A big concern that homeowners have about hiring contractors to work in their home is that they will do poor work or, even worse, disappear with the down payment with the project unfinished. This happens a lot more often than it should. There are a number of things homeowners can do to protect themselves.
Don’t rush it
Homeowners sometimes get understandably anxious to begin a project they’ve been dreaming about and saving for. If hiring the contractor is the last step, it’s easy to just hire whoever can start the soonest. This often ends in disaster. Most reputable contractors work fairly consistently throughout the year so it’s often the best ones who will be working on other projects and may not be available when you want them. Give yourself time to select the best contractor for the job and not the one who doesn’t have anything going on.
Don’t be cheap
Home remodeling is expensive. You should do some research on your own to get an estimate of what your project is going to cost. Armed with an estimate of your own, get several estimates from contractors. Don’t expect their estimates to be exactly in line with yours, after all, they’re more experienced than you are at anticipating the costs of various projects but you’ll at least have a pretty good idea of when an estimate is too good to be true or outrageously high. The lowest estimate may end up being the best deal but never assume that cheapest is best. Some contractors bid low to secure the work knowing full well that they’re going to drive up the cost through problems they uncover during the project. Especially low bids might also mean the contractor plans to take short cuts or use inferior materials that will result in a second-rate finished product.
Use the internet to your advantage
There are many different sites that gather reviews on all kinds of contractors such as Angie’s List or the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Any contractor who’s been in business for a year or more will have reviews written about them so be wary of contactors about whom nothing is written. Take negative reviews with a grain of salt but do pay attention to patterns of complaints.
Get a written contract
When you think you’ve decided on the contractor you want to go with, you should get a contract in writing. This protects both parties from any misunderstandings regarding the scope, cost, and timeline for the work. The contract should specifically state the various stages of the project as well as a list of all required materials. The contract should provide an estimated timeline for when the various stages will be completed. Finally, and most importantly, the contract should detail how and when the work will be paid for. For smaller projects, you might pay half up front and half later but for larger, more expensive projects, you shouldn’t be paying half up front because it’s too big a risk. For larger projects, payment should be divided into smaller installments and those installments should be tied to the completion of various stages of the work.
Ditch the contractor altogether
This isn’t always feasible as many projects require a licensed contractor to do the work but if you don’t want the hassle of hiring a contractor, there are many smaller home improvement projects you can do on your own that will scratch that home remodeling itch you’ve been feeling. Simple tasks like repainting a room or installing baseboard heater covers can be done in a day or even an afternoon.
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.