A home improvement project can be a daunting task. With all the remodeling that is going on in homes across the nation, contractors seem to pop up everywhere. You have probably seen them advertising in the phone book or surfing the Internet. For whatever reason, these remodeling contractors are alluring and are willing to give homeowners a wonderful deal on home improvement projects. When you are shopping around for a contractor, you need to think about a few things before you sign a contract with them.

First, when you contact these contractors make sure to ask if they require a permit to do work in your neighborhood. You also want to find out if the contractor is licensed to do work in your state and city. Many contractors may not be licensed to do work in your city and state. Here are a few suggestions for what to look for whom to contact to inquire about permits.

Some homeowners do not know it but there are some homeowners who actually have been remodeled by the company they called just to have a nice-looking house. These homeowners were actually told the company did not need a permit to remodel their house because remodeling does not require a permit. This is a great marketing ploy. If these companies would ask a homeowner if they wanted to remodel their house then most homeowners would say yes without a second thought. You need to ask your contractor this very important question: Do you require a permit?

Another thing that you will want to ask your remodeling contractor is who will be paying for this project. Are you going to pay the general contractor, the remodeling contractor, the workers? Sometimes the workers get paid a fraction of the bill, while the general contractor gets all of the money. Find out the difference when you get into the contract. Find out who is going to get their money first.

Ask your contractor if they are going to handle the bid writing. If they handle the bid writing they should have written contracts already. See if you can find any written contracts before you start the remodeling project. These contracts may also be referred to as master contracts. If the general contractor did not handle the bid writing, they should be the one to handle it after you are done with your remodeling project.

Many times homeowners will ask general contractors to remodel a structure they own or buy a structure from them. Most homeowners don't realize that the remodeling contractor is working for them not the other way around. There are laws protecting the general contractors from being forced to sell houses they remodel to people they don't really belong to or the ones they helped remodel.

Don't let the general contractors take complete control of the renovation. It's not their job to make your life easier but theirs to make sure the work goes smoothly and they get paid. As a homeowner, you have the right to choose whether you want to go with the general contractors or the remodeling contractor. Make sure you understand all the terms and can see the work being done and the cost involved. You can usually use this information to make an informed decision on which one to hire.

A lot of the time the general contractor will also do the painting and the siding. However, these are usually only the exceptions. Be aware that if they charge more than 10% of the total cost of the renovation they are probably not legitimate. Always check to see if they have the proper permits and insurance coverage before you commit. When you are remodeling your exterior home renovation contractors should be willing to give you written estimates and to follow up with you to make sure they are doing a good job.