CLEVELAND -- The summer months are an ideal time to get work done around your house, but you also need to be cautious about who you hire.

“A lot of times contractors will show up on your door and tell you they have materials left over from another job, so they can give you a deal,” explains Sheryl Harris, director of Cuyahoga County’s Department of Consumer Affairs.

Harris says it’s important to do your homework and ask friends and neighbors for referrals.

“You can find good contractors usually through word of mouth and they’re usually so busy they don’t have time to knock on doors.

Pay as little as possible in advance and get two or three estimates for the job.

Also, check with your municipality’s building department to see if you need a permit. They might have a list of contractors who work in the city.

Harris recommends having the contractor pull the permit in his or her name, so if something goes wrong with the job the contractor is on the hook.