Frequently Asked Questions

First and foremost, obtain and check references. Contractors should have a list of prior work ready for you. Also check with the Better Business Bureau for their rating and if there are any pending issues. Be sure they are licensed for NYC.

Another important question to ask of your Contractor is if they are going to do all the work themselves or if the use subcontractors. If subcontractors are to be used, find out all information for these subcontractors as well.


In short, the answer would be to protect your property and give you peace of mind.

In New York City, the law requires the General Contractor or Home Improvement Contractor doing business in the city to be licensed by the Department Of Consumers Affairs. If your project requires filing with NYC Department of Buildings, permits will only be issued to licensed contractors. Consumer Affair will be unable to assist you should you have a complaint against an unlicensed contractor.

Your contractor must be insured, carrying liability, workman’s compensation and disability insurance. You will be held financially responsible should there be an injury on the job or property damage if you or the contractor you hired doesn’t have proper insurance.

Many buildings in NYC will not allow a contractor to perform even minor work without a license and insurance.

It depends on the condition of your existing hardwood floor and your budget. It’s usually less expensive to refinish hardwood floor, since you do not have to pay for demolition and disposal of the existing floor and, of course, for the new wood.

But if your floor has already been refinished several times, or if too much of the surface wood has become exposed, refinishing your floor may have little effect. Replacing is the way to go if you want to change the direction of the wood, change the design (I.e. to regular planks if you have parquet), or change the species of wood used.

When deciding if it’s better refinish the floors or replace them, you should seek the advice of a professional and compare quotes of the different costs.

There are definitely different levels of painting and the painting skills of workers. The key to a quality paint job is preparation.

Of course, the application of the paint is important, but even if it’s done by qualified professionals using high quality paint, there is no substitute for proper preparation.

It really pays to have beautifully sanded walls and trims before paint goes on walls. While almost anybody can apply paint onto your walls, it takes considerable expertise and experience to get a truly high quality finish.

 If you already have a dropped ceiling, recessed lighting would be the best option. It will definitely make the space look bigger and cleaner.

If the ceiling is a concrete slab and it only has a center box, you may consider a track lighting system. There are many great options on the market now.

Under cabinet fixtures are great and relatively inexpensive additions to the kitchen lighting. The advantage of installing the under cabinet lights is that they put light where you need it most – on your counter space.

Popcorn ceilings, also known as acoustic ceilings, were extremely popular during late 1950s, right through the early 80s. They were easy to install and efficiently hid imperfections in the ceiling.

Now, they are seen as an eye sore, and, for many potential buyers, they are a sign of a dated property. To get rid of this unwanted feature, the ceiling needs to be scraped down and skim coated.

Professionally removed “popcorn ceiling” will not only give an updated and clean look, it will also add to the value of your property when you are ready to sell.