Don’t Get Scammed!July 20, 2010 // Posted in:
Last Updated on July 20, 2010
How to Avoid Home Renovation Scams
It’s sad but true – there are a lot of people there will try to make a buck by scamming unsuspecting people. You’ve probably been scammed, or had somebody try to pull the wool over your eyes at least once in your life. As professionals in the home renovations industry, we take scams of this nature very seriously and we wanted to describe some common ones here so you will have the knowledge you need to protect yourself from con artists. Most of these guys think they can come in, impress you with verbal knowhow and then run off with cash in hand. Well, they’re a short call to the Better Business Bureau away from prison.
Cash up Front
Reputable businesses will never ask you to pay in full for a job upfront. If someone asks you to do this you should view it as a red flag. It is common to have a payment plan with your contractor where you pay a little in the beginning, a little in the middle, and the rest at the end of the job.
Don’t be taken in by contractors claiming to give you a deal but only if you act RIGHT AWAY. You should not feel pressure to make a decision on the spot and people who try to get you to do so are likely not trustworthy.
Ask for Credentials
Don’t be afraid to ask for proof that the contractor is licensed and insured. You may also wish to ask for references and even check work previously completed by the contractor. If you cannot verify their credentials, or if they try to intimidate you when you ask, you should abandon any negotiations as you are likely dealing with a scam artist.
Do not trust a contractor who offers to help finance your project himself or through a third party he knows. In these situations the contractor is almost always receiving kickbacks. If you need help financing, go to a bank.
Avoid allowing a handyman who shows up at your door unannounced examine your home. He could be casing your house for valuables or entry-points for a break-in.
Here are some common home renovation scams by category. Keep in mind that there are many reputable contractors who do these jobs, but anyone who comes to your door offering to perform them without solicitation on your behalf is likely a scam artist.
– driveway sealant
– chimney repair
– hot tar roofing
– duct cleaning
We hope these tips will help keep you on your toes and keep your hard-earned money in your pocket where it belongs!