And speaking of contractors . . .

Thousands of articles have been written about how to hire a contractor. I've written several hundred myself, and two books, besides.

Just type "How to hire a contractor" into Google, and voilà! much advice appears.

The first non-ad to come up on my list was This Old House, followed by U.S. News, the Federal Trade Commission, Angie's List . . . well, that's enough, because I cannot imagine any would steer me in the wrong direction.

TV carpenter Norm Abram told me on a 1999 visit to The New Yankee Workshop set that he was sent hundreds of tools to try out, and that most performed the same as tools on his workbench.

A hammer is still a hammer, even if it runs on a 9-volt battery.

What you have read so far is my excuse for not sharing contractor-hiring tips from a survey by Invoice2go, which is an invoice app. I will share a few findings about consumers' attitudes toward contractors, however.

Only 6 percent of homeowners indicated that they trusted a bigger company more than a smaller one.

Ninety-three percent indicated they would consider hiring a freelancer.

The number one online place homeowners look for service providers is Angie's List (24 percent), followed by Facebook (21 percent). The other places, in no particular order, were Yelp, Thumbtack, TaskRabbit, HomeAdvisor, and NextDoor.

The top behavior that positively reflects credibility of a home-renovation service provider is "cleaning up after a job," at 85 percent.

As I said, Google it.

Summer, too

Stories about carbon monoxide-related deaths abound in warmer weather, especially after storm-related power outages.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, each year more than 400 Americans die from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning; more than 20,000 visit emergency rooms, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized as a result.

If you have a gasoline-powered generator, don't run it in an enclosed area such as a porch or a garage, inside the house, or near windows. And make sure your carbon monoxide detectors are working. or write him at Box 8263, Philadelphia 19101. Volume prohibits individual replies.

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