By Michelle Durham

By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Spring will be here in the blink of an eye and for many in the Delaware Valley it ushers in home improvement season. A local expert says doing the homework up front will save you money and headaches in the long run.

Consumer advocate Lance Haver some advice.

“The first thing is to shop for the best value and not the lowest price. Make sure the contractor is licensed so that you are protected. The third thing is to check with your friends and neighbors because chances are the people you are friendly with, if they like the contractor, you will like the contractor.”

And he says be pragmatic! You can’t expect to get a $25,000 renovation for $3,000. Haver says checking with the Better Business Bureau is not as effective as checking with the State Attorney General’s Office.

“To be a licensed contractor, you need to have a license from the state attorney general’s office.”

If something unpleasant happens, filing a complaint against the contractor with A.G.’s office offers you a recourse the Better Business Bureau doesn’t.

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