Comparison-shopping is on the rise in part because of economic pressures and a change in marketing and buying habits. More people are getting informed, reading labels and learning to choose wisely based on their needs and finances. If you take the time to read labels and compare products, you can save money and boost your product knowledge.

Homeowners can benefit from this practice in how it translates into finding the right contractor for them at the right price. The problem, however, lies in the fact that unless an architect or someone is hired to create a complete list of products and method specifications, or the homeowner is educated in lumber treatments, products, construction methods and terminology, reviewing and analyzing multiple bids will be like comparing apples to oranges.

Greg Kemp Contractor suggests a few areas to research and consider before having contractors bid new home or renovation projects.

LUMBER: Not all termite treatments are the same. Hi-Bor is the most common treatment for plywood and dimensional framing lumber, is non-toxic to humans, animals and has replaced the “old school” CCA. (chromated copper arsenate) For a higher termite-resistant grade lumber, Chemonite is available but is unattractive for exposed areas like facia, rafters, posts and beams. Tribucide is typically used to treat “glu-lam” beams, which also come in varying grades for aesthetics, exposure and strength.

ROOFS: Unless a specific choice is made like aluminum shake, standing metal seam, or monier tile, most plans indicate composition roofing. This can range from a 20-year to a 50-year product. This is not a place to cut costs, so specify the 50-year shingle, stainless fasteners, copper flashing and lead roof vent/jacks.

WINDOWS: Often a place where tastes and budgets collide. If left at the discretion of the contractor following the “window schedule” which typically indicates opening style and dimensions, the price, products and functions may vary. Even with a specific brand, prices can vary with different models. So, be very specific.

PAINTING: In specifying the work for painting, there are areas often left out unless clearly indicated in the plans and specifications. Spackle all holes, specify 50-year caulking with elastomeric for exterior, caulk all joints and at eaves. Painter should include two coats finish paint over primed surface.

Knowledge is power. Greg Kemp Contractor can help with product selection, specifications and provide a competitive bid. Call 342-2691 today for a free consultation and estimate.

CONTACT: 342-2691