And make sure contractors are properly licensed and insured in your area -- not another state. A company with an up-to-date license won't want to risk losing it by sending shady workers who steal from you.
Nevertheless, don't leave your valuables out. Put the jewelry away.
And don't leave temporary workers alone in your home. Follow them from room to room, so they don't have a chance to scope things out.
Avoid giving out your house key, but if you have to -- for example, to a housekeeper -- change your locks when that employee no longer works for you. That might be costly, but it could save you heartache later on.
And finally, tell your neighbors when the job is complete. Let them know they should no longer expect to see any contractor vehicles, or workers around your home.
The following additional tips for helping keep your home secure were provided to "Good Morning America" by the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America. CLICK HERE to visit the group's website.
Ask any contractors to show you their certificate of insurance before they begin work in your home. Verify its authenticity by contacting the agent listed to check out the coverage. Make sure the contractor is licensed and insured in your jurisdiction.
Never hire anyone without asking for references, and then follow up by contacting the references. Talk to former clients and ask questions not only about the quality of work but also about the demeanor and professionalism of the worker and any other on-site staff.
Hire only firms that have done most of their work in your immediate area. Beware of contractors and companies who are new to the region or do most of their work elsewhere. They are harder to contact and keep track of after a job has been completed.
Always ask who the job supervisor is and how frequently that person will be on your property. Be wary of hiring a firm at which the supervisor has little involvement or time on your premises. Stay in close contact with that person throughout the job.
Remember to handle all payments and transactions professionally. You do not want to become entangled in a dispute that creates resentment and a desire for retaliation on the part of your contractor. Always try to wrap up the project on a positive note.
And, of course, make sure your homeowners insurance policy is adequate and up-to-date, so that if you do incur a loss, you will be covered. Always check in with your agent after you have done major home remodeling, renovation or construction. These types of jobs frequently increase the value of your home, and you will want to adjust your insurance coverage accordingly so that you remain fully protected.