If you’re on the verge of an upgrade, use this checklist to help you select the right remodeler for you:

1. Get social

Contact your local homebuilders’ association for the names of member remodelers. You can also ask family, friends, or coworkers for recommendations.

2. Check the network

Make sure the home remodeler has a permanent business location and a good reputation with local banks and suppliers.

3. Be direct

Find out how long they have been in the remodeling business. It usually takes 3 to 5 years to establish a financially sound business. You want to make sure they will be around after the construction is complete to service any warranties.

4. Evaluate

Check out the company's rating and if there have been any complaints filed with your local Better Business Bureau: bbb.org.

5. Protect yourself

Make sure the remodeler has sufficient workers compensation and general liability insurance. If not, you may be liable for any construction-related accidents on your premises.

6. Ask former customers

Ask the remodeler to provide you with names of previous customers. If they won't, beware. If they do, ask the customers if they would hire the remodeler again.

7. Go on site

Ask if you can see the remodeler’s work, both completed and in progress. Check for quality of workmanship and materials.

8. Request the contract

Make sure the remodeler provides you with a complete, detailed and clearly written contract. The contract will benefit both of you.

9. Be cautious of unusually low-priced bids

If the remodeler is unable to pay for the materials and labor as the project proceeds, this may indicate a potential problem. Keep in mind that less expensive does not necessarily mean better.

10. Know your house’s history

Verify that your remodeler is an EPA Lead-Safe Certified Renovator if you are planning work in a pre-1978 home.