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When a Contractor Comes Knocking...

Whether you are preparing to sell your home or just improve it for your own enjoyment, use caution when hiring a contractor.  
Make sure the contractor is licensed and insured and always ask for references.  If possible, especially on major repairs and renovations, call a couple of the people who have used the contractor and be certain they were happy. 
Don't rush into signing a contract with the first person you meet with.  Although you want to get started as soon as possible, get more than one estimate.   
Make sure that everything is in writing including a detailed description of what the project includes, such as the estimated total cost, a schedule of how payments are made, any guarantees or warranties that are provided and make sure that all the blank lines on the contract are either filled in or marked through before you sign it. 
NEVER pay a contractor in full or sign a certificate of completetion prior to the job being completed to your satisfaction If a contractor says he can save you money by not pulling some of the required permits, do not use him.  The fines in most cases are large and often the completed work must be ... more

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