What should I know before I hire a contractor?

Most licensed contractors are competent, honest, hardworking, and financially responsible. And yet almost everyone knows someone who has a nightmare story to tell about a remodeling job: the length of time it took; the inconvenience of the noise and dust; or the cost overruns associated with even the smallest project.

Adding a room or updating a kitchen can cost more than a new car, and consumers should take time and care in planning a home improvement project. Unfortunately, most consumers spend less time choosing a contractor than they do choosing a car.

This publication is a brief summary of some of the things you as a consumer can do to avoid costly mistakes and misunderstandings in dealing with your contractor: What You Should Know Before You Hire A Contractor (PDF)

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1. I am remodeling my home. Which jobs require a permit?
2. I am adding gas logs to a fireplace, do I need a permit?
3. We are installing new kitchen cabinets do we need a permit?
4. What is the correct way to display a building permit and how long does it have to be kept up?
5. Is there any thing I can do if my neighbor has abandoned cars or trash on his property? What about an overgrown lawn?
6. Do the inspections have to be done in a specific order?
7. I am adding an additional outlet to my home, do I need a building permit?
8. Who can obtain a permit?
9. Do I have to be present during the inspection?
10. What should I know before I hire a contractor?