— Hire only licensed contractors. Check a contractor's license number at www.cslb.ca.gov or by calling 800-321-2752.
— Get at least three bids.
— Get three references from each bidder and review past work in person.
— Make sure all project expectations are in writing and sign the contract only if you completely understand the terms.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Merced Sun-Star
— Confirm that the contractor has workers compensation insurance for employees.
— Never pay more than 10 percent down or $1,000, whichever is less. Don't pay in cash.
— Don't let payments get ahead of the work.
— Keep a job file of all papers relating to your project, including all payments.
— Don't make the final payment until you're satisfied with the job.