Before you hire a contractor, here are some tips to make sure you're getting a company that's on the up and up. They come from the Federal Trade Commission.
Some potential signs of a rip off include: Door-to-door solicitors, discounts for finding other customers, has material left over from a previous job, only takes cash, asks you to get the building permit, is not listed in the local phone book, tells you the job will be a "demonstration," pressures you for a decision right away, offers exceptionally long guarantees, asks for all the money up front, or asks you to borrow money from a lender he knows.
When you're hiring someone, ask how long they've been in business, ask how many similar projects they've done in the last year, ask for references and check them out, ask if they'll be using subcontractors, and ask what type of insurance they carry.
Other experts say if you live in a small town, you need to keep your ear to the grapevine. Work about poor or good work will get around. They also say your banker or a local lumberyard is a good place to get information about a contractor’s reputation.
And always remember the old saying, "If it's too good to be true, it probably is not true."