Home Improvement in Fairfield County

Finding the Best Home Improvement in Fairfield County

Finding the Best Home Improvement in Fairfield County

Home Improvement in Fairfield County_Dibico

Home improvement is an integral part owning a home. Budgeting for projects and deciding which item takes priority, however, can be a difficult task. But, as many homeowners have discovered, the real challenge to a successful home improvement lies in planning and executing the project to perfection.

In the age of DIY tutorials and videos, some homeowners prefer to tackle home improvement themselves. These videos often offer mixed results, however, so most still prefer to rely upon experienced contractors for their home improvement projects.

Hiring a home improvement contractor offers a confidence and convenience that is often lacking in self-completed home renovations. A service provider can be immeasurably helpful, but the success of your project depends on the contractor you choose. Fairfield County is home to several home improvement firms, so how can you find the perfect fit for your project?

To make sure you get the home you’ve been waiting for, use this article for help in finding the best home improvement in Fairfield County.

1. Verify your contractor’s legitimacy

In the state of Connecticut, all individuals and companies that perform home improvements must be licensed through the state’s Department of Consumer Protection. You can use Connecticut’s website to verify licenses and check for past legal trouble involving their work. The Connecticut Home Improvement Act also requires contractors to display their registration number on all of their advertising. This includes all ads, business cards, and vehicle advertising, so look for contractors who follow this requirement.

2. Compare contractors

Compare Contractors_DibicoWhen finding the best home improvement in Fairfield County, you’ll discover dozens of contractors who operate in the area. Like any other service, each contractor has their own methods, prices, and quality of work. To find the best fit for your project, look for service providers that have been in business for several years, have extensive experience with similar projects, and are recommended by past clients. Once you’ve narrowed your selection, meet with the contractors to get project estimates. While price is an important factor, don’t let it be your deciding factor. Your contractor’s experience, quality, and ability to deliver should always come first.

3. Do your part

The best way to make sure that you will be satisfied with the result of your home improvement is to stay actively involved. There are several legal requirements for home improvement in Fairfield County, so stay on top of your project. With every project, you should be aware of the following:

  • You must have a written, signed, and dated contract with your contractor to legally proceed with your project. There are several specific requirements for a contract to be legally valid, so make sure your contract includes them all. Your contract should be completed and signed before construction begins.
  • You may need a building permit for your project. Decide in the contract who — you or your contractor — is responsible for acquiring the necessary permits and make sure you have them before the project begins.
  • Stay in continual communication about your expectations and objectives through every stage of your home improvement. This is your home, money, and project, so work with your service provider to avoid miscommunications or other issues.

4. Create a positive experience

Create a positive experience_DibicoAs your contractor works on your home, do your best to make it a positive experience. Be easy to work with. Stay available for meetings, make decisions quickly, and do your best to accommodate your contractor’s needs. Your project will inevitably experience hiccups and delays, many of which are not your contractor’s fault. Rather than getting upset, do your best to plan for these scenarios at the beginning. Treat the crew with respect, don’t over-manage, and be courteous and reasonable. The better your relationship with your service provider, the better your results will be.

At Dibico, we offer customized home maintenance services to keep your home safe, cost-effective, and valuable. If you are interested in our services or want to renovate, build, or add an addition to your home, reach out to us at info@dibicoinc.com or by filling out the form below.

A list will help you stick to your plan and therefore, budget



Home Improvement in Westchester County

Layman’s Guide to Home Improvement in Westchester County

Layman’s Guide to Home Improvement in Westchester County

Home Improvement in Westchester County_Dibico

The thought of a home improvement project can be stressful and intimidating, even to a veteran homeowner. Budgeting, logistical planning, and finding the right contractor can quickly become overwhelming, which can tarnish the excitement of updating your home. With the right planning and research, however, you can achieve the best results for your home improvement project.

Every county has its own guidelines for home improvement contractors, including licenses and permits. To make sure you find the best and safest service provider for your project, use the tips we’ve included in this Layman’s Guide to Home Improvement in Westchester County.

1. Plan thoroughly

Every successful project starts with a detailed plan. Start with deciding which part of your home you want to improve. Next, budget. Your budget will dictate the size and scope of your project, so decide on an amount you can afford and stick to it. Depending on the size and location of your renovations, your home may not be safe to live in during construction, so be sure to have food and lodging arranged. Above all, plan for the inevitable bumps and time extensions that may arise so that you are prepared for anything.

2. Choose a dependable contractor

Choose a Dependable Contractor_DibicoYour project’s success and your satisfaction depend on the contractor you choose. Once you have your project planned, carefully research the contractors in the area. Westchester County requires all home improvement contractors to gain a license through the county, so check online to ensure your service provider has a valid, current license. You should also make sure that your contractor doesn’t have any outstanding liens or judgments, which is a sign that you may experience difficulties in your business relationship and project. To help protect you from the worst offenders, Westchester County offers a list of “renegade renovators” who should be avoided.

