Unless you've done your research or know what you're looking for in a good contractor, hiring someone to renovate your home can be a risky decision. You may not know what to look for as far as certification. You may not even know if you're supposed to ask about licensing either. When this happens, you could find yourself at the end of a contractor dispute later on, especially if something goes wrong with the project you hired them to complete.
You'd be hard pressed to find a construction project here in California that has not experienced at least one construction delay during the course of the project. Everything from bad weather to unavailability of labor can put a project on hold for weeks or even months despite both the owner and the contractor's desire to complete it on time. Delays are common across the construction industry and are typically accounted for in the wording of a construction contract.
A lot of people consider themselves to be "handy" when it comes to home improvement projects because they saw something done on "This Old House" or because they participated in a home-improvement class at the local hardware store. But while these experiences might prepare you for simple projects such as painting a room, it may not be enough to tackle those major projects. This is where a contractor may come into play.