Investigate before investing in a remodel or renovation. Many contractors use phony references-friends,employees or just lie. Once they have your money they are either too busy, sick or some other excuse to not complete job. Many are not required to be licensed. The only recourse you have is to sue . Attorneys are expensive and you have to pay them upfront. Even when small claims court may give you a judgement collecting it is a problem. Before you sign the check let us check them out. Home Advisor or Angie's List ,other agencies may not tell all. We found one contractor who cheated a homeowner using other referrals after reviews listed him as a cheat. He just changed company name. Another took $30,000 for a job and just disappeared . He was very surprised when we located him. That did not stop him from simply using another name to advertise. It's your money. Always get the contractors SSN before you give them the job. Let us check their credit. First you will know if they pay their bills. If they cheat you and do not finish the job it is much easier to locate them. Make sure they have an address you can verify.You will need to provide them with a 1099 form for amounts paid if you intend to deduct payment on your tax.