The following information is provided after all reports on companies in the home improvement industry.The BBB routinely advises that you check out any firm you are considering for home improvement work. All contracts should be in writing and contain the name, address, and phone number of the company, total cost (with a breakdown of labor and material charges), all guarantees and any verbal promises made by the company representative. Make sure you receive a copy of the contract. Checks should be made payable to the company, not an individual. You should also understand that some, but not all, contracts may be cancelled within 3 business days (this includes Saturday). You may also wish to contact the building department at your city hall to determine if the firm is licensed or registered to do work in your community. Require the company to get any necessary building permits. If the company is using sub-contractors, ask the company to provide a "release of lien clause" to your contract to protect yourself from liens against your home by the sub-contractors. The BBB also suggests that you not sign a completion certificate until the work is completed.