Top 6 Food Lover’s Destinations around the World

Love Food? Why not let the vacation let your pamper your taste buds!! Food helps you get off every sorrow. Travelling is the best way to learn. Great people always advice the young generation to travel to explore and learn the unknown. Here I have narrowed down to 6 countries where gobsmackingly good food is served.

1) Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo is the only city in the whole wide world to have over 220 Michelin starred restaurants.  From a local shop down the road to a pricey restaurant in a beautiful location, quality and great food can be assured everywhere. Japan’s capital city is on top of every foodie’s bucket list. For great sushi, you can head over to Sushi Dai and Daiwa Sushi. If you’re not able to make it to these places, dont worry just head over to any food joint in Tsukiji Fish Market because all of them are capable of serving good sushi. Tokyo not only specializes in Sushi but also offers other great dishes like Tempura, Ramen, Sashimi, Soba noodles, Sake, Chankonabe, Sukiyaki, Monjayaki, Tsukadani, Udon, Okonomiyaki, Miso soup, Unagi and for people with a sweet tooth they have ningyoyaki which is a cake shaped like a doll filled with red bean paste, dorayaki is a pastry composed of layers of pancakes, anmitsu which comprises of agar, red bean paste and small mochi balls.

2) Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi has a rich culture with Chinese, French and south east Asian influences. Such diversity can also be tasted in their food. Want to savour Vietnamese food? Go to the streets and eat like a local. The main streets, side streets, alleyways of this northern city are flooded with food vendors offering variety of soups, buns, noodles, sandwiches and rolls. There are lots of dishes that one shouldn’t miss during their stay here: Cha Ca,   Banh Cuon, Bun Cha, Banh Bao, Banh Mi, Mien Xao Luo, Bia Hoo, Xoi Xeo, Bun Thang, Bun Bo Nam Bo, Bun Rieu and Pho. Sweet lovers should head over to Thu Nga and order Kem Xoi which is a delicacy made of sweet sticky rice topped with vanilla ice cream and coconut or Sinh To which is a smoothie made with sweetened condensed milk and comes in many flavours like mango, litchi, strawberry etc.

3) Singapore

This tiny Asian country is every foodie’s wonderland. Their dishes are inspired by Indian, Chinese, Malay and Eurasian cultures. Their heavy and wholesome meals tell us a lot about their veracious appetite. With many hawker centres set up, this nation keeps the hawker tradition alive. They specialize in noodles, rice and seafood. Foods specialities are Frog Porridge, Bah Kut Teh, oh Luak, Sambal Stingray, Chai Tao Kway, Mud Crab, Char Kway Teow, Chicken Rice, Curry Laksa, Durian, Red Snapper Head Curry. After all this spicy and hot food, you need to treat your taste buds to Tau Hua formed using bean curd tofu and sweet syrup infused with pandan leaves and topped with gingko seeds.

4) Croatia

Whatever Croatia lacks in size, it makes up for it with its culinary powers. Croatian food is largely inspired by Mediterranean and European style.

Some great foods include Skradin Risotto, Brodet, Istarski fuzi, Pašticada, Gregada, Punjene Paprike, Cobanac, Kotlovina, Soparnik, Crni Rizot, Bakalar, Štrukli, Manestra, Klipići, Fish Paprikas, Sarma, Zagorska Juha, Hobotnica ispod peke. I won’t describe them to curb your excitement!! Hope there is some place left for dessert as Paprenjaci, Arancini, Rozata, Krostule and Fritule are too good to be missed!

5) Gustavia, St Barts

Gustavia the main town and capital of St Barts is known for its amazing culinary scene. Anyone who has gone to Gustavia has the pounds to prove it. Ruled by the French till 1648 their cuisine revolves around French cuisine, West Indian cuisine, Italian cuisine, Creole Cuisine and Asian cuisine. Gustavia is known for its elite restaurants that serve only high quality dishes. Some of the notable restaurants of this region are La Mandala, Eddy’s, Le Repaire, Zanzibarth, Maya’s and many more. Maya’s is known for its baguettes, charcuterie, decadent brie and French wine. Don’t forget to try the pumpkin bisque soup at La Plage or Fresh lobster, salmon, puréed asparagus and crab, crème puffs, fruit tarts, quiche at Le Gaiac. Youll weep if you forget to have Ti punch at Le Select or a tomato tart and coq au vi at Santa Fe Restaurant.

