As a homeowner, you need to stay careful to avoid falling for various scams. A common type of scam nowadays includes home remodeling scams. These scams potentially lead to residents giving up thousands of dollars from their life savings and insurance.
It is vital to find a trustworthy contractor and avoid the ones who are looking to rip you off. These scammers will offer you a lucrative price for their services but will leave the house worse off. On some occasions, they may run off with your money without doing anything!
Faced with a global pandemic, people were forced to find ways to merge their living and working spaces which led to boom in home remodeling business. So how can you spot the difference between a legit contractor and a scammer? You need to look out for a few signs that will help you overcome this problem.
Signs of a Home Remodeling Scam
Here are a few signs that may help you spot a scammer from a trustworthy contractor:
- If the contractor knocks at your door out of nowhere and says, “they are in the area,” it is likely to turn out to be a scam.
- The scammers will also say that they are working nearby and have materials left over from it. Ultimately, they will offer you a price that is too good to be true.
- A scammer is likely to push you into an immediate decision and ask you to pay the money upfront
- If you don’t have the cash, they will recommend a lender they ‘know.’
According to Sam Davis of SLC Handyman and Remodeling, these are some of the most common signs that you are dealing with a scammer. Make sure not to listen or tolerate them any further. If they keep harassing you, the best course is to call the police and take legal action.
Tips to Avoid a Home Remodeling Scam
If your house needs an upgrade and remodeling services, then you need to take a few aspects and tips into account before going ahead with a contractor. Here are a few tips that you can use to avoid losing money and benefit from compact remodeling services:
Consider Licensed Contractors
Before signing any contracts or hiring a contractor, make sure that they are licensed professionals. Rigid home repair and remodeling services have professionals with licenses and certifications that verify their skills.
You can ask the contractor for their working license and any certifications they may have related to construction. Go ahead with the project if you think the contractor seems professional and is well-versed in remodeling processes.
Check their Service with Consumer Protection Officers
The builder associations and customer protection officers often have valuable data about specific contractors. You can reach out to them and make sure that you get the best possible service. They can guide you better in terms of choosing a decent contractor who best fulfills your needs.
Apart from that, you can also venture online and look up more about the company. There could be plenty of online reviews about different contractors, which will help you make a well-informed decision. If words like “scam” are a common occurrence among reviews for the company, it is highly possible that the contractors will turn out to be scammers.
Get Multiple Estimates
It is important to get numerous offers from different contractors to make sure that you know the market price and compare the quotes for a better decision. You don’t need to go with the lowest bid, especially if it sounds too good to be true.
Before proceeding, make sure to get detailed information on the work to be done. It should include:
- Completion date
- Overall cost
If you see a huge difference between estimates, you can ask the contractor to explain it.
Read Contract Thoroughly
Signing a contract is important but make sure that you read it thoroughly before agreeing to sign. While some of the contractors don’t offer a contract to sign, it is important to ask for one.
Make sure that the contract includes all the relevant details before you agree to sign it. Some of the main components include:
- Contractor details
- Starting and estimated completion details
- All the material and labor details that the project will include
- The right to cancel the project at any time if you see bad progress.
Don’t Pay the Full Amount Upfront
While a down payment is necessary, you should not pay all the money upfront. Only do so after the work is done and you are satisfied with the overall services. If you are not aware of how much you should give as a down payment, you can contact consumer protection services or other related state institutes.
Make sure to always be prepared to face home improvement scammers. If you spot them, make sure to report them immediately to the authorities. You can either resort to the police or consult the consumer protection office to report any problems.