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Never assume your pro will "take care of it"

I hired a well-known local contractor to repair a failing brick facade and left him to do the job. He called me on the second day, in a panic, after discovering the wall he was taking down was a bearing wall—which he should have known from the engineer's report I'd given him. The engineer showed up and told me I needed $10,000 in emergency shoring—then promptly quit, fearing liability. But first he called the building department, who cited us for working without a permit. The contractor had never gotten one.

—Alex Bandon, Multimedia Editor
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