6) Bangkok, Thailand

Every corner of Bangkok reeks of incredible Thai food. Want to explore the exciting flavours of Thai street food? Go to Chinatown which is the birthplace of street food. Your food check list has to have Tod Mun Pla Krai, Pork Skewers, Quail Eggs, Hoy Tod, Pla Pao, Gai Tod, Kuay Teow Lui Suan, Gai Yang, Sai Oua.

And the best is served at the last: Khanom Jeeb which is a crispy crepe but like no other, its topped with meringue and dried coconut, Kanom Krok which is a sweet rice cake with a molten center, Khao Niao Mamuang that is mango sticky rice a signature thai dessert, Tub Tim Krob eaten after a spicy meal is a refreshing dessert, Khao Niaow Tu-rean tops the list of all durian lovers and then comes the master of all, Thai coconut ice cream.

Top 5 Places To Spend Christmas This Year

“I sometimes think we expect too much of Christmas Day. We try to crowd into it the long arrears of kindliness and humanity of the whole year. As for me, I like to take my Christmas a little at a time, all through the year. And thus drift along into the holidays – let them overtake me unexpectedly – waking up some fine morning and suddenly saying to myself: ‘Why is this Christmas Day!” – David Grayson (click for more Christmas messages)

Much like destination weddings you can take a holiday to these beautiful Christmas locations. It’s rightly said that the world is an ocean and your home land is like a pearl in a oyster shell. Without exploring you will just be a shell.

Not only a vacation this Christmas tour will be an adventure ride. These destinations have some of the most unusual things happening. So pack your bags, grab your stockings and head out with your family for a memorable Christmas experience:

1) Rio de Janerio

The gigantic Bredesco Seguros Christmas Tree with the background of a sky lit up with fireworks, a site to see. You cannot miss the dazzling golden one of the world’s tallest Christmas tree all in golden lighting. The fountains and the fireworks are coordinated as if dancing with the happiness of Christmas. The beautiful themed tree in the centre surrounded by water is all a dreamy celebration come alive.

The huge sand art work of Jesus, Santa and other models is a very unique form of Christmas celebrations. It will make the most memorable Christmas ever.

2) London

For the ones who want to celebrate in the snowfall and under mistletoes! The London celebrations of Christmas are the most perfect blend of traditions and the latest trends. The Winter Wonderland, The Leicester Square and the markets are decorated like out of a fairytale book.

The ice skating is a unique experience during Christmas time. The shops are all decorated with stars the piñatas, the stockings, bells, the red golden lights all around. It’s a treat for the eyes. The city shines like a star studded sky. Also many restraints serve special savouries like the custard puddings, the ginger cakes and other delicacies. It is also a shoppers stop which gets better during the Christmas Days.

3) Las Vegas

The Bellagio Fountains with the dancing fountains are in their glory during Christmas season. The Holiday Cactus Garden is decorated with lights taken from the rainbow, the cactus could never be more colourful than they are at this time of the year.

The Fermont Street is for the explorers and the Ice Rink at The Cosmopolitian is a adventure time. The decoration of the Motor Speedway is a romantic long drive’s destination.

Just make sure you get your advanced booking done as the city is very crowded during Christmas.

4) Berlin

The Charlottenburg Palace is in its highest degree of grandeur. The show lights, the historic narratives etc. all make you travel time. The tress are decorated with lights and the celebration is in the air.

The walk along the Unter den Linden with the golden light wrapped lime trees will make a romantic date.

Berlin is most famous for it’s Christmas markets. From gifts to sweets, decoration items to precious jewellery the market has the best showcase for all of these.

5) Mexico

This is the city where the nativing is done best. The traditional posadas are the best entertaining and socialising activity. It’s away from the hustle and bustle. You actually get to understand the meaning of each of the Christmas celebration events. The little Bethlehem replicas, kids running from house to another and the warmth of the people there, it’s a heart warming experience.

