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You can save a lot of money remodeling your home by doing the work yourself. This is fine so long as you stick to simpler projects like installing snap-on baseboard radiator covers or repainting your doors or replacing light fixtures and cabinet hardware. There are many projects you shouldn’t attempt yourself as you probably won’t save yourself any money at all since you’re likely to mess it up and need the help of a professional in the end anyways. If the kind of remodel you’re planning requires a skilled contractor, then you need to think carefully about who you should hire.
Unscrupulous remodeling contractors are all too common and if you rush the process of hiring one, there’s a good chance you’ll end up with one who does unsatisfactory work or who skips town with the project incomplete. Here are a few tips to help you make sure that the contractor you ultimately decide to hire is a reputable one.
Check with your local registries or the BBB
Many cities either require contractors to have a license and/or register with the city in order to operate within that area. Even cities that don’t require this may have a voluntary registry. You should find out from your local chamber of commerce what registries might be available for you to look at. Whenever possible you should try to hire someone who is registered as a contractor in the city where you reside. Your local chapter of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) can also be a valuable resource in helping you determine which contractors are running legitimate businesses and which ones aren’t.
The best qualification is a good reputation. Ask your family, friends, and neighbors who’ve had remodeling work done for recommendations for good contractors. Local home improvement stores, especially the smaller family-owned ones are also a great resource for good recommendations. If you’re hearing the same name pop up a lot, that’s a good sign.
Of course be wary of any contractors with a bad reputation in the community but also steer clear of contractors with little or no reputation also. They could just be passing through and likely to leave before the work is complete or they may not have the money for materials up front and might ask you to pay for the work up front since their reputation is not yet established.
Get multiple estimates
Never automatically go with the first estimate you receive even if it seems reasonable and the contractor has a good reputation. Seeing at least three or four estimates will help you compare contractors, get the best value for the price, and make a more informed decision. Any reputable contractor is going to do the estimate for free so you don’t have to worry about spending any money for them.
Winter is a great time to find your remodeling contractor since it’s the offseason for that particular industry and you’ll pretty much have your pick of any contractor you want since they shouldn’t be too busy. Best of all, you’re more likely to negotiate a lower price since contractors will be a little more desperate for work.
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.