Spring is fast approaching, and so are the needs of those who want to stretch those remodeling muscles. With the chaotic winter that we’ve had, it feels good to think about redecorating or remodeling your home. Unfortunately, these are also the times where we see a rise in contractor scams coming in from various sources.
Here are some things that you need to know when thinking of hiring a contractor for your project:
Be Wary of Door-To-Door Scammers: Many towns, villages, and cities require a solicitation permit if a salesperson shows up at your home. Ask for proper identification. Make sure that you’re observing things around you such as another person surveying your home, a business vehicle with identifying marks (business name, phone number, and license plates for the state that you live), and a business card with their company name, number, and location of their business.
Pushy Salespeople: A person may attempt to offer you a deal that is too good to be true after trying to turn them away. The saying goes, if it’s too good to be true, then it probably definitely applies in this scenario. Contractors generate a lot of business during the spring/summer seasons and wouldn’t drastically cut their prices to make a sale.
Check Their Credentials: Look online for reviews on the business. Popular places to check are Google, Yelp, AngiesList, BBB, and their Facebook page. Previous customers may have left feedback on their experience with the company. The reviews will give you a good idea of what to expect. A new business may not have many reviews, which should also be a warning sign.
Ask For Recommendations: Your friends, family, and neighbors will have recommendations for contractors that they have worked within the past and can speak firsthand of the quality of a company’s work if you are suspicious about hiring a company that has approached you.
Don’t Let Anyone Enter Your Home: This goes without saying, but it is dangerous to let strangers enter your home for any reason. If they attempt to survey your roof, foundation, etc., don’t allow it. They could try to cause damage to make a sale that didn’t exist before to create a deal citing it being an “emergency” that you get something fixed in an area that you wouldn’t usually be able to access.
The Better Business Bureau is also warning of accepting cash-only deals with high payments upfront and the old school “handshake deal.” These are ways that they attempt to secure your cash without actually putting forth any work.