Tackling a renovation can be daunting, but there’s one simple way to set yourself up for success: Surround yourself with the best experts out there, including a committed and talented contractor.

Here’s how to ensure you don’t get stuck with a contractor who will take advantage of you.

1. Evaluate the contractor’s credibility.

Look for professional affiliations and check references, Jonathan advises. A little research can go a long way.

2. Look at previous projects.

Ask to see photos or samples of past work. Don’t be shy or timid. You’re about to hand over thousands of pounds to this person, so make sure they’re worth the investment.

3. Put it in writing.

This includes quotes, the contract, payment terms and more. And if you don’t know the first thing about contracts, look at samples online. You can compare and contrast your contract with others, or use the samples to draft your own.

4. Make sure the contractor is licensed.

This simple step is an easy way to judge his or her skill set and credibility. However, Jonathan pointed out that this is not a foolproof way to make sure they will do quality work, so check references (see tip #1) before proceeding.