Beware the Home Improvement Contractor

Are you planning to replace the roof of your house, remodel a room, or do some other type of home improvement? Even if you’re a Do-It-Yourself kind of person, you may not have the time or effort available to do it yourself. So you’ll need a home improvement contractor. But choosing the right one is crucial, to ensure that the job gets done both properly and proficiently. Here are some tips to find the right contractor:

1. Look for contractors who are licensed, bonded, and insured.

This is one of the most important steps when searching for a home improvement contractor. Verify that the person has a valid license to perform such work. This will help to ensure that the person has the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to do the job correctly. It’s vital that the worker adhere to industry standards when performing work on your home.

Also, the contractor should be bonded. In case something goes wrong and the contractor doesn’t complete the work that the two of you (or you and his company) had agreed upon, this will help to ensure that you’re protected.

Finally, make sure that the home improvement contractor be insured. Accidents can even happen to the most careful of people, so it’s crucial that the worker is properly insured-to protect you and him.

2. Review reviews.

Of course, you should take these “reviews” with a grain of salt. Some reviews will be inflated because they were actually written about a particular improvement of a job -and BY that same company! On the other hand, you should also be cautious about reviews that are 100% negative. While this could be justified, some homeowners are tough to please and could never find a home improvement contractor that they’re fully satisfied with. So a better option is to review evaluations by completely unbiased organizations, such as the Better Business Bureau in the USA.

3. Get written estimates, contracts, and warranties.

Insist on getting written estimates, and never get verbal estimates either in person or over the phone. Verbal estimates could mysteriously change once the contractor starts the work.

After you choose a contractor to do the home improvement(s), make sure to get a written contract. It should include precisely all the work that the contractor will do, as well as a timeframe for its completion. Don’t sign on the dotted line until you’ve used your bifocals or magnifying glass to read all the fine print.

Also, only choose contractors that are willing to back up their work with a written warranty. Again, only such documents are legally binding. If something goes wrong, make sure that you’re not left high and dry with a shoddy home improvement job.

4. Get personal referrals.

It’s been said that personal referrals are the best ones. That’s because it’s highly unlikely that our friends, relatives, and colleagues would lead us astray. Find out if they’ve had similar work done to their homes, and whether there are any home improvement contractors or companies that they’d recommend. This will definitely help to narrow down your search, since you’ll want to avoid those people and companies that you get negative feedback about.

These tips can help to find the right contractor who can work to make your house an ever better one!

Get More Than Cheap Group Health Insurance Quotes in Dallas Texas From Your Health Insurance Broker

Dallas group health insurance quotes are easy for any business to get. Just call one or two group health insurance broker in Dallas and request quote. You will be presented with affordable health insurance quotes, and not so affordable health insurance quotes within a few days.

If you have not checked rates for a few years, then you may be shocked at the cost of group health insurance in Dallas, Texas. The rates have more than doubled what they cost in the year 2000.

If you have never requested Texas group health insurance quotes before, then you may not know that the quotes that you receive are the same, no matter who is the group health insurance broker. And you should also know that the Dallas group health insurance quotes you receive are subject to change by the group health insurance carriers. Group health insurance carriers in Texas base their final rates on the underwriting of your employees’ health insurance applications.

By Texas law, the final rates for group health insurance plans for small businesses in Texas with less than fifty employees could increase by as much as 66%. As a business owner, you may be unaware that you have an employee or a dependent spouse or child with a serious health condition that could have a major impact on your final Texas group health insurance rates.

This is why a business should not necessarily be interested in working with a Dallas group health insurance broker who promises to give your company the most affordable group health insurance quotes in Texas. A business should be more interested in working with a knowledgeable group health insurance agent in Dallas who can be trusted to give them good advice.

Since Texas group health insurance rates are the same regardless of the broker, this is truly a situation where a business owner can get valuable advice for free throughout the year by selecting the right Dallas group medical insurance broker.

In fact, a business deserves and should expect valuable advice and service from their Dallas group health insurance broker throughout the year. A good group health insurance agent can help a company control their medical insurance expense inflation by helping the company institute an employee wellness plan that can educate and encourage and motivate employees to adapt healthier lifestyles. Employees and dependents who exercise, maintain their weight, and refrain from tobacco have been shown to have lower absenteeism. And they are much less likely to contract cancer, diabetes, heart disease or strokes, so their medical insurance claims are less.

A good Dallas group health insurance agent will also be able to recommend consumer-driven health plan designs for the company that can give employees monetary and tax favored incentives to control their health health care expenditures. And a good group medical insurance agent in Dallas can also help educate employees and give them tips on how they can spend less money to get quality health care by being careful shoppers.

A good Dallas group health insurance broker will also help communicate the value of the company’s entire employee benefit plan to employees. Employees must be continuously reminded of the value and cost of the non-paycheck benefits offered by the company. A group health insurance broker is often perceived by employees as more credible than if this information was communicated directly company management. And this employee benefits communications is a free service that saves time and makes the job easier for the human resources department.

