New York City home improvement contractors must be licensed in order to operate within the five boroughs. If you are opening a new company or interested in renewing a license, this basic guide will tell you all you need to know. Read more
The 2015 holiday season is upon us, and because many of us are already wrapped in our own concerns we may not notice the chances we have to help others who are far less fortunate. Contractors are in a particularly-great position to help families in need around the holiday season. They can take the time to donate their skill set, or they can leverage their business’ resources to help give back to their community.
Did you know that by installing a thermostat with advanced features can save you money on your utilities?
You probably don’t usually think about your thermostat very often; it’s there on the wall, and when you’re either too hot or too cold, you touch a few buttons or turn a knob or two, and then your house is comfortable again. But did you know that there are a variety of different types of thermostats, and some can actually save you a decent chunk of change if you use them.
A thermostat is a pretty simple device—if you set the temperature lower than the current temperature on a warm day, it turns your air conditioning system on to cool down your house, and if you set it for a temperature higher than the current one on a colder day, it turns your heating system on to warm up your house. This is all fairly straightforward. Newer thermostats are digital, as opposed to older analog ones, which allow you to get more specific with the temperature settings in your house. Installing a thermostat that is able to get so precise with your temperature settings gives you more control over the costs of your energy consumption.
In addition to digital interfaces, there are even more features on many thermostats that can help to save you money. For example, programmable thermostats give you the ability to set your system to automatically adjust the temperature of your home even when you’re not there. Installing a thermostat that’s programmable is convenient for families who are out of the house during most of the day, because you can program the thermostat to modify your household temperature when no one is home so that it’s not using as much energy trying to keep the house at a comfortable temperature. This can also be utilized during the nighttime hours when everyone is asleep, because oftentimes people don’t mind their homes to be a bit warmer/cooler than they’d generally want during the day while they’re sleeping.
There are also systems called “smart thermostats,” which are programmable remotely. Installing a thermostat like this means that you can control the temperature of your home when you’re not there, either by phone, computer, or a web app. This is especially useful if you have kids who are old enough to stay home alone, but who you wouldn’t necessarily want messing with the thermostat. If they’re home and you’re at work or out somewhere, and they call to complain about the temperature in the house, you can adjust it from wherever you are. These smart thermostats are also great because they can provide you with information about how to most optimally run your heating/cooling system. For example, you may find that it’s actually more cost effective to run your air conditioner during the day, even when no one is home, because the system has to work too hard to bring the temperature back down once the family comes home, which uses more energy than if you just left it running slightly warmer than you’d have it while you’re home. This kind of information can wind up saving you a lot of money on your utilities, because you’re able to monitor the efficiency of your system, and then modify your daily routines accordingly.
Oftentimes people hesitate to invest in a installing a thermostat that’s more expensive initially, because they’re looking at the immediate higher cost, but in the long run these systems usually save you more money in the daily operation of your household. Doing additional research on these systems and how they can be beneficial to your home specifically, or talking to a general contractor who has experience with HVAC systems, can ultimately help you save a ton of money annually!
A home improvement contractor by law is defined as someone who is engaged in the construction, repair, remodeling, or addition to any land or building used as a residence. This includes the construction, replacement, or improvement of basements, driveways, fences, garages, landscaping, patios, porches, sidewalks, swimming pools, terraces, and other improvements on land that is next to a home or apartment complex. It is safe to say then that any person engaging in these types of work would need a home improvement contractor license.
H0me Improvement Contractor License
Besides obtaining a home improvement contractor license, there are several other permits, licenses and clearances which you may need. Any soliciting, negotiation or offers to negotiate a home improvement contract with a property owner requires a Home Improvement Salesperson license. Work which involves sidewalks and walkways require a permit from the NYC department of Transportation. For more information on obtaining this permit you may call 311 or visit New York City DOT. If you however, are interested in doing work which involves plumbing, electrical work, pointing, or extensions you must contact the NYC department of Buildings. This type of work often requires special inspection and as such requires more regulation. Finally, any home improvement contractor looking to transport any harmful waste as a result of work done must apply for a Class one Self Hauler Registration from the NYC business integrity commission.
These are just some of the preliminary steps necessary to be taken if you are interested in becoming a home improvement contractor but it doesn’t end here. Each and every contractor should consider multiple layers of insurance to protect themselves and their businesses. Contact us today for more information on how you can insure your newly established home improvement contracting business.