Stay thirsty, my friends!

The Most Interesting Man in the World is an advertising campaign for the Dos Equis brand of beer.  The ads feature an actor by the name of Johnathan Goldsmith, whose claim, through the ad campaign, is his hilarious and intriguing personality aspects.  The narrator of the commercials explains that The Most Interesting Man in the World, “once taught a German shepherd to bark in Spanish,” or “he once had an awkward moment…just to see how it felt,” or even “his personality is so magnetic, that he is unable to carry credit cards!”  As the commercials end, Goldsmith always finishes with, “Stay thirsty, my friends.”

Although some of my friends may want to take the advice literally, I would like to try to apply a different spin on it.  The thirst for knowledge is a never ending challenge, and, that knowledge is key for any successful home improvement, remodeling, or new construction project.  As we enter the remodeling season, your attempt to “stay thirsty” with construction knowledge should always include these issues that need to be addressed with your potential contractor:

Licensed/Insured:  Without a doubt, the most important questions to ask your contractor is about licensing and insurability.  Every contractor should be able to provide you with a copy of his/her license, and also be able to show you a certificate of insurance coverage.  (If either of these are lacking…do not, under any circumstance, allow this contractor to proceed.)

Product Knowledge:  Take the time to research the products that your contractor recommends.  A simple Google search may be adequate, but you also may need to invest the time into your own research.  Look for on-line reviews or forums that discuss each product.  You will be surprised at the vast amount of information you can aquire through these sources.  Education is expensive, however, so is trial and error.

Do Not Make Emotionally Charged Decisions:  Storm season in the upper Midwest has already started.  “Storm Chasers,” contractors that follow storms with damaging winds and large hail make a very good living preying on customers whose world is temporarily turned upside down with storm damage.  It is impossible to make a logical decision when you are emotionally involved.  If you feel rushed, confronted, or intimidated by a potential contractor, continue to look for other alternatives.

Stay Thirsty My Friends is great advice, and that thirst for knowledge will help alleviate many headaches when it comes to your remodeling project.