4 steps to hiring a qualified contractor

Pay special attention to referrals, license, insurance

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If you own your own home, you understand the advantages of do-it-yourself projects. You can do things your way, on your schedule, with the materials you select. You have the sense of pride that comes with completing a project with your own two hands. And of course, you can save some money at the same time. But doing it yourself isn't always an option. Some projects are too big, too time-consuming or simply beyond your comfort level. When that happens, it's time to hire a contractor to get the job done. Which leads to one of the most common questions I get from readers: "What's the secret to dealing with a contractor?" Know what you want before you start Before you ever start thinking about calling a contractor, you need to know what you want. That sounds pretty obvious, but surprisingly enough, most people simply don't have a very good grasp of what they want to have done. And if you don't know what you want, then the contractor certainly won't. That will lead ...