When a home repair is mandated by a natural disaster, home owner’s lives are often so challenged with the devastation that has occurred, that they are more vulnerable to hurrying a hiring decision. Being educated against dishonest contractors may save the enormous grief of becoming a victim of disaster fraud.
The 10 Tips To Avoid Home Contractor Scams below were complied from multiple sources, including the Federal Trade Commission, National Insurance Professionals, client comments and years of hearing homeowner stories
1) Check the contractor’s identification and references. Be sure to have at least three references and take time to call them.
2) Avoid paying more than the minimum in advance. Consider purchasing the building supplies yourself to avoid funds designated for building and home repair projects, being used by a remodeler for personal bills or other than intended. upon completion of a great job dome well, be sure to say thanks and leave a written referral to help the next homeowner looking for a reputable building contractor.
3) Deal with reputable people in your community. Living in one neighborhood for a length of time gives homeowners a change to glean contractor names and referrals. When new to a neighborhood, take time to check the Better Business Bureau, check with the local city government for the building contractors they use, and ask around the neighborhood.
4) Call local law enforcement and the Better Business Bureau if you suspect a con. Save any business cards, hand written notes, or other means of tracking contractor scams. Quietly snap a digital image.
5) Request copies of the bidder’s contractor’s general liability and worker’s compensation insurance to include in the project files.
6) Ask to see the salesperson’s driver’s license and write down the license number and license plate number. Scam home repair con artist will be reluctant to offer personal information that could track their work back to them.
7) Get everything in writing. Cost, work to be done, time schedules, guarantees, payment schedule and other explanations should be detailed.
8) Never sign a contract and leave blank spaces for someone else to fill in; unacceptable terms can be added later that would not be for the homeowner’s benefit.
9) Never pay a contractor in full or sign a completion certificate until the work is finished. Walk through a final inspection together and make sure you have adequate time to see the job is done to your contract terms. Make a clear list of anything missed or yet to be completed and repeat the walk through before paying in full.
10) Be sure to obtain more than one written estimate for a better determination of costs. Remember cost is not everything; the quality of materials used and workmanship vary greatly. Ask all the questions you need to and don’t be pushed into signing a contract right away.
Make sure the contractor provides adequate written detail in the home repair or renovation contract that will eliminate worries of contractor fraud. The following information should be included and clear: important details such as who will actually be in the home performing the work, what types and grade of materials will be used, when the project will be started and completed, and how change orders should be handled.
Home remodeling and renovation services from a local BBB Member who has been serving the community building and renovating homes for a long time is general a sure bet.