Home Building and Remodeling

Table of Contents

The following is a table of contents for the Home Building and Remodeling Handbook. You may click on the headers for more information on that topic.

If you are planning to build or have work done on your home, take a moment to first read this handbook. This handbook will give you guidelines for selecting a contractor and writing a home improvement contract, as well as highlight Minnesota’s mechanic's lien law.

Choosing a Contractor

  • Research Your Project
  • Get the Names of Several Contractors
  • Get Bids on Your Job
  • Carefully Compare Bids
  • Licensed Contractors
  • Beware of Con Artists
  • Storm Damage and Insurance Claims

Consumer Protections

  • What to Include in Your Contract
  • Home Warranties
  • Contractor's Recovery Fund

Understanding Mechanics Liens

  • What is a Mechanics Lien?
  • Contractor Must Be Licensed By the State
  • Contractor Must Give You Notice
  • Subcontractors Must Give You Notice
  • You Only Have to Pay Once
  • Protect Yourself
  • Apportioning Your Payment
  • When and Where Liens Are Filed
  • To Enforce a Lien
  • Complainant's Notice of Lis Pendens
  • Action You Can Take
  • Settlement
  • Civil Action
  • Chronology of Events in a Lien Process


  • Glossary
  • Referral Guide

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Maybe your neighborhood has seen the scam: an unknown salesman travels from house to house offering to fix up homes or driveways at rock-bottom prices. What scammers never tell you is the "catch": if you pay upfront, they may run off with your money, leave the work undone, do shoddy work, or overcharge you in the end.

Home Buyer's Handbook

Buying a home can be one of the most rewarding experiences of a lifetime — and one of the most stressful. But buying a home doesn’t need to be a headache. In fact, with a little preparation and the right attitude, it can even be fun.

Refinancing Scams

Some homeowners have become the target of fraudulent refinancing offers. These types of scams are hard to detect because the refinancing process can be confusing, and terms, fees, and conditions of a refinance can vary from person to person. To avoid refinancing traps, the Attorney General's Office offers the following tips.