Also this place is for those of you who don’t like winters. The climate is warm and comfortable.

If you are planning to go with your entire family, this is the right choice.

So plan a surprise holiday and celebrate the festival of joy. Wish you a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!! Do share your experiences in the comments below, waiting to hear you all!!

Feng Shui tips for Bedroom Harmony

Home is the place where one feels the sense of accomplishment, safety and comfort. It is the den where one wants to retire after a hard day’s work. It is the safety net, the warm blanket and shade for its residents. No matter how the atmosphere is outside, inside bedroom one would always want to feel relaxed, bright and happy. Sometimes however things go a bit astray and the homely atmosphere might get a bit turbulent.

Although it is totally up to the residents of the house to maintain its calm but there are certain other elements which can help too. One of such is ‘feng shui’ which is a Chinese system of geomancy. It believes in implementing the laws of both Heaven (Chinese astronomy) and Earth to help one improve life by receiving positive energy.

Feng shui is generally about the right position so that no obstruction is created for the circulation of positive energy. To facilitate the free flow of positive energy in the bedroom following tips should be adhered to:

  • Electrical equipments such as TV, computer or exercise equipment should be avoided. Electromagnetic waves may interfere with the positive and blissful atmosphere needed in the bedroom. Electric equipment despite easing our lives always comes with caution. Therefore they are best avoided in the bedroom as they are said to destroy the good energy of the room. On the scientific side they may lead to some mishap which can cause damage to health.
  • Bedroom should have good number of windows so that fresh air can have easy movement. Since, you spend about eight hours of your day and 1/3rd of your life sleeping, it’s imperative that you get fresh air all the time for maximum vitality.
  • In lack of natural inlets, the room should have air-purifier of a good quality to keep the air fresh and full of oxygen. Any good quality air purifier suitable for your room size should be chosen.
  • The room should be amply lighted and if possible various levels should be created for lights. Feng Shui stresses a lot on lighting which though obvious is neglected by many of us. Light has always been the source of energy therefore a well-lighted room uplifts our mood. In cases where natural light isn’t accessible, artificial lights in form of bulbs, tubes, candles can be used. The whole idea is to keep the room bright be it anyhow.
  • Bedrooms should always have colors that are neutral and capable of inducing tranquility. Colors carry powerful meaning and implication with them. Therefore they should be selected carefully. Neutral hues best suit bedrooms. Also the furniture should complement the room rather than making it look odd.
  • Images for the bedroom should be chosen carefully as they carry strong messages. No violent or scary photos or portraits should be hung. Images shouldn’t depict any negative energy.
  • The bed should be easily approachable from both sides, have two bedside tables (one on each side) and not placed in a direct line with the door.
  • During night all the doors present in the bedroom should be kept closed.

These tips are based on the natural and essential elements of life. The need to have good sized windows ensures that the room will be properly aerated and no suffocation will be felt.  Fresh air is healthy and important for the well being of the residents.

These are few tips to keep the harmony maintained in the most important room of the house.  Personal choices in décor might defer but few generalized tips which have certain logic shouldn’t be ignored as they will help in the long run.

Puerto Morelos – A Port Town Beckoning Real Estate Investors

A real estate investment is a tough nut to crack. If you’re looking for a second home in Mexico, it becomes even more complex. Mexico has too many options when it comes to tourist destinations.

Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Akumal, Tulum, Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta are some of the better known destinations which are the current favorites of investors.

But for some these are expensive and too crowded for their liking. Here is where there is a need to look further in to destinations such as Puerto Morelos. Condos in Puerto Morelos are the new rage in this port town in Mexico.


Now, let’s delve a little bit in to the history of this town. Situated in Quintana Roo this used to be a fishing village as well as a port between Yucatán and the Island of Cozumel. It is famous for resorts and as a diving destination. Tourists who want to avoid the crowds usually bypass Playa del Carmen in favor of Puerto Morelos which significantly less touristy and smaller. When I saw Puerto Morelos, the first impression was that of a serene and a laid back atmosphere. Yes, there are hotels and restaurants and the usual trappings associated with a beach destination but Puerto Morelos is understated in its elegance. For this reason I chose my first Puerto Morelos condo a year back.


