Home improvement season is here. So, you’ll also need to find a good contractor. Be aware of unscrupulous individuals who will take advantage of the busy season to scam unwitting customers.
Solid State Construction shares insights on the signs of a home improvement scam.
- You Only Receive Verbal Estimates — Legitimate contractors like us always provide written estimates shortly after the initial consultation. If the contractor is only giving you a verbal quote, it is unlikely you’ll get the same terms and/or price once the contract is drawn.
- You’re Pressured to Sign the Contract — You should be given ample time to review all the terms, conditions and bill of materials. The contractor should be able to address your concerns and answer all your questions courteously. If you’re being pressured to sign – “the price can change next week” being a common tactic – walk away and look elsewhere.
- The Contractor Can’t (or Won’t) Furnish Credentials — Legitimate contractors should have no problem furnishing verifiable information like their license information, copies of their insurance certificate and even manufacturer certifications. The insurance certificate, in particular, should include coverage for both liability insurance (accidental property damage) and workers’ compensation (worksite injuries).
- You’re Being Asked to Pay in Full — No contractor will ever ask you for full payment upfront. A typical home improvement payment scheme begins with a down payment, followed by subsequent payments after milestones like delivery of materials. The final payment is usually due upon satisfactory completion.
- The Contractor Does Not Have Online Reviews or References — A legitimate contractor should be able to provide at least three recent references with similar projects. You should make the effort to call these references and, if possible, pay them a visit so you can see the contractor’s handiwork. Customer reviews on social media sites, along with a profile in the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, is also a big plus.