When hiring contractor, be a 'tough customer'

Bathroom remodel teaches lesson about how to avoid surprise setbacks, costs

This is a cautionary tale. The moral of this story is when a homeowner hires a contractor, it’s incumbent on him or her to oversee the work and call any problems to the contractor’s attention immediately. There are no dumb questions, and don’t stop asking until you’re satisfied with the answer. This hit close to home recently.

A friend of ours sells books to school libraries. Because of the lousy economy and because the book market is going more and more digital, her income is shrinking along with her sales. The company is in the midst of restructuring, and our friend fully expects that she and many other salespeople are about to be unemployed.