Puerto Morelos has shallow water and white sandy beaches. Puerto Morelos has the reef just off the shore which is a part of the second largest reef system in the world known as the Great Mesoamerican Reef which stretches over 1100 km from the northern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula down to the Honduran Bay Islands. This reef is home to corals, sea turtles, a variety of fishes and sharks. The underwater life is truly astonishing as there are more than 500 species of fish and 65 species of coral. IN order to preserve the reefs, the area has been designated as a protected National Marine Park. Snorkeling and diving in the reef are some of the popular activities. Puerto Morelos also has many cenotes where swimming and diving can be enjoyed.

Real Estate Scene

For the reasons stated above real estate activity in Puerto Morelos is picking up. People are discovering that Puerto Morelos offers a tranquil and less commercial ambiance. Its neighboring destination such as Playa del Carmen used to be one such place a decade back but has since grown a lot which has dulled its charm in a huge way. With property prices shooting up in Playa del Carmen, investors have been forced to seek other suitable destinations such as Puerto Morelos. With ease of connectivity, abundance of amenities, a favorable location and proximity to major destinations in Riviera Maya buying real estate in Puerto Morelos makes business sense more than ever. Plenty of high end as well affordable condos and homes are available in Puerto Morelos. But not for very long!

The port town is calling you to explore its natural richness and make it your home away from your home. Are you game?

Best Colors For Every Corner Of Your Dream House

Colors are an integral part of life as they infuse richness, brightness and meaning to it. The world around is just full of natural hues which makes us appreciate the beauty around us. Colors have a psychological impact on the minds of human being. Although one has no control over the nature colors but they can definitely alter the colors of the house they reside in. Therefore it is of prime importance that people choose the right color for the right room.

Preference of colors majorly depends on personal choice but it should be understood that colors play a major role in conditioning of moods. Home is where one likes to relax and therefore would prefer to create soothing ambience. Although there are no hard and fast rules for choosing colors for destined room but there are certain guidelines which when followed can ensure a perfect living experience.

To make the apt choice in terms of colors one should note the following points:

  • use of the room,
  • the overall lighting in the room,
  • the size of the room and
  • Personal color preferences.

Colors can be distinguished into two categories: earthy tones and intense colors. Depending on the usage of the room, colors should be decided. The rooms which suit best for earthy tones are:

Dining area

Earthy shades like hues of red and orange are regarded to be stimulating. They are also considered responsible for increasing a person’s appetite hence make the perfect choice for dining rooms. They convey a feeling of warmth hence said to have soothing effect on family relationships. Their versatile nature also makes them a favorite among many. Dining areas blue is considered a no-no color as it is believed that the color tends to suppress the appetite.


The kitchen is a very vital aspect of any household as it the supplier of energy for the family. It is important to have a well built kitchen to ensure safety and comfort to the cook which in return ensures good dishes for the family. Since the kitchen is exposed to various stains therefore light shades shouldn’t be preferred. The earthly tones are perfect even for kitchen as it is also majorly about food. Popular kitchen colors are brown, peach and yellow. Even strong and dark colors like brick red, dark hunter green and blue can be used along with neutral shades.


Finally the bedroom which is the room of relaxation and retiring should have colors that reflect peace and tranquility. Therefore the best colors for bedrooms are suppose to be blues, greens and light earth tones. Intense colors such as red, bright yellow should be avoided. Lighter shades of burgundy, peach, coral or pink are also known to create romantic look.

Rooms which can take intense colors are:

Living Area

The living space is a vital corner as the whole family comes together to share their tales of the day. Some people like to give it a cozy feel and therefore should opt for dark colors. On the other hand if they want to have the feel of a larger room then lighter shades are quintessential. The most dominating factors while choosing the colors for the living room are the overall size and lighting of the room.

Colors like beige, cream or shades of yellow add a warm and inviting look. For more formal appearance one can opt for cooler colors such as gray. One should avoid intense colors in the living area as they don’t reflect well upon the interiors of the house.


