You should never pay the last 5 or 10% of money owed to the contractor until

  • you are certain the work has been completed to your satisfaction
  • you have a final inspection and approval from the permit-issuing organization in your municipality
  • you have a lien release from the contractor and all sub-contractors

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Use the two day period to allow drywall finishing and paint to dry and to check thoroughly that all contracted work has been completed and that all fixtures, plumbing, electrical, etc. are working properly. Double check and ensure you have a written final approval from the permit-issuing agency for every part of the work requiring a permit and inspection. Double check and ensure that you have a written lien release from the contractor and from every sub-contractor who worked on your remodel. Paying the final amount owed to the contractor completes the contract.

If you found this tip helpful, you might also want to read this:
Introduction to Contracts
Contract Checklist
Save Money by Having a Well-Written Contract
Remodeling cost calculators