GET WRITTEN QUOTES
On the subject of getting things in writing, you must always get a proper written quote or estimate of the work. This must clearly state what work is to be done, in what timescale and for what cost – must also list any additional extras that might be incurred. It’s perfectly reasonable that there may be unforeseen costs due to extra work once the job has been started and so it’s a good idea for you and your contractor to assess the likelihood of this and to build in a contingency into the final cost.
You need to seek 3 separate quotes before making any decisions on who to give the work to. Keep all quotations received, as well as your briefing notes, on file. This way you have a back up of what was said and agreed and at what cost, at the outset of the project.