Often times over the holidays and for the new year people decide to make home improvements. For the winter people do inside remodeling. In the spring and summer, people tend to do outside home fixes. If you opt to hire a company to do the work, make sure you have checked with local officials to see if permits are required. Get references from the contractor and call those folks. Have the contractor show you the license and insurance information. Check with the local Better Business Bureau and your state’s Attorney General office to find out if the company has had any complaints filed against it. Get at least 2-3 estimates from several companies before making a final decision- you will be surprised at the differences in price but also the lowest price does not mean the best job. If the contractor is buying items from other companies or manufacturers, get those warranties in writing. Always check on the job regularly and if there are mistakes or changes, alert the company in writing. In other words, make a written record. Make sure you get itemized receipts for all work, labor, materials, and time on the job. In the end, you should have a written contact with the contractor and it should include as many details as possible. In the end, do not pre-pay too much for the stages of the job. Said differently, make sure that you are paying after the key work is done.