The most difficult part of a home renovation project for most homeowners isn’t the work itself but finding a competent and trustworthy contractor to do the job. The hassle of hiring a quality contractor who will perform at a high level from start to finish can be stressful, expensive and involve unpleasant surprises but choosing the right contractor makes the difference between your dream renovation and a disaster.

Here are the tips to help you find the right contractor:

Plan what you want before getting estimates:

Only start talking to your contractors when you have your ideas planned out. If you can be specific in what you want and materials you would like to use it will be easier for you and your contractor get you a more accurate estimate.

Interview at least three verified contractors.

Ask as many questions as you can and get a bid written from each one. Make sure to include materials and tasks when you compare bids.
Don’t be afraid to haggle and be prepared to do most of the negotiation before you sign the contract.

Check references

Try to talk to the most recent clients and subcontractors of the contractor as they have the experience.

Get the proper permits.

Home renovation projects require permits. Some licensed contractors will suggest to do the job without permits to save money. It will violate local ordinances, subject you to fines if caught and the work will not be inspected by the city to ensure it’s up to code. Unpermitted work can also become a hassle when it’s time to sell.

Secure lien releases and receipts for materials

It is important to get a copy of receipts for all materials and lein releases from all the subcontractors and general contractors before you pay, mechanic’s lien can be put against your house if your contractor doesn’t pay the subcontractors or suppliers.

Only make final payment when the renovation is 100 percent complete

It is very common for some contractors to finish most of the job and then move on before they cover the final details. So don’t make the final payment until you are completely satisified with the work and have all the receipts and lien releases.