Once you have verified their licensing, be sure to ask about prior projects, renovation methods, and overall experience. You can also ask for estimates from each of the contractors you are considering. Price is important, but remember, your choice should depend more on experience and expertise if you want your project to be a success.

3. Know your options

Homeowners planning for home improvement in Westchester County may qualify for a local home improvement program. These programs are designed to improve energy efficiency, support first-time homeowners, and rehabilitate the community by helping fund home improvement projects. Home improvement programs available to residents of Westchester County include the following:

NYSERDA Loans

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority offers two loan options for residents who want to improve energy efficiency and renewable energy. Residents who meet low income requirements or cannot qualify for traditional funding may qualify for lower interest rates.

Hudson Valley Home Ownership and Revitalization 

Homeowners who qualify for this program can receive up to $25,000 to purchase and improve a home. At least $12,750 of this amount must go to renovating or repairing the home. This includes correcting structural defects, extending the home’s useful life, or repairing basic systems that affect the homeowner’s health and safety. Applicants must meet income requirements.

Home Ownership Program

First-time homeowners may qualify for this program, which offers up to $25,000 to assist in the purchase of a house, cooperative, or condo. At least $1,000 of the awarded amount must be used to improve the housing standards. This program offers this assistance as a deferred forgivable loan with recapture provisions.

Yonkers Home Improvement Loan Program

This program offers low-interest loans to qualifying homeowners in the City of Yonkers. Participants can receive up to $25,000 for a single-unit home and up to $15,000 each for three additional units. These funds must be used to correct a housing issue that threatens the health, safety, or lives of residents.

White Plains Neighborhood Housing Rehabilitation Program

To help preserve and improve communities throughout White Plains, the city offers loans at below-market rates. These funds can be used to repair and improve homes, though priority is given to repairs that can protect and preserve lives and safety. Homeowners who apply must meet income qualifications.

4. Work with your contractor

Work with your contractor_DibicoYou may lack the skills and resources needed to complete your home improvements, but that doesn’t mean you should be hands-off during the project. Instead, work closely with your contractor to make sure he understands your vision and you understand the process. Check in for regular updates and never hesitate to ask your questions. The best home improvement contractors are those who take the time and attention to give you the home of your dreams.

A list will help you stick to your plan and therefore, budget



home_maintenance_tips_blog

Six Home Maintenance Spring Tips

April is here, so longer and warmer days are just around the corner. It’s time to start getting out of the house again after the long, cold winter months. And, as winter fades, all of those house projects you have been putting off for months become harder to ignore.

Spring is a great time to tackle projects such as masonry repairs, power washing, and landscaping. Over the next few weeks we will be posting tips for different spring projects. We’ll show you how Dibico Home Maintenance can help you with your project, so you can enjoy your spring instead of working on maintenance.  Dibico Home Maintenance is…Living Made Easy!

Masonry Cleaning & Repairs

Masonry Cleaning and Repairs_DibicoCold weather, ice melt, and snow does a number on your home’s masonry. The days between the last snowmelt and the first spring rain are the best time to repair any loose or broken masonry. Snowplows can sometimes cause damages, so check for any loose Belgian block or cobblestone that may have been left behind. Repair loose and broken mortar joints on terraces, walkways, or pool coping to avoid further rain-caused damages. You don’t have to stop at repairs, however. If you want to add a new masonry project to your home, spring is the best time to plan. Then, when summer arrives, you’ll have your new bluestone terrace or built-in BBQ project ready for fun! If you need help with repairs or planning and creating new projects, our Home Maintenance masons are happy to assist!

Power Washing

Your home’s siding, exterior trim, and fencing all take a beating in our New England weather. Once mold and mildew appear, it can spread quickly, creating unsightly staining to your structures and shortening the life of the wood used in each application. By power washing these areas annually, you can clean and destroy the spores and prevent new mold from forming.

Window Cleaning

Window Cleaning_DibicoDirty windows look unattractive, but they also ruin the view of the beautiful yard you spent so much time and money on. Everyone loves the colorful flowers and green leaves that come with spring, but pollen isn’t kind to your windows. As life blooms in your yard, pollen tends to collect on your home’s windows and sills. Late in the spring, after you’ve finished power washing projects, is the perfect time to clean your home’s windows. Our window washing services clean inside and out and check for any breaks in caulking or flashing, which may lead to future problems.

Landscape Clean Ups

Spring clean ups are needed throughout your property to ensure green luscious lawns and planting beds full of brightly colored flowers. Early spring is the perfect time to rake out all the dead grass in the lawn, edge all your planting beds, and add a dark all-natural mulch to really make springtime colors stand out. To bring the season into your home, ask Dibico Home Concierge to deliver some freshly cut flowers to your favorite kitchen or foyer vase.

