1. Do not sign the contractor's proposal.
2. Have an attorney prepare anything larger than a nominal contract.
3. Make sure any conflicts of interest are fully disclosed and acknowledged in writing.
4. Review the contract's termination language carefully - how do you get out if you have to
5. Keep current proof of insurance on file.
6. Communicate dissatisfaction in writing.
7. Terminate the contract according to the contract's termination provision.
8. Do not hire a replacement contractor until the old contractor is terminated.
9. Keep the money if performance has been unsatisfactory.
10. Advise your attorney of any dispute early.
11. Bite back if you have a claim against the contractor.
12. Preserve all evidence if possible.
13. Notify your insurance carrier of damage, dispute and/or lawsuit.
14. Get signed release agreements before paying anything toward disputed sum.