And, while she sings the praises of her designer, she regrets that her designer recommended a stainless steel dishwasher. Did I say no kids?

Can a Homeowner Be Liable for a Contractor's Injuries?

OK, by now you know that home renovations always cost at least 10 percent more than you budgeted for. When the penultimate 20 percent payment is due, it should be contingent on round one of your punch list being completed, she said. The final 10 percent should be paid only after the final punch list is completed. Likewise, you need to check in your contract how much your contractor will charge you for any change orders — things you decide to add on as you go along. Plus, put a cap on materials, Balian says.

Otherwise, your renovation will be one big string of profanity-laced tirades, instead of the dazzling granite-topped transformation you imagine it to be.

How to Find a Good Contractor for Home Improvement Repairs

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How to Find a Good Contractor for Home Improvement Repairs

Someone has to tell you that your contractor — Is. Figure it out ahead of time.

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