Home Improvement--General/Should I hire a contractor?


I'm needing some house repair/improvement in my parent's house.  I live out of town, so I'm not sure if hiring a contractor would be the way to go.  Obviously, I do not have any home improvement experience.

Here is a list of things that need attention in the house.
1) Roof repair/replace if needed
2) Window repair/replace if needed
3) Air duct cleaning
4) Plumbing (remove water filter, install new garbage disposal, fix kitchen and bathroom leaks)
5) Remove old carpet, install laminate
6) AC repair
7) Possible mold problem in one bedroom due to leaky window
8) Build a basic deck
9) Install gutter screens/covers or replace gutters (not sure)

Are these projects too small to hire a professional contractor?  
Will it actually save me money or time if I hire a contractor (vs hiring separate companies myself)?  
If I hire a contractor, is it a bad idea that I'm not going to be there to keep an eye on things?

Thanks so much for your advice :)


If you want to save time and money I would recommend hiring a General Contractor that can take care of all of these projects for you at the same time. If you can find a good contractor that you trust you could meet with him or her once at the house then all other communication can be by phone and e-mail. You can ask to have him e-mail you pictures and or videos daily so you can see what is going on each day. You could even have a video monitor set up so you can watch activity live. That is very affordable to do. Some owner have even used Skype for this.
Make sure you control the money............ Whoever does has the power.....
Pay for things as they are done and after you or the building inspector approves the work. Good contractors that are not stealing from Peter to pay Paul don't need a deposit and are willing to do the work in stages before they get paid. There are contractors out there that will work that way, go find them.
There are a number of places to find a good contractor. Start with asking the building inspector in the town your parents live. He knows the good ones and the bad ones.
Good Luck.  

Home Improvement--General

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Jay Cipriani


How do I select a professional remodeling contractor? What needs to be in a home improvement contract to protect the home owner? General design and estimating questions. Product selection, analyzation of bad workmanship, and expectations of a remodeling process.


Cipriani Builders, Inc., now Cipriani Remodeling Solutions, is a professional, design-build remodeling firm, founded in 1978. I got into the remodeling business largely because of his father who was also a contractor. Cipriani Builders has serviced over 3,000 homes throughout the South Jersey area. They include kitchens, bathrooms, additions, windows, siding, roofing and much more.

National Association of Home Builders Remodelors Council (NAHB) American Institute of Architects West Jersey (AIA) Better Business Bureau (BBB) Builders League of South Jersey (BLSJ) National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) New Jersey Remodelers Association VP (NJRA) Tri-County Code Association Cherry Hill Chamber of Commerce Greater Woodbury Chamber of Commerce Gloucester County Chamber of Commerce National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) Remodelers Advantage IFDA, VP 2008 ASID

I was the former Host, Writer and Producer of "House and Home" show on a local South Jersey Comcast cable station. I was featured in 1998 and 1999 on The Discovery Channel's "Gimme Shelter 2". I was featured on The Discovery Channel's "Home Matters" with Susan Powell. I have written articles for the monthly trade magazine, Builder/Architect. My expertise in historical renovation received recognition through a project featured on the cover of New Jersey Contractor Magazine. I was featured in 2007 and 2008 in a CBS Channel 10 News story on the home remodeling industry as a Home Remodeling expert.

New Jersey University of Medicine and Dentistry National Association of the Remodeling Industry Certified Remodeler Program

Awards and Honors
• 30 years of building and remodeling • Cipriani Builders has been featured in the Courier Post, Gloucester County Times, and Philadelphia Inquirer. • Professional Remodeler magazine ran a feature article on Cipriani Builders. • Cipriani Builders were featured in Design / Build Business. This magazine is used a resource among residential design / build professionals and their customers. • Qualified Remodeler magazine listed Cipriani Builders, Inc. as one of the Top 500 Companies Nationally. We continue to move up each year. • Remodeling Magazine added Cipriani Builders to their Big 50 “Hall of Fame”. • Cipriani Builders received the National Contractor of the Year Award for company image from NARI. • Cipriani Builders was awarded the Valuestar Customer-Rated Gold Seal for consistently delivering high customer satisfaction and for passing the qualification steps of insurance, legal, financial status, and state license requirements.

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Over 3000 clients in the South Jersey area.

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