Archive for April, 2012

Too Busy to Clean Your House? Hire a Cleaner!

Its really difficult to take care of house cleaning chores when you are too busy with work. When there are meetings to be held, reports to be prepared and kids to be fed, sometimes there aren’t enough hours in a day. It’s not hard to believe that dusting, mopping, vacuuming and window washing are the last items on our list of things to do.

You can, however, have the best of both worlds. Just hire a cleaner! You aren’t wasting money or being lazy When you make the decision to hire a cleaner for your home, but you are devoting whatever free time you have to enhance your own life. When have to choose between time and money and more often, time wins. This is especially true if you have children or hobbies that you’d like to focus and spend more time on.

It’s pretty easy to hire a cleaner. Follow these 4 simple steps and you’ll have a good cleaner for your house before you know it and you can have more free time for you.

1. Find a local professional or company
There are a lot of cleaning companies all over the world. Since you’re busy, it’s best to use a cleaner that is based right in your neighborhood. This way you won’t have to talk to a call center agent of the cleaning company about a complaint or service issue. Cleaning contractors listed on typically include detailed profiles with past projects, insurance, license, certification and reference information. It’s also a good idea to review cleaning contractor ratings at before hiring them.

2. Interview before hiring
This is the most important part of hiring a cleaner. It could be amusing or frustrating at times but definitely time taking part. You want to make sure that they should be able to work around your schedule, fit within your budget and meet your expectations. It’s not worth skipping the interview even though you sometimes have a hunch or tempting to skip the interview. Take time to learn more about the people who is going to be cleaning in your home. Sometimes the cleaning company can send different people and you need to know that. Make sure to ask about the flexibility of the workload and whether or not she or her company is bonded and insured.

3. Check references
Last but not the least; get some references that can vouch for the cleaners’ performance and work ethics. References are the most important part of hiring a cleaner.

4. Insurance
Make sure the company or person you are hiring has the required liability insurance.

5. Have a Signed Contract
You’ve made the decision to hire a local cleaner after conducting interviews. You’ve even found the perfect person or team. Great! Now is the time to get your agreement in writing. Do they need to arrive at the same time every week or have they agreed to a flexible cleaning routine. All of these things should be detailed in your contract. Don’t leave specifics to chance.

Once you hire a cleaner, you probably won’t be able to figure out how you survived without them. Keep these four steps in mind during the process and you’ll end up with a cleaner house and more time to devote to the people and activities you love.

How to find a roofing contractor ?

Replacing a roof can indeed cost a small fortune.  For larger homes, it will cost more.  If you are doing this as a necessary upgrade because of a devastating natural disaster, you will be paying for this out of pocket and not relying on your home insurance company to be writing a check.  Researching local roofing contractors can indeed be an eye opener.

Get as many estimates as you can from contractors who are experienced.  If you want to change from shingles to Mexican clay tiles, you need someone who has done this over and over.  In other words, don’t just go by estimates but even consider the experience of the contractor in your wished changes.

Before getting estimates, however, you should have your own work plan written down.  Without this, you will be getting estimates on work you don’t need, understand, or want.

When the contractors show up for the estimate, watch what they are looking at.  If someone wants to add services you didn’t know you need, or you don’t believe you need, ask other contractors if they see the same problem.  For instance, if you have a roof leak over your kitchen yet one contractor is telling you that you must have your entire roof replaced, don’t do anything until you get a second or even third opinion.

Don’t go after the lowest estimate, either.  Typically you get what you pay for.  If there is a reason you like the lowest estimate – the contractor is local, has great references, or can start the next day – ask how he can do the work so cheaply.  This is important to know.  He may already have the supplies from a canceled project, or maybe work is slow.  You need to find out for sure that he isn’t missing anything important.

Look for a contractor who is licensed, insured and bonded to ensure that you are getting the right person for the job. Contractors listed on typically include detailed profiles with past projects, insurance, license, certification and reference information. It’s also a good idea to find contractor ratings at

On his estimate look for something that includes the cost of cleanup.  Many installers forget about this and do a very ineffective job of removing trash and debris.

Next important factor to understand is your financial obligations.  A deposit is sometimes required, but the amount, the reason, and the method are what you need to think about.  If a contractor tells you he wants a deposit to make sure he is being paid, he already knows he can put a lien on your house until he’s paid in full.  If he needs supplies, offer to buy your own or even go with him and pay for them yourself.  Try not to give him too much cash up front.  Some people can take the money and disappear forever, or at least, not show up for weeks or months. Discuss the payment plan with the contractor where you can pay the contractor in a progressive manner (3 to 4 installments) as the work is getting done which makes it easy for both of you.

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