Champaign, Ill. (WCIA)

While it’s not uncommon to deal in cash when working with skilled trades pros, it’s important to consider other options for paying your pros. Bailey Carson, a home care expert at Angi, talks about the pros and cons of the different ways to pay for your next home project including some advice on when to tip.

Before we talk about how to pay your pros, let’s first talk about when. You never want to pay the complete cost before the job is done. It’s very normal to ask for a deposit or down payment, and this can be up to a third of the cost. However, demanding full payment in advance is definitely a red flag.

Once you and your pro have agreed on a deposit amount, make sure you understand their payment schedule and what forms of payment they accept. You might want to reconsider if they only accept cash or debit cards, or if they refuse to provide a receipt of payment.

Checks, wire transfers and credit cards are all great ways to pay. They give you proof of payment and can make you more comfortable than paying with cash. However, there can be fees associated with different payment methods, so be sure to ask about that before you commit to one.

Cash and accounting apps like PayPal and Venmo are becoming extremely popular ways to pay for both goods and services and tend to come with protection for the payer. However, not all contractors and pros are on board quite yet so be sure to ask before making any assumptions.

Depending on how you booked your project, you may have options like Angi Pay. This is a secure, easy and fast way to get your project paid for, and it also offers the Happiness Guarantee, including limited damage protection. Also, your pro may offer options like book now and pay later or even to finance over time. These can ultimately give you flexibility and help you save over time.

Outside of the contract, it’s not always clear whether a tip is expected. In general, tips are not necessary for contractors or skilled trades pros because the contract should fairly cover their work. However, a tip is a nice gesture to thank your pro for doing an exceptional job. If your pros are prompt, professional and deliver high-quality work, a tip can be a great way to reward them for taking good care of your home.

How much you tip and whether you tip is totally up to you. If workers can’t accept a tip or you’re not comfortable offering cash, another great way to show your appreciation would be through offering a snack or a drink while they’re on the job. A five-star review is also never underappreciated.