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When it comes to home improvement projects, there are many different levels of difficulty. There are plenty of simple projects you can do yourself to save some money like wallpapering or painting a room or installing baseboard radiator covers. Then there are jobs that should be left to trained professionals who have all the necessary equipment. The most complicated remodels may require the work of several different contractors with different specialties to complete the project successfully. In this case, many homeowners will choose to hire a general contractor. A general contractor acts as a coordinator between all of the different contractors. The general contractor is responsible for managing the overall project, keeping things on schedule, and creating the schedules for all of the workers. Some homeowners research and choose their own contractors and are very involved in the project so they may choose not to hire a general contractor. But if you’d prefer to hire someone to do all the coordination work (it’s harder than you think) then there are a few things you need to know.
Ask for recommendations
A good place to start when looking for a general contractor is to ask around. If you know people who’ve remodeled, ask if they liked their contractor. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau and local building supply stores.
Get estimates from several contractors
Armed with a list of contractors, ask several for estimates. You can rule out any that can’t begin as soon as you’d like, but for the rest, it doesn’t hurt to get estimates from all of them. Having at least a few gives you some context to judge whether a price seems fair or not.
Make sure everything’s done by the book
Different states and even different cities will have varying regulations for contractors. Most require contractors to be registered with the state and have a license and insurance. Find out what the laws are in your area and make sure any prospective contractors meet the criteria. Even if the regulations are lax in your area, you can do your own homework. Many contractors voluntarily register or belong to an association of some kind that hold its members to certain standards of quality. Depending on the scope of your remodel, your city may require a building permit. Usually the general contractor will handle the securing of any necessary permits but it’s a good idea to communicate with him/her about that before work begins.
Get a written contract
A written contract is the only thing that can fully protect both you and the contractor if there’s a dispute during the project. The contract should spell out everything relating to the project including an estimated timeframe and cost. Read it carefully before signing and discuss anything you’re not sure about with your contractor.
Tie payments to successful completion of milestones
While some contractors may not take payment until the project is completely finished, many will ask for payments up front or along the way. What’s not normal is to pay a lot up front. You should never pay more than about 10 to 15% of the total cost up front even if they say it’s for materials. Reputable contractors have established relationships with building materials suppliers and can get the materials on credit. If you’re paying along the way, have predetermined milestones and make installment payments as each milestone of the project is completed to your satisfaction. Always hold back a significant portion (again 10 to 15%) for when the remodel is completely finished.
Measure the height from the floor to the top of the metal wall plate.
Follow our guide for baseboard heater cover measurement:
Any baseboard larger than 7 3/8" (188 mm) will be compatible with our standard cover.
Any measurement greater than 9 3/8" (238 mm) will fit our tall cover.
Measure from the bottom of the finned tube heating element to the top of the metal wall plate,
A measurement of 5 1/2" to 6 3/4" (140 mm – 172 mm) will fit our standard cover.
A measurement of 7 1/2" to 8 3/4" (191 mm – 222 mm) will fit our tall cover.
Measure the distance from the wall or the metal wall plate attached to the wall, to the outside of the finned tube heating element.
Any measurement of less than 3 1/8" (76 mm) inches from the wall will fit our
Any measurement of less than 3 1/8" (76 mm) inches from the wall will fit our tall cover.
EZ Snap™ Wall Widgets are used when your old or existing wall back plate has been removed or if you have to hang your new cover 1 inch or higher to bring them up to a height that will fit our installation guidelines. Just measure your overall desired height, subtract 1", drill a hole, preferably in a stud and attach it to the wall with the included screw.
EZ Snap™ Floor Fidgets easily raise your new covers ¾ inch to compensate for any ¾ inch floor (wood, tile, or other) that has been installed any time since your baseboard heater was originally installed. May be used for any reason when the overall height has been shortened and the total height is less than 7-½ inches for standard height or 9-½ inches for the TALL height EZ Snap™ BaseBoard Covers. Just use the self-tapping screws to secure them to the top of your existing wallplate.
EZ Snap™ Wall Contraptions are used when your wall back plate has been completely removed. EZ Snap™ Wall Contraptions receives your EZ Snap™ BaseBoard Cover and keeps your aluminum fin tube from sagging. These completely replace your wall back plate. To install, slide up from the bottom and make sure the top is at your desired height. Screw to the wall, then bend the front finger up to hold the fin tube in place.
Measure from wall to wall and subtract ½ inch (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.) The endcaps can be pulled or slid ½ inch outward on either end to fit your existing length requirements. Choose 2 flush to wall end caps.
Measure the overall length of the existing unit with ends attached then subtract ½ inch (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.) The endcaps can be pulled or slid ½ inch outward on either end to fit your existing length requirements. Choose 2 Closed or Open-end caps.
Measure from the corner to the end of the unit with ends attached then subtract ½ inch (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.) The endcaps can be pulled or slid ½ inch outward on either end to fit your existing length requirements. Choose 1 Closed or Open-end & 1 flush to wall end cap.
Measure the left side from corner A to corner B (see diagram). Then subtract 3 inches for the 90 degree inside corner, then subtract another ½ inch (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.) Repeat for the right side if also wall to wall. You need to subtract a total of 3½ inches from each side that is wall to wall. Choose your end caps.
Measure the left side from the corner of the wall to the end of the unit with ends caps. Then subtract 3 inches for the 90 degree inside corner, then subtract another ½ inch (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.) Repeat for the right side. You need to subtract a total of 3½ inches from both left and right sides. Choose your end caps.
L-Shaped outside radiators ending in the middle of the wall:
Measure from outside corner of the wall A to the end of the radiator unit with end caps attached B, then subtract ½" (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.)
Measure from outside corner of the wall to the corner of the wall, then subtract 1/2" (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.)
Left leg - measure from the corner out to the end of the radiator subtract 3" for the corner and ½ (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.)
Center leg - measure from corner to corner and subtract 3" for each corner a total of 6"
Right leg - measure from the corner out to the end of the radiator subtract 3" for the corner and ½" (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.).
We recommend that you order covers a little longer than normal and cut them on site, as there are many opportunities for mistakes in measuring and installation. By cutting on site you can fit and cut to fit. The covers can be cut with a good quality jigsaw and a fine metal cutting blade.
Now that you’ve learned how to measure baseboard heaters,
you’re ready to order.