Colors for the bathroom are considered relatively easier to choose. Colors such as light blue, sea foam green and light earthy shades have known to create a relaxing spa feeling. People can also opt for darker shades provided they use it in a dramatic way. Usage of only dark colors can result in smaller looking bathroom.

Apart from the design and structure, colors also play a vital role in house building. They bring out the life of the solid cement structure therefore they need careful pondering.




Exploring Riviera Mayan Ruins – El Meco Archaeological Site

Riviera Maya boasts of an impressive lineup of archaeological sites of great historical importance. While Coba, Chichen Itza and Tulum are the most famous ones, there are other sites also which may be smaller but still pack a punch when it comes to relevance and importance to the student of history and culture. El Meco is a Mayan ruin site about 5 kilometers from the tourist city of Cancun.

El Meco sits just north of Cancun and is easy to access. Since there are no organized tours for this relatively unknown and less popular site, you have to Rent a car or hire a taxi to reach El Meco.

Historically speaking, the city of El Meco dates back to the 3rd or 4th century AD. It started off as a small fishing village. El Meco was later abandoned. It was again inhabited around 1100 AD. It then blossomed in to a large coastal town and center of commerce owing to its proximity to Isla Mujeres. It retained its glory till the Spanish conquistadors arrival in the 16th century.

The actual site is locked between the sea and the lagoon. It has 14 structures with 13 of them surrounding the main 12.5 meter Mayan pyramid. Also known as ‘El Castillo’, it can be hiked till the summit from where one can have great views of the sea and lagoon. The other smaller structures are believed to have been used for religious ceremonies, administrative functions and commercial operations.

El Meco significance lay in the fact that it was in a close proximity to Isla Mujeres hence it became departure point for the Mayas sailing to Isla Mujeres. It also became an important navigational reference point for boats.

El Meco is certainly a nice break for tourists in Cancun who may not feel adventurous enough to visit Chichen Itza or Tulum. A lot can be learnt about the life and culture about Mayans when you visit sites like these. The sheer vision, hard work and skills required to construct these magnificent structure showcase Mayan civilization’s glory and development.

Riviera Maya is treasure trove for the lovers of archaeology as there are many sites around. Playa del Carmen is the perfect base for all the explorations to the neighboring towns such as Akumal, Tulum or Pureto Morelos.

I will be posting more about the other ruins in Mexico in my upcoming articles so stay tuned!

Live Life King Style In The White City Of India!

In India, Rajasthan is the land of the royals. Among the various places in Rajasthan, Udaipur is the prized gem which will tell you a lot about the royalty of the place. Thousands of travelers all over the world come to visit the “white city” of Rajasthan. In Udaipur you will find a place where you will be treated like a king, pampering you to an extent that you would fall in love with that place.

A Luxurious Stay At The Royal Retreat Resort And Spa

You want a place where you can relax and live like a king for some days? Then come to The Royal Retreat Resort and Spa in Udaipur. Every traveler loves this place and they come here more than once due to the beauty of the surrounding area. There are about 100 well appointed rooms with two Presidential Suites. You just need to step into this beautiful hotel and the rest is needless to say. You will get a private Jacuzzi and large balconies, the rooms which will ensure that you stay is satisfactory and matches up to the lifestyle of a king.


Perfect Leisure Time

Every medium of relaxation can be found over here so you won’t be disappointed at all. Are you willing to plunge into the swimming pool just to laze or to get rid of the heat? Then this hostel is just perfect for you. Not only one, but three adult swimming pools are there for you to relax while sipping yummy mocktails with your family or friends. You can also massage your body and do beauty treatments at Royal Spa. There is a plenty of massages and beauty treatments available; choose your favourite one!


Royal Meals

Not only will your stay be royal, but also your meals. After a swim or a nice massage, go for a meal at the in-house restaurant Darbar that serves traditional Indian Cuisine.

If you are not interested in swimming or do not want to sit in the beautiful gardens, other options for your enjoyment are also there. You can do horse riding in the lawn or take a vintage car city tour? Isn’t it exciting? I am sure that you will love every bit of this tour.

