Don’t just pull a contractor’s name out of the newspaper or off a bulletin board at the local building supply store. Ask your local Building Inspector to recommend someone. The inspector is the person who is the most knowledgeable on the quality of work and the professionalism of the contractor.
Make sure everything is in writing on your contract. Insist that the building contractor list every detail of the job to insure you’ll get what you expect. Don’t assume that because someone seems like a nice person they will keep their word. Crooks are good actors and actresses. They are professional liars and know how to scam honest people.
Have the contractor write a date of completion on the contract. Some contractors say they don’t like to do so because weather can be unpredictable, but a reasonable date should be determined. Demand a clause that provides refunds if the work is not done in a timely manner.
Never ever give a contractor more than half down on a job, even if a bank is involved. When it’s all said and done, your bank will probably not back you up. When you sign for the loan, you are responsible for seeing that the job is finished. If the contractor walks off, you are more than likely required to pay the loan payment anyway. The bank lent the money to you, and you will be required to pay it back no matter what the contractor does or doesn’t do.