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Tips to Homeowners

August 30, 1987|Armand L. Fontaine

Question: We have been shopping for a home-improvement contractor who will do a total job for us. Most of them are not willing to do the final painting, but instead, will give us an allowance or suggest a reliable painting contractor to do the finish work. Is there a reason for this?

Answer: Many home improvement contractors prefer not to do the finish painting. The reason is that it is often difficult to satisfy the consumer. Contractors prefer instead to give the homeowner an allowance so that the homeowner may make this a do-it-yourself project or hire a painter.

Hiring a decorator to help with the project might be the answer for you.

Q: I have been very interested in some of the newer bathroom fixtures and hardware for the doors and lavatory units. However, my contractor advises me to stick to the basics. I would like your opinion.

A: Many of the hardware products, such as door knobs, which are very expensive, very often do not hold up as well as what one might anticipate. Your contractor is probably advising you to buy some of the less expensive and attractive hardware that will probably save you money, while at the same time, be as utilitarian as the more expensive products.

This is also very true for faucets and other hardware for bathroom fixtures. I would never advise anyone to buy the gold-plated fixtures that can sell for five or six times more than similar models in other metals and that have a much shorter durability.

It would be wiser to shop based on the attractiveness of the product rather than gravitating toward the more expensive product, feeling that one is receiving better quality.

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