While the situation you encountered is unfortunate, it is a learning process. Although, I imagine that's the last thing you want to hear. However, on-hands as well as trial and error are the best ways to gain experience. You can read about DIY projects all day long, but it's not until you actually roll up your sleeves, that you add to your "To Do" list, a section titled, "Not To Do".
When assembling your team, your real estate agent can be a valuable resource. We work with numerous industry professionals regularly within real estate and have seen those to avoid and those to really consider.
AngiesList.com is a company who has been around since the mid '90s. They have over 2 million members that have created reliable ratings and reviews on local contractors.
With your remodel, be sure not to over improve. The market is still recovering. The last thing you want is to discover that you're unable to get back what you put into it.
If you'd like for me to provide you with a free market valuation of your area, just complete the following form at: http://www.syan.com/valuation.
There's no obligation. The report will give you an idea of what current property values are and what you can expect in the near future.
Syan Real Estate
Call/Text: (505) 730-8181