Here's what you need to keep in mind when hiring someone:
- Home improvement contractors who do more than $5,000 in Pennsylvania are required to register with the Bureau of Consumer Protection.
- Make sure the person you hire is registered and insured. You can check online. But also get references.
- Check out the contractor's previous work in person, and do an internet search on the contractor for complaints.
- Also get a written agreement and make sure the contract includes everything that's required - including an approximate start and completion date, materials used, and contact info for all subcontractors.
- The contractor must also provide you a notice of your right to cancel the contract within 3 business days from signing.
- And finally - don't overpay up front. For projects costing more than $5,000, contractors may NOT accept advance payment of more than one-third of the total price of the contract.
And beware of unsolicited door-to-door sales pitches, and offers to perform work using left over or discount materials. The Pennsylvania Attorney General says those are red flags.
Here are links for more information about safely hiring a contractor: