This has really soured me on hiring contractors. I've had carpenters, painters, plumbers and outdoor projects done and very few turn out on budget, time, quality of materials I expected. Most seem to have their own agenda apart from mine and forget that because I am the one paying, I am the boss, but they just go ahead with what they want to do. It seems as soon as they start work, they start cutting corners. Some won't even put anything on paper an want to be paid in cash. I know I am not alone; often there are stories on the news about some contractor that cheated a senior. I have four strikes against me: 1) I am a woman. 2) I live alone. 3) I am a senior. 4) I don't have extensive knowledge about these things. I think contractors sense this and take advantage of it.