First of all, the number one confession homeowner 's reveal when burned by a contractor is that they "trusted" them right off the bat. They did not do any research, did not check their license, (if required in their state) or check for any history of complaints, either through regulatory agencies or the BBB.
Many believed that because the person called him/herself a contractor, had a business license, cards - the whole kit and caboodle - was enough for them to move forward. BIG MISTAKE!
Consumers have to do more than just the bare requirements to avoid a home remodeling nightmare and an encounter with the contractor from hell. Doing your license check and relying on that plus a "no history of complaints" is only a necessary formality but in no way gives you the entire picture. Plus a 'No history of complaints" from a regulatory agency does not reveal ongoing investigations not yet disclosed to the public. Same thing goes for checking references. How do you know those are legitimate references? Homeowners check references, get good reviews ( we did!) and still end up with serious problems.
Bottom line - trust is something that is earned, not freely given to a stranger. Once you've done all the necessary ground
work on potential contractors and conducted thorough interviews will you be able to get to trust your contractor of choice. Trust is based on their behavior, past and current record and what you discover in your research.
If you want to learn more on how to best protect yourself check out the "Home [Pre]modeling Bootcamp for Women and the Men Who Love Them" and get informed!