Declutter and Organize

Declutter and Organize_DibicoFall offers beautiful weather, so we all do our best make the most of the season. We rush to the store for outdoor furniture, sports gear, and pool toys for that last bit of fun. Once spring rolls around, however, it’s overwhelming to see the forgotten mess you left behind! As winter fades, this is the best time for some spring cleaning. Go through those storage areas in your garage, shed, or pool house. Create some additional space so you can maximize your always-needed storage options. If this project is a little daunting, don’t worry! Dibico Home Maintenance can help you create new space and consolidate the storage units and bins that have piled up.

Landscape Lighting

The beautiful landscape lighting that illuminates walkways, terraces, and pool areas has been buried under layers of snow and ice for months. As these lights reappear, now is the time to check for repairs and replacements. Redirect the fixtures, change light bulbs, and clean lenses to make sure your first outdoor event of the spring is lit properly. Dibico Home Maintenance has our own in-house electrician to help with all of these needs, so let us know how we can help!

Dibico Home Maintenance is living made easy.


We do everything from changing light bulbs to clearing gutters & downspouts. All you have to do is ask.


front door renovation in CT

How can I keep my home safe when I go on vacation?

It’s never a good feeling having to come back home from vacation and settle back to the realities of life. It’s even worse, however, coming home from a beautiful vacation to find that someone has broken into your home. Not only are valuable and priceless objects lost, but gone too is your feeling of security in your own home. According to statistics from the FBI and Nationwide Insurance, a majority of home burglaries take place in the summer months (July and August) when people tend to go on vacation.

There is good news, though. The same organizations believe that 9 out of 10 burglaries would not have happened if preventive measures were taken. This post will help you with some of these steps so that your home won’t just be another statistic.

The best way to prevent burglary is to maintain the illusion that someone is actually home during your time away. This can be accomplished by actually having someone house or pet sit. Alternatives include programming your light system to turn on random lights around the house (if you have a centralized system for lighting). It is also important to have someone collect your mail and newspapers. Nothing says “hello my house is unoccupied, come on in” more than an overflowing mailbox and pyramid pile of newspapers. If you can’t have someone pick these up, then you could request to hold your mail and newspaper from delivery. Also, you should have landscapers take care of your lawn. Although you won’t be there to admire the freshly cut grass, potential burglars will see it. Don’t tell the world when you’re leaving, either. This is something that’s only really become a problem with the onset of social media. It might be tempting to tweet to everyone about how great your trip to Bali will be, but remember, you don’t know who is reading what you post.

Don’t forget the obvious steps for home security, locking everything. Sliding glass doors are often a point of weakness, so try putting a bar that can hold them shut, even if the lock fails. Always take your spare key away when you’re on vacation. You are not unique in placing your key under the mat, on a column, or under a rock. Burglars probably put their key in the same place at their home. Just don’t do it. It’s not a good idea to leave valuables near windows in direct sight of the street. In case someone manages to get into your home, lock up the extremely valuable belongings in a box or safe.

These tips should make the worst part of coming home from vacation, the realization that you go back to work tomorrow.

Dibico Living Made Easy Tip: It’s natural to turn off the heating or cooling system when you leave to save power; however, keep some heat on when it’s cold to prevent pipes from freezing.

Dibico Construction, Inc. will be there every step of the way in the design, build, addition, renovation, or maintenance of your home. Conveniently located in Greenwich, CT, Dibico primarily provides custom home building services to Fairfield County, Westchester County, and Manhattan.

Dibico Home Maintenance is living made easy.


We do everything from changing light bulbs to clearing gutters & downspouts. All you have to do is ask.


fireplace remodeling CT

What Type of Fireplace is Best

You would be hard-pressed to find a home without a fireplace…..

There’s something comforting, welcoming, and well, warm about the ambiance a fireplace creates in your home.  What kind of fireplace is the best, though? Well, it depends on what matters to you.  Which one of the following sounds most like something that you might say about a fireplace?

“It’s got to be authentic”

Hiking miles through the woods dragging freshly cut lumber (or more likely picking up pre-packaged logs on the way home from work) is no problem for you, as long as it means you’ll be soon sitting next to a real, crackling, wood-burning fire. You keep a stack of newspapers for kindling and a lighter on the mantle. You are proud of that delightful wood fire smell.

Typically found in a wall-mounted setup, the wood-burning fireplace has been a standard in home design for years. Some argue that nothing can beat a real wood fire. The authentic route definitely has downsides, namely the ash and residue left over in the fireplace and flue, the process of manually lighting the fire, as well as the effort to continually buy firewood.