Mesmerising Decoration

The decoration of the Royal Retreat is very much royal. It is decorated with rare artifacts from the owner’s personal collection. You are sure to remain awestruck when you see the decoration. The furniture has also been carefully chosen for each room and public place. The guests also have the opportunity to buy any furniture of his or her choice at a special price. So, if you like a furniture and you want to place it in your own house, you can always buy one.

Perfect For Any Social Gathering

The banquet hall at the Royal Retreat is suitable for any kind of corporate event or a wedding ceremony. Up to 800 guests can fit inside the large hall and a dedicated event management division will cater to all your needs. Every social gathering can be held with ease with their help and dedication.

After reading this article I hope you are willing to give it a try at least once. We all are busy with workloads all throughout the year. Why not stay like a king for a few days in Udaipur and freshen up your mind?

Top 10 reasons to fall love with Playa del Carmen

There’s something for everyone in Playa Del Carmen, be it the beach lovers, the party people, the nature lovers, the foodies or even the shopaholics.

This gorgeous and lively beach destination offers premium residences and homes, world-class beaches, shopping, night life, hotels, eat-outs, adventure sports, relaxation and a whole lot more!

With so much to do in Playa del Carmen, it’s hard to narrow down the long list of reasons to visit, but below you’ll find our top 10.

“Playa” as the locals call it, is located in the middle of the Riviera Maya in the state of Quintana Roo in Mexico. Playa del Carmen is only 45 minutes away from Cancun. Its central location makes it a tourist hot-spot as all the sights and adventure sites along the Caribbean coastline are easily accessible from this town.

There’s accommodation to suit all budgets and tastes in Playa del Carmen.

In the recent years, numerous high quality small hotels and condominiums have come forth in Playa del Carmen that offer high style and luxury, on and off the beach. You can rent or buy vacation homes in Playa del Carmen online easily using website like these. They also have a great selection and explanatory photos of all the hotels, condos and villas.


Playa del Carmen has a sub-tropical climate, which means it’s almost always warm. Or hot. The annual average temperature is about 27C or 80F. Irrespective of what time of year you get here, you will have great beach days and the ocean is always warm enough to swim in.

Playa del Carmen Beach

Playa del Carmen Beach

Playa del Carmen is famous for its gorgeous beaches. The deep blue glistening waters and stretches of stunning white sand make for the most breathtaking sight. It’s hard not to fall in love with the scenic beaches here.

It is also known for its stylish beach clubs that offer food and beverage services, a variety of spa treatments and aquatic sports, plus access to restrooms, showers and pools.


Activities in Playa include swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, para-sailing and deep water fishing. Golf enthusiasts can enjoy the 18-hole course at Playacar along Mexico’s Mayan Riviera.


The European and American-influenced nightlife in Playa is much talked about. This town has quite an excellent mix of clubs and music venues, as well as several beachside bars. Most of the action centers around El Zócalo and La Quinta, but better deals can be found along the beachside or farther out of town.

Playa del Carmen has plethora of attractions which can easily fill up your holidays. Here is a list of some of the perennial favorities.
LA QUINTA AVENIDA – Better known as the FIFTH AVENUE is the hot-spot for nightclubs, pubs, bars, restaurants, cafes shops and souvenir-shops that are on 24/7.

XCARET – The largest and most impressive theme park in the Riviera Maya where you can snorkel in an underground river, learn about marine life in a living aquarium, walk through a butterfly pavilion, see jaguars and pumas, swim with dolphins or manatees, and learn about sea turtles.

XEL-HA A natural aquarium park which has an impressive variety of brightly colored tropical fish. It is a wonderland of cenotes, mangroves and lagoons.

TULUM- Holds the honor of being the most picturesque archaeological site in the Riviera Maya and the only one to have been built overlooking the ocean. A visit here offers spectacular views of the Riviera Maya beaches, Caribbean Sea and surrounding coastal region

CENOTE AZUL– Near Playa del Carmen that is open to visitors and offers a quiet cool retreat from the blazing sun and the crowds.

