Before selecting a contractor for your next job, contact your local or state consumer agency and Better Business Bureau for information on contractors' licensing or registration requirements and complaint records. Some states require licensees to pass tests for competency and scrutinize licensees for financial solvency. Some states also have a fund to cover some financial losses that result from problems with licensed contractors.
A problem for those in northern climates is the constant hassle of moving tools from garage to basement in the fall and back again in spring. Newer roll-away storage chests, project centers, utility carts, and wheeled tool boxes provide portable storage to make the job easy. Rolling tool carts with extendable handles like carry-on luggage also let you divide tools according to the project and wheel right to the job.