American Homeowners Foundation, (800) 489-7776, http://www.homeorganizer.com
Offers a six-page sample remodeling contract ($7.95).
Better Business Bureau, (909) 835-6077,http:// www.bbbsouthland.org
Call or visit the Web site to check for complaints made against a contractor. Free on the Web; $3.75 per company by phone.
Contractors State License Board, (800) 321-CSLB (2752), http://www.cslb.ca.gov
Call or visit the Web site to check a contractor's license or to make a complaint about a contractor (free).
The board also offers a 15-minute video, "Doing It Right: Hiring a Licensed Contractor," which is available at public libraries and some video stores.
National Assn. of Home Builders Remodelors Council, (800) 368-5242, http://www.nahb.com
National Assn. of the Remodeling Industry, (847) 298-9200, http://www.nari.org
These industry trade organizations make referrals to local members, and their Web sites feature remodeling tips.
"Interior Home Improvement Costs and Exterior Home Improvement Costs" (R.S. Means Co., 2000; $19.95 each). (800) 334-3509
Each book includes estimated costs for more than 60 home-improvement projects, broken down by labor and materials costs, plus tables to adjust costs to a particular location.
"Six Secrets to Successful Remodeling," by Bill Simone. (800) 853-1391. Free 17-page booklet written by a contractor.
Site sponsored by the United Homeowners Assn., Smart Consumer Services and the Home Improvement Lenders Assn. offers numerous articles with pro-consumer remodeling advice.