Always begin with an honest conversation with your contractor.

Allow both your point of view and the contractor’s point of view to be aired.

Refer to your contract. The terms and conditions of the contract should be the basis for all claims.

In the vast majority of cases, honest and open discussion will be adequate to resolve any differences. But there can be disagreements that cannot be resolved in this way.

If, for example, the contractor goes out of business or you believe the quality of the work is inadequate to deserve full payment, you might need to bring in a third party.

One way to resolve these differences is to bring in a home inspector who can suggest a solution.

If the proposed solution is not acceptable to either you or your contractor, you might need to file a formal complaint with the Registrar of Contractors or other state official responsible for licensing.

If the problem still cannot be resolved, you might need to file a civil lawsuit to remedy your losses. In this case you will probably want to hire a real estate or construction attorney.

Finally, you can file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.