Fifth Avenue - Playa del Carmen

Fifth Avenue – Playa del Carmen

 When it comes to shopping you will be spoilt for choice in Playa. Fifth Avenue is full of unique shops offering the latest styles in clothing and beachwear, shoes, hats, sunglasses, unusual handicrafts, artwork, jewelry, leather products and souvenir shops. Hottest-selling souvenirs: Mexican tequila and Cuban cigars!


Mexican, Yucatecan, Italian, Argentinian and a host of other international restaurants line Quinta Avenida. With a spectacular spread of cuisines, Playa has it all for the foodies.

Playa has a very bohemian atmosphere with an ‘elite’ feel to it.People here are extremely hospitable. Because tourism is the main industry most locals are fluent both in Spanish and English.

Playa del Carmen is a beautiful holiday destination for those seeking a slice of paradise!

10 Tips for Hiring a GREAT Home Improvement Contractor

Sometimes it is a good idea to appoint a professional rather than taking on your home improvement project yourself.  But then, everyone has heard frightful stories about a home improvement disaster as choosing the wrong contractor can have very damaging results. Problems can vary from minor flaws like poor finishing to serious issues such as exorbitant fees, possible safety risks, non-compliance with statutory requirements, and sometimes the need for the work to be completely redone.

In reality, though, there are thousands of trustworthy and dependable contractors out there waiting to be hired. So, how do you go about making sure you hire a good one?

Here are 10 tips to help you hire a dependable contractor for your home improvement projects:

1. Look at the contractor’s portfolio of work

Ask the architect or the designer to show you a portfolio of some his past projects. Looking at work samples will allow you to have an idea about the quality of work and also about the creativity of the home designer. This will also give you an insight into the variety of work the contractor has done.

2. Request for references

It is important to ask the contractor for at least 3 recent references and to make sure that you follow up on them. Check these references out by asking them questions about their experience with that contractor. Did they give you the completed home project on time? Did they go off budget? Was the complete work up to the mark? The answers to these questions will help you in taking the right decision. Do not just appoint anyone who puts a flier in your mailbox and pretends to have done work for your neighbors!

3. Compare at least three quotes

Based on the same warranty, specifications, labor and time frame, you must examine and compare quotations from at least three different home improvement contractors.

4. Be clear about cost

In case of the contractor charging on per day basis you will need to agree to a timeframe to figure out the exact cost of the project. In many cases, though, the contractor charges a percentage of the total cost of the project as their fee. Have clear and detailed discussions with the contractor about the cost of the project. Whatever the method is, do not ever pay the full cost of the project up in advance. Agree to a payment plan and use a contract.

5. A Detailed Contract

Never allow work to commence without a signed and written contract. This contract should include aspects such as start and completion dates, exact costs, specific work to be done, brands of items being installed, complete set of drawings being used with written specs and warranty information. If everything is agreed upon in advance, there will be no ugly surprises.

6. Make Sure the Contractor has a License and Insurance

Having a license and insurance displays a contractor’s trustworthiness and expertise. The license proves that the contractors know building codes and processes. A license also reduces the risk to property owners of getting tricked. To be sure, get the contractor’s license number. If a contractor does not have insurance and a worker gets hurt on your project, you could be liable. To be on the safe side, it is important that you get proof of insurance.

7. Discuss Your Guidelines With The Contractor

Discuss your limits and expectations with the contractor. If you need to have the project completed before a certain date, do not want the workers staying past a certain time everyday or any other specific requirement, let the contractor know before you hire him. The contractor may not want or be able to accept the job based on your criterion.

8. Find out Who Will Be Performing the Work

You must check with the contractor if he will be doing the work himself or if it will be subcontracted to someone else. Major property remodeling projects often involve multiple subcontractors, such as electricians and plumbers. It is nice to know who will turn up on your doorstep. It all goes back to appointing a contractor you can count on because he is never going to put a bad subcontractor on your job.

9. Deposit & Payment

Never pay a deposit of more than 20% to 30% of the entire project cost. Final payment should only be done when the job is completed. Make payment by check and credit card and never by cash.

10. Warranty

Get warranty information in writing on all products and installation. Read the particulars cautiously.