I see a lot of posts on here where people get caught up in issues regarding work that is not performed in a timely manner, not performed properly, or not as expected, or whatever. They are not alone as I have been bitten by it as well. I had drain field issues a couple of years ago and am still having problems to this day. To resolve some of the issues the company that did the drain field came out and dug a trench on the uphill slope above the drain field. They were supposed to go down 5 feet or so with the drain pipe and cover it with gravel for $1,800.00. They ended up finishing the job only going down 2 feet and still charged me the full amount. It was only after I dug out sections that I found what they had done. Had I had the foresight to get a signed statement I would have legal recourse to get them to come out and dig it all back out and do it as agreed. So if someone is going to work on your car, paint a fence, dig a trench, walk your dog, or anything involving a decent amount of cash you need to write up a document detailing the following: The work to be performed described as explicitly as possible. With drawings if needed. A time frame for completion. The cost for the service. It is easy to add in a line about unexpected costs. This also protects the provider of the service. If someone comes in to redo a room and they find termites then they can't be held for the cost of repairing the damage. How payment will be handled (e.g. 50% up front and 50% at completion or pick up) It doesn't matter if it is your best friend, a relative, or Joe Shmoe down the street. A signed document protects your rights and to a lesser degree the rights of the person or company providing the service and it will be admissible in court if it should ever come to that. Caveat emptor.