"Home" shows on TV
There are a myriad of "home" shows on TV but there is one that stands out to me above all of them and that is Holmes on Homes. Mike always comes in to save the day and rescues the home owner from a shoddy job done by a sub-standard or fly-by-night contractor.
Mikes' website is located at http://makeitright.ca/ and he is featured on HGTV, http://www.hgtv.com/holmes-on-homes/show/index.html.
The thing I like about this show is that he really points out the bad things that can happen in a remodel or even a new home. He shows you why something is bad and how to correct it and you will never see a shortcut or hear a "that's good enuff" or a "looks OK from my house" comment.
Holmes on Homes really shows you the wonderful things that can be done when you have skilled, knowledgeable trade people. Most of these things are things that become invisible after the job is completed but make huge differences in the way a home performs over its lifetime.
If you subscribe to a Christian faith you would know that there are sins of commission an sins of omission. Well many trades and professions are subject to those same tenants. Many problems on a remodel can be traced to a tradesperson or contractor or who may have not been a fly-by-night type but rather someone who just didn't know and got in over their head.
I find real estate to be plagued by some of the same issues. There are some trades and professions where the bar is so low to gain entry that almost anyone can enter into the business. This makes hiring these people harder because we have a harder time verifying the competency or knowing that someone can perform at least a basic level in their field. Passing a licensing exam does not really count as any kind of a benchmark.
Watch Mike, I'll think you find that he's a genuine guy, I know you will learn something, and if you are thinking about buying a home, you will see how important a good home inspector can become in the process.
As a REALTOR who has shown thousands of properties, I have seen some pretty outrageous things. I always am troubled when I see people throw "good money after bad money" to get something done in a hurray or to take a shortcut.
It will always cost you less money in the long run to do it right the first time. Impatience will often cost you dearly. Don't be afraid to ask questions, get references and check them, and ask for referrals and recommendations.