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Not everything is makeup & shoes over here...

...in fact, while I was posting pics of my kids or pretty fashion collages this summer; in general, I was dealing with a host of home renovation issues that usually warranted a strong drink and lots of belly laughs from my parents who have been through this more times than I can count.

This post is about the top 10 things you need to know when you're working with a contractor! And to my younger audience - this applies to you, too. You don't need to own a home to deal with contractors. I had the same woes when I owned my condo except it tripled when we tripled the size of our abode.

What to know before you embark on a home reno project:
  1. Get a referral from someone you trust. Even then, not all referrals pan out, either.
  2. Get a minimum of three quotes before you choose your contractor. Pricing knowledge is power!
  3. Get it in writing! Every estimate should be in writing and know what your labor is going to cost you if they go over on a project which you can bet Sweet Baby Jesus it will.
  4. Make sure your contractor communicates in a style that works for you. No news is not good news.
  5. Give a deadline. Projects will lag if you don't set expectations. They run multiple projects at one time.
  6. Micromanaging is allowed. If they don't show up @ 7:30 like they promised...call them!
  7. Ask for a daily recap. Be in the know!
  8. Snafus happen...ask questions. Find out if they are covering the cost and labor or are you?
  9. Find out how and when they want to be paid. 
  10. Never pay for a job before it's completed! 25-50% down is acceptable. My vote is 25%.
  11. Bonus: don't feed your contractors lunch. Less work completed!
  12. Bonus: don't let your workers use your bathroom. One word: GROSS!