Are You About to Fall For These Contractor Scams?
Moving around is part and parcel of life in the forces, and each home is an exciting new chapter that comes with some difficulties. If there are any changes to be made to your property, the first step is to find a qualified contractor who can help you with the project. However, with thousands of contractors, this can be a little bit tricky, particularly when you’re new to the area and haven’t sussed out who the reputable firms are.
The home improvement sector is one of the most diversified, yet prone to scams. There are hundreds of conmen out to scam you. Fortunately, most of these contractors have a similar pattern, and this is a great way to identify them.
“Get a Discount for Today Only”
This happens when a contractor comes over, gives you a quote, and informs you that if you commit to have the work done right away, you’ll get a discount that could save you lots of money. The problem is that if the contractor was out, you could not lock in that special price. Certified stick to their quote as long as you don’t change the scope of work. Also, they do not rush and promise savings as they know the real value of your home as an investment. While the offer of saving a considerable percentage of your money could seem like a great deal, this could end up costing you more in the future due to the shoddy work. Anyone who gives a discount could mean that they can’t support their business.
“We Were in the Neighborhood and Thought of Passing By”
A conman will knock at your door or approach you when you’re outside. He/she will later tell you that they were in the neighborhood and decided to pass by and noticed that your house needed some extra work. This could be something like repