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The quality of the contractors you hire and your ability to effectively work with them can be the difference between a failed remodel and a successful one. If you’re new to home remodeling, there are a lot of potential mistakes that can cause your project to go off the rails. If you take the proper precautions, however, your remodel can be a success.
Do lots of research
You should never just hire the first contractor you stumble upon. In the spring and summer months the best contractors may be booked well in advance. But just because a contractor you’ve found can start tomorrow, that doesn’t mean they’re the best. In fact, it could mean the opposite since they don’t have ongoing projects during the busiest season for remodelers. Find out if your state requires contractors to have a license and don’t let any contractor start work if they don’t have one. Get a list of prospective contractors that are licensed and insured. Do your homework to find out how long each one has been in business. You can check with the Better Business Bureau to see what kind of rating they have. Many contractors belong to trade organizations that have their own strict standards for membership and that could be a good sign as well. You can also ask around for recommendations. Building supply stores are often great places to ask around at since they work with all the contractors in the area.
Get several estimates
Getting multiple estimates makes you a more informed consumer. You’ll get a sense of what the project should cost and you can rule out unusually high or suspiciously low bids. If there’s a contractor you like more but the price is a bit higher, you can use your multiple estimates to your advantage by negotiating a better price.
Get a contract in writing and read it before you sign it
Sometimes homeowners and contractors aren’t on the same page regarding the project and leads to many problems. A contract makes both parties informed about every aspect of the project. A contract is worthless, however, if the homeowner doesn’t know what’s in it so it’s important to read it carefully before signing. If there’s something you don’t understand in the contract, don’t just assume it’s fine. Ask your contractor and make sure you fully understand. Only then should you sign.
Work out a fair payment schedule
You’ll want to find a good balance when it comes to the payment schedule. Pay too much up front and the contractor may not be motivated enough to do their best work. On the other hand, contractors may refuse to begin if you don’t have enough up front. For smaller projects it’s reasonable to pay half up front and the other half when it’s completed but for longer projects, you should only be paying 10 or 15% up front. Your contract can stipulate at which points during the project you will pay another percentage. You should always hold back another 10 or 15% until the project is completely done to your satisfaction so the contractor can’t cut any corners on the finishing touches.
Home remodels can be quite disruptive. As your home turns into a construction zone, it’s understandable that you want to stay away but if you’re completely absent during the entire process you may return to discover that it hasn’t progressed in the way you wanted. If you’ve made arrangements to stay elsewhere, still check in regularly and you’ll catch problems sooner when they’re easier to fix.
Don’t get talked into expensive upgrades
Sometimes contractors lowball their estimates to get the job and they try to upsell you on expensive additional work. Depending on your budget you’re of course free to consider their proposals but don’t just assume that the contractor always knows best and agree to every suggestion they make without carefully considering how it will affect the cost.
If you’d like to remodel without the hassle of dealing with hiring contractors, you can always select projects that are within the scope of your abilities. Repainting, swapping out appliances or light fixtures and sink fixtures, and installing baseboard radiator covers are all simple projects that the average homeowner can do themselves.
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 use the self-tapping screws to secure them to the top of your existing wallplate.
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 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™ 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.