*Dibico Living Made Easy Tip: Before lighting a fire in a wood-burning fireplace, you should light and hold up a match to the damper. This will warm the flue in order to help start the draft of smoke up through the chimney.

“As long as it’s easy to use”

Maybe you’ll want a fire later tonight, but you aren’t sure. You’ll probably only want it for a few minutes anyway. As long as you don’t have to waste too much time getting the fire going or stopping it, you are happy. But if you have to clean ashes and soot, then it’s safe to say you will be choosing a bump up on the thermostat instead of making a fire.

If you want a fire that’s easy to light and easy to clean, then an electric or gas fireplace is right for you. These fireplaces come in all shapes and sizes and are extremely easy to use. In many cases, however, these fireplaces do not produce nearly the same amount of heat as a wood fire. Some also think that the experience isn’t the same without the crackle of real logs. These fireplaces tend to have more modern and sleek designs.

“It should be efficient”

You believe that a fire should do what it’s always been used for, efficient heating. It seems pointless to have a fireplace if all you do is look at it. If that’s all you needed it for, then you would just buy a 4K-resolution television and play a video of a fire with full surround sound. You want the fire to be clean and easy to maintain, but also provide warmth.

We often receive requests from clients wanting to better insulate their homes, especially during winter. Winterizing doors and better sealing the home can do this, but most people don’t realize how much warm air from inside is sucked out through the fireplace and out the chimney. Some people forget to close the flue after using their fireplace, leaving a gaping hole that no amount of insulated windows and doors could compensate for. Even if you close the flue, most (if not all) gas fireplaces have a stopper keeping the flue slightly open in order to prevent gas from leaking into your home. Although a safety necessity, lots of warm air is lost this way, driving up the heating costs of your home.

A new type of fireplace alleviates most of these problems. Bioethanol burners emit only heat and a little water vapor, no smoke or harmful compounds. This means that you don’t even need a flue or chimney. Since these burners tend to be self-containing, they don’t have any gas lines or cables and can be installed in a variety of places around your home. Since they don’t need to vent outside, the heat can stay inside your home.

“I want something unique”

I want something that no one else has. I want something new and exciting and useful too! If this sounds like you, then I recommend taking a look at radiant fireplaces, which are also known as masonry heaters. These fireplaces burn at extremely high temperatures and self-circulate the heat at such high temperatures that all pollutants are burned off. These hot gases circulate to heat up the walls of the fireplace, slowly being released over the course of a day. You only light the fireplace once in a day and it’ll heat the room for the entire day.

This design has been around for thousands of years, and existed in some form in most northern cultures, but remain relatively unknown in the United States. They are efficient with wood use and the outside never becomes too hot to touch. Some even come with attachments to cook food like pizza in it! The negatives would be the fact that you need to buy extremely dry firewood for it and it takes up much more room than some gas or electric fireplaces.

“But I already have a fireplace”

Why am I reading about different fireplaces if I already have one?

If this is you, then I do have a reason that your time reading this was still well spent. There are fireplaces that can be installed directly into your existing fireplace, if you are looking for something new. Aptly named “inserts” you can find one that matches any of your needs. There are wood-burning inserts that connect directly to the flue and chimney you already have at home and gas/electric ones that can either vent through the flue or remain without a vent. These fireplace inserts tend to be much more efficient than original in-wall fireplaces.

In each home that Dibico has built, we have worked with our clients to find the fireplace that perfectly matches their needs. If you would like to renovate, make an addition, or build a new home, contact us at info@dibicoinc.com and we will help you every step of the way, including advice on exactly what model of fireplace you should get. Whatever fireplace you have or choose to get, remember to check if the flue is open if you have a vented fireplace before lighting a fire. Also, don’t forget to close the flue when you are finished.

For fireplace designs and ideas, check out our Pinterest board about all sorts of fireplaces that we liked.

Dibico Home Maintenance is living made easy.


We do everything from changing light bulbs to clearing gutters & downspouts. All you have to do is ask.


custom built colonial home connecticut CT

Welcome

Welcome to Dibico’s Living Made Easy Blog, the premiere location for tips and ideas about building, remodeling, or maintaining your home.

While every caution has been taken to provide readers with honest analysis and the most accurate information possible, please use your discretion before taking any decisions based on the information in this blog.

Dibico Construction, Inc. or authors posting on its behalf will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.  Any views or opinions are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, or individual.

Content may be edited after being posted and the author is not explicitly bound to state all corrections made.  Unless otherwise noted, Dibico Construction, Inc. is the legal copyright holder of all material on the blog.

Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, explore some of our posts and feel free to leave comments or ask questions!

Dibico Home Maintenance is living made easy.


We do everything from changing light bulbs to clearing gutters & downspouts. All you have to do is ask.