There are so many horror stories about disreputable or incompetent home improvement contactors that television shows have been made about them. Unless you want to be a guest on one of those programs, take steps to ensure you find a good contractor. Here are some tips that will help:
• Ask for references. Speak to the references.
• Get a detailed written estimate of the work to be done, and make sure you understand all the terms and conditions.
• Be wary of contractors who insist on large payments upfront. The payment plan should be reasonable and tied to work as completed.
• Ask if the contractor is a member of any professional associations.
• Don't deal with a contractor who offers you a no-tax, cash-only deal.
• Ask the contractor to get the appropriate permits before starting your project
These tips won't guarantee you'll hire a reputable contractor, but they will increase the chances that you do.