If possible, come to a written agreement where you only make a payment after each specific segment of work is completed. If the workers can’t keep up with the assigned schedule, payment is also delayed.
Get a Written Contract BEFORE Hiring a Contractor
Like with the payment plan, EVERYTHING should be in writing. There should be no fancy wordplay, and you should be able to understand everything fully. If you don’t understand it, don’t sign it. And if your state doesn’t require a written contract, ask for one anyway. You’re the customer, and you don’t have to agree to anything you’re not comfortable with.