Home improvement: 5 steps for finding the right contractor

Source: David Pitt, Associated Press

Anyone who has ever wanted to remodel a kitchen or a bathroom knows how such projects tend to linger. When times are tight, homeowners often put off renovations as they cut back on every thing but necessities. All told, spending on remodeling and repairs fell to an estimated $280 billion last year. That was down from $326 billion at the 2007 peak, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard. And as long as the housing market languishes, the recovery will isn't likely to gain much momentum.

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