And most importantly, a good Dallas group health insurance broker can help their client businesses by being available and accessible throughout the year. If your business is not getting good advice and service throughout the year from your medical insurance broker in Texas, or if you only see your broker at renewal time, then you are missing an opportunity to add a valuable and trusted advisor to your business.

Unique and Artistic Gifts For Your Man

Women love to pick up perfect gifts for their men, but nothing seems to be enough when they are at the shopping mall choosing for the perfect idea of a unique gift that you have in mind. When you are stuck with this similar problem, here are some perfectly unique and creative gift ideas for your man.

First of all, you have to remember that in choosing a present for your man, you must think of every single thing that he can be fond of instead of every thing that you desired for him to like. Strive and make a gift which is something like all his most wanted diversion or any thing that he might be passionate of.

Unique and Artistic Gift Ideas for Your Man

There are several unique and artistic gifts that you can select from, however, there are some things that you have to consider before you finalize the gift for him. You have to think about the interests of your man, and choose an option that goes with his taste. Bear in mind that a romantic gift or gifts must be with the right combination of creativeness, value and most of all, with a labor of love.

Home-produced gifts – are artistic and romantic option for a woman to think for a right and unique gift for her man. When you think that your man is appreciative of the effort and love that accompanies the making of your home-produced gifts, and then preferably, make a homemade gift for him. You have to be artistic in doing this option. You can cook for a spectacular meal when your man loves foods. Or you can bake a cake and adorn it with icing that says “The World’s Greatest Boyfriend”. You can also make a scrapbook out of the collected pictures of you both. There are lots of things that you think can bring a brighter smile from him.

Personalized Gifts – this is an ordinary gift but a good idea to turn into a special romantic gift for your loved one. These gifts offer you to modify simple things like coffee mugs, bathrobe, T-shirt, table clocks, Photo frames or even wristwatch. You can also give him personalized hottest high tech gadgets like iPods or even laptops. These personalized gifts will act as valuable souvenir that your man could utilize in a regular basis.

Gift Basket – if you want to collect a lot of unique gifts in place for a one special gift, making this gift basket is good for you. This gift basket could put up a wide collection of useful, unique and romantic gifts all together that may suit as the perfect gift for your man. Try to be inventive as possible and ensure that your gifts basket contains a proper balancing of useful and over-sentimental things.

Choose a unique and artistic gift for your man that can surprise him. Romantic gift does not need to be expensive; it is the thought, efforts and emotion that counts. Giving a special gift is an expression of your love to him.

Games and Gaming – A New Twist to a Hobby

For people used to Flash widgets and the many types of gaming consoles available today, a life without a chance to play games (individually or against other players) would seem very dull indeed. Games are so integral to human society that people cannot imagine a time when there were no board games or amusing puzzles to solve. And people’s intuitive opinion is probably right. The oldest board games originated long before when people had just learned to read and write – which probably accounts for the fact that kids today would rather play an RPG than do their homework. Senet was a board game popular with Egyptian Pharaohs almost 5000 years back. Ancient Persians, Chinese, Mayans, Ethiopians, and Indians were fond of games – anything to break the tedium.

The love for games has not diminished over the last millennia. Indeed, as life becomes busier and stress becomes an almost constant factor, the need for games and the almost ritualistic fervor of playing these games only increases. Today, the simple wooden boards have given way to sophisticated software based games. You may not play Chess on a wooden board anymore, but there are plenty of opportunities for you to play it online, against someone sitting on the other side of the world. You can solve jigsaw puzzles without ever misplacing or losing any of the pieces, thanks to computer games and gaming.

Computer games caught on fairly recently in the history of games and gaming, but now the sales of gaming CDs outnumber conventional games equipment such as boards, pieces, and decks. Tic tac toe was first adapted for computers as far back as 1952, but then only the dozen odd people working at the EDSAC lab in University of Cambridge had access to the game. Pacman seems ancient when compared to the MMORPGs out there, but you need to remind yourself that very few people had access to computers or gaming arcades as recently as 30 years back.

Online games offer many advantages over the conventional games and puzzles. They can be accessed free of cost in many cases. A single website dedicated to games and gaming presents visitors a chance to try their hand at dozens, and even hundreds of games. These games are innovative and well designed, so you can play games featuring your favorite car, Disney character, or sports personality. Your choices are not limited to a rehash of old board games and puzzles – you can virtually drive a car, take part in target shooting, solve mysteries, search for treasure, command ships, create battle strategies, or try to survive on an island after a shipwreck. Not all games are this grand in scale – if you like something simpler, try the delightful games where you get to help Santa light a Christmas tree or choose the perfect dress for a bank manager, salesgirl, or even a movie star.

Play them when feeling stressed over deadlines, assignments, homework, or dentist appointments. As far as stress busting goes, nothing works better than games and gaming.