PHOTO. The photo shows missed opportunities to do the right thing.

Contractors, Landscapers and Re-modelers make many decisions on a project that are hidden from sight, covered with siding, mulch, paint and cement and many never create a problem.  Some will. 

Homeowners must look deeper and closer if they care about their home.  First, homeowners need to care.  Homeowners must ask how projects will hold up over five, ten, twenty years.  Although many perennials, if left alone, may last a few years, cement walls, patios, and structures should last decades.  After a great deal of research of consumer help groups including BBB, Angie’s List, This Old House, Houzz.com, and a few others we have collected a brief summary of four questions to ask.

1) Ask about the materials.  Here is the big one: Moisture vs everything.  Even treated wood will rot when exposed to water. [A]

2) Ask what’s going on below the surface.  A good foundation is everything.

3) What is the life-span of big-ticket items?  How long will that two-hundred pound pergola be safe to grill under?   What’s the tree going to look like in twenty years?  120 years?  That’s a noble question.

4) Who’s making sure the “right” materials are being installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions?  Even good materials will fail if they are improperly installed.

[A] University of Massachusetts, Amherst BCT.