(WDEF) Homeowner James Van Gorder filed a complaint with Angie's List when he says a company took his money upfront to do roof repairs, and then never came back.
He said, "Well that was $5,000 that they got from me, but they didn't get that second check, thank God."
Whether you neglected to do your research before hiring, or even if you vetted every candidate - bad things can happen.
Angie Hicks of Angie's List explained, "No one likes to admit this, but sometimes you have to break up with the contractor. If you find yourself in a bad situation it's better to cut your losses. Start over with a new contractor and get it done right."
Contractor Doug Lynch has finished many projects for homeowners who were left in a lurch.
He says communication is key when starting over with a new contractor. "Be transparent with that person that's coming to look at it with exactly where you stand financially; where exactly you stand from a time constraint; what your desires and needs are for the completion of the project," Lynch said.
If you become the victim of a bad contractor, you do have some options.
File a complaint with your local licensing agency and your state or local contractor's board.
You can also seek legal action through small claims court or hiring a private attorney.
Hicks added, "When we are hiring contractors to do projects around our house a lot of times we may skip on our research. Don't hire the contractor that is not licensed, don't hire the contractor that doesn't carry proper insurance because while those might seem like little shortcuts now, they could turn into big headaches down the road."
To help protect yourself, don't pay anything until you have a contract that spells out the payment structure.