore your home. Follow these tips for a successful home restoration:

  1. Water is dangerous. If your home has been affected by water damage or you notice signs of water damage, you need to address that right away. Water damage around the ceilings, floors, and windows could be a warning of structural issues. The long-term effects are dry rot, mold, and a lot of bugs.
  2. Select a contractor to help restore your home. Select a contractor that has experience restoring homes and understands your must-haves for the home.
  3. Practical vs. aesthetic. The first thing that you’ll need to restore will be practical instead of aesthetic. You need to fix things that have the potential to cause further damage. You should focus on getting your house watertight. Next steps are to fix the roof, windows, and masonry.
  4. Don’t be afraid of technology. Updating heating, cooling, and electrical systems in your house will most likely be the most expensive point of the restoration. However, if you have recently moved into an older home, you will need to update those systems.
  5. Restore original features. Instead of ripping out old doors and windows, restore them. An older home has quaint features, including shifting and settling. Restoring those features will keep the character of the home.

Morgan Contractors has experience in fire and water damage, and repair. We have worked with numerous insurance agencies to help our clients turn their home back into what it once was. At Morgan Contractors, we are properly licensed and carry the necessary insurance. We understand it is a burden to choose a contractor after a home disaster and we can help by offering recent referrals. If you ever face the devastation of house fire or water damage, please think of Morgan Contractors to help you rebuild your home and life. Please contact us today to receive more information.

4 Reasons to Hire a Professional to Remodel Your Basement

Morgan Contractors

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Many people watch a few home improvement shows and think that they have the skills necessary to remodel their basements. Television remodeling shows portray the renovation taking merely a few weeks. However, what TV doesn’t show is that the people remodeling the basement are working on it the whole day, every day. Most homeowners have a day job. They can’t spend the entire day working on their basement, thus it takes them upwards of two years to complete a shabby basement.

Here are 4 reasons why you should hire a professional to remodel your basement.

  1. Knowledgeable about permits. Before starting your remodel, you will need permits. A contractor is aware of the proper permits and makes sure to obtain them before starting the project. The contractor is also familiar with additional permits based off of your city or state.
  2. Save time. Hiring a contractor will save you a lot of time. Besides saving time during the actual construction process, a contractor is familiar with new materials and technologies that have the potential to save you money.
  3. Up to code. Most townships have code and construction standards that need to be met. A trained professional knows the codes and standards and is able to ensure that your basement meets those requirements.
  4. Increased home value. A great basement remodel has the potential to increase your home value. Since it is a big investment, you want to get the best return on investment. A professional contractor will save you time and improve the quality and value of the basement.

Morgan Contractors understands that home remodeling is an emotional and financial investment. We are well experienced in local building codes in New Jersey and work with only licensed and experienced partners. No remodeling job is too big or small; please contact us when you plan your next home improvement project.

6 Tips for Hiring a Bathroom and Kitchen Remodeler

Morgan Contractors

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You’ve decided that your bathroom and/or kitchen need an update. You have the vision for the final product, but need help getting there. We rounded up a few tips to help you pick the best person for the job.

  1. Referrals. Inviting someone into your home and paying them to complete your vision can be stressful if you don’t know how their work will come out. So, ask your family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors if they have any contractor suggestions.
  2. Look at credentials. After receiving referrals, it’s time to research your list. You should be looking for required licenses and designations from professional associations.
  3. Interview contractors. Before you decide on a contractor, it is important to interview them. After all, you are letting them into your home and paying for their services. Make sure that you can trust them. You will also want to choose a contractor that listens to your ideas and takes them into consideration.
  4. Write down your ideas. If you’ve been scouring home design magazines for remodel ideas, write down what you like. Share the document with potential contractors to get an idea on how much it will cost you. Insider tip: don’t change the plan too much with different contractors because you won’t be able to compare the prices.
  5. References. An extra step you can take is asking for references. It’s a good sign if the contractor happily hands you a list of people you can call.
  6. Written contract. You’ve gone through the negotiation process; now make sure that your written contract is satisfactory. Some things that should be included are bid price, payment schedule, scope of work, a clause about dispute resolution and a waiver of lien.

Morgan Contractors is happy to provide you with testimonials and references of our work. Contact us today for a free quote.

6 Reasons to Add a Deck to Your Home

Morgan Contractors

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If you’re looking to upgrade your home, an outdoor deck not only adds value, but can make your exterior more functional year-round. It can be a great place to host events with friends, spending time with family outside, or just a quiet place for you to relax and reflect.
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