Selecting the right contractor is important for any home renovation - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Real Estate

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Selecting the right contractor is important for any home renovation

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Posted: Friday, November 1, 2013 10:45 am

Dear Claudia: I am ready to make some major renovations to my house; I want to get it ready for the holidays. Do you have a suggestion on how to select the right contractor for the project?

Answer: How exciting. Certainly I do, The Edge First and foremost research what the project is going to entail. For example, take a look at and get some ideas, there you can save an idea book. If you don’t have time, start by hiring a designer that can help you specify all the products that will work with your décor and budget taking into consideration your design preferences and space. In addition they can provide drawings; this will make it easier for the contractor.

The ideal contractor to select will be one that has a professional designer in house and can perform all the scope of work needed for the project. This is ideal since you are dealing with one person throughout the project. The designer has the best interest for you and works directly with the contractors.

With the education and experience in their field, the designer will be able to help you make educated decisions about the products being used and provide you with 3-D renderings to be able to visualize the project. The designer will help you make the most of your space and budget, helping you create your dream décor. Furthermore, the designer will oversee the project until completion working side-by-side with the contractors to ensure your satisfaction.

Dear Claudia: I just relocated to Ahwatukee. I am looking for good, reputable service providers and contractors for a project in my house. Who do you recommend?

Answer: I recommend, an innovative business to help new residents at no charge. Alicia Guerrieri, founder and CEO of iSearchDecor, experienced being a new homeowner moving from California to Scottsdale more than 17 years ago. She understood that it can be a daunting task to find reputable companies that will show up on time, that will provide a fair price, and will complete a project on time with high quality workmanship. This is how iSearchDecor was born.

They provide referrals in more than 200 categories related to home services, home renovation, and home decor. Assistance can range from setting up utilities, finding the best cable and Internet rates to finding a housekeeper, a contractor or a plumber. They make sure each party actually connects, ensures quotes are submitted back to the client in a timely fashion, and then they remain engaged with the project should the client hire any of the iSearchDecor recommended vendors.

All of the vendors in their network undergo a stringent screening process including criminal background checks, licensing verifications, and reference checks.

iSearchDecor is an interactive version of Angie’s List. Client’s love the personalized attention that iSearchDecor offers, and iSearchDecor loves being able to help each client.

• Claudia Dabdoub is a resident of Ahwatukee Foothills and owner of D’amore Interior Design Studio. To ask a question for an upcoming column, reach her at (480) 751-9938 or

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Keystone Montessori

[David Jolkovski/AFN]
Teacher Pily Pantoja helps Sarah Wang, 4, with the addition snake game at Keystone Montessori on Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014.

Keystone Montessori has come a long way since its founding in 1995. Back then it was operated out of the founder’s home before eventually moving on to rent rooms from Horizon Presbyterian Church. It was only in 2000 that they had gained a strong enough enrollment to move into the facility where they currently reside on Liberty Lane, just off Desert Foothills Parkway and across from the Ahwatukee Foothills Family YMCA.

The school services students as young as 18 years old, as part of their toddler program, and as old as ninth-graders. The current enrollment is around 320 students, who all have access to Spanish, music and arts programs in addition to the full Montessori curriculum.

“We provide an authentic Montessori education which focuses on the independence and whole development of the child, including academic as well as social and emotional growth,” said head of school Cindy Maschoff. “We want our students to become independent citizens of the world.”

The school will be taking the time to present the concept of Montessori education to the public Jan. 29 and 30. At the presentations the school will provide a clear understanding of what Montessori education looks like at each level of education. Those wanting to attend should plan on going to both meetings, with the Jan. 29 meeting going from 6-7 p.m. and the Jan. 30 meeting from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The meetings require attendees to RSVP, which can be done by emailing

For more information, visit

• Compiled by James Gingerich.

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