Quilt blocking tips featured

By Sheryl Borden: Creative Living

Information on quilt blocking methods, creating ambiance in the home and remodeling will be the featured topics on “Creative Living” at 9:30 p.m. and noon Thursday.

Jean Gilles Dean is a quilting expert from Midland, Texas, and she’s going to explain why a quilt needs to be blocked and when to do it, as well as explain the different methods, such as steaming, wetting and drying.

Rita Fuentes will show how to create the perfect ambiance in your home and save money to splurge for special occasions. She is an independent consultant with PartyLite in Plymouth, Mass.

According to Paul Zuch, there are important questions we should ask when interviewing a remodeler. Not only will his suggestions help establish a company or individual’s qualifications and reputation, it’ll help find the right person for the job. He represents the National Association of Remodeling Industry International and lives in Allen, Texas.

Information on making storage units, making a hat or apron rack and custom home decor projects will be the featured topics on “Creative Living” at noon Tuesday and 2 p.m. Saturday.

Deborah Durham, spokeswoman for Velcro USA, will show how to make some creative storage units using Velcro and a variety of other household items. Durham lives in Santa Fe.

Furniture refinishing expert Bruce Johnson will show how to make a very unique and practical hat rack or apron rack using old antique door knobs. Johnson represents Minwax in Upper Saddle River, N.J.

Lana Bennett of Singer Sewing Co. will show how to create custom home decor projects that are fun to make and economical at the same time. And, by making them yourself, you can change your decorating scheme more often. She’s from Lavergne, Tenn.

What questions should I ask when I’m interviewing a remodeler?

You can increase your chances of having a successful project by conducting qualifying interviews, following up on references and credentials, and considering all aspects of the remodeling project. You need to look for the professional you feel will provide the best all-around service available, above and beyond the necessary construction skills.

The following questions will help you establish a company’s qualifications and reputation, and help you find the right person for your job.

• How long have you been in business?

• Who will be assigned as project supervisor for the job?

• What is the time frame for starting the project? Now is the time to ask questions about work schedules. What is your estimate for completion? How early will your crew normally begin work? When will they normally quit for the day? Will I be contacted about delays or changes in the schedule? By whom?

• What is your approach to a project of this scope?

• How do you operate? In other words, how is your firm organized? Do you have employees or do you hire subcontractors? Do you use a project supervisor or lead carpenter to oversee the project? You should know what parts of your project will be handled by staff and which will be contracted out to independent contractors.

• Is your company a full-service or specialty firm? If you are planning a small project, say replacing the bathroom plumbing, you may be better off hiring a specialty plumbing firm or a bathroom remodeler. However, if your project involves multiple changes, entire rooms or additions, you should consult a full-service or design-build firm.

• Do you have design services available?

• Does your company carry workers compensation and liability insurance?

• Are any of your company’s employees certified?

• May I have a list of references for projects you have completed that are similar to mine?

• What percentage of your business is repeat or referral business?

• How many projects like mine have you completed in the past 12 months?

• Will we need a permit for this project?

Avoid remodelers at all costs when:

• You can’t verify the name, address, telephone number or credentials of the remodeler.

• The salesperson tries to pressure you into signing a contract.

• The company or salesperson says your home will be used for advertising purposes so you will be given a “special, low rate.”

• The builder/remodeler tells you a special price is available only if you sign the contract “today.”

• No references are furnished.

• Information you receive from the contractor is out of date or no longer valid.