You’ve no doubt hear that one home remodeling contractor can vary greatly from another. There are a variety of ways to ensure that you find a good home remodeling contractor, most importantly by obtaining references for previous similar jobs. Get a home remodeling contractor who is familiar with your particular needs. For instance, if you have a 200-year old home, you should find someone who specializes in older home renovations. Compare quotes from at least three contractors before committing to one home remodeling contractor. If the job you have in mind raises particular challenges, you may find that it’s hard to even get estimates, but be persistent. Ask around to find the best contractors in your area, and check with local agencies to make sure that you find a contractor who hasn’t had a lot of complaints lodged against him. Once you have a home remodeling contractor, there are some things you can do to make sure that you minimize your financial outlay and maximize your value. Do not pay in full until the job is done to your absolute satisfaction. Furthermore, try to educate yourself about your project even before you look for a contractor; that way, you’ll be able to ask the right questions when you interview contractors. Ask a contractor for a breakdown of costs, and ask if there are likely to be any unforeseen expenses. Most contractors will be honest with you about this possibility (although for some jobs, they may just have a set fee regardless of time spent.) If you would like to save some money, inquire about the possibility of doing part of the job yourself (although a contractor may have good reasons for saying no to this possibility. Be sure that you understand the project from top to bottom so you won’t be surprised. Plan details carefully, especially for something complex like a kitchen or bathroom remodel. Your home remodeling contractor should work with you so you understand the decision-making process. Details are crucial, so plan carefully before you begin. Don’t micromanage, but have a solid understanding of what the contractor is doing. Before starting a major remodeling project, know what your needs are. Sit down with your family and discuss how you plan to use the space. Consider storage and layout practicality as well as décor, and bear in mind the fact that someday you may be selling your home. Will your remodel plan be appealing in five or ten years if you decide to sell? Are the materials of lasting quality? Kitchen and bathroom remodels add value to your home, and you may be able to get back most of the money you put in, but it’s not guaranteed. Consider costs carefully when you are looking for a contractor. Some people begin do-it-yourself jobs without a clear understanding of what the project entails, and then find themselves suddenly having to hire a contractor with little notice. Don’t begin a do-it-yourself job unless you are reasonably confident in your abilities. Be sure to get a certified home remodeling contractor for dangerous projects like lead abatement or asbestos removal. Trying to save money by doing this type of job yourself could actually lose you money in the long run.