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Hire Trustworthy Home Help

Dayana Yochim
April 29, 2008

Big job or small, whether you're hiring outside help for repairs, upgrades, or a total gut job, roll up your shirtsleeves for a bit of pre-renovation prep.

Find a pro in the know
Word-of-mouth is a great place to start. There are online services that offer referrals and ratings, too. If Consumers' Checkbook or Angie's List cover your locale, start there. Providers cannot pay to be listed on these services (on Angie's List, ratings are augmented by members as well as staff). Pros can pay to be listed on and, which work more like referral services, with customer reviews on completed jobs. And designates providers that are certified by the company and adhere to its code of ethics.

Trade groups like the National Association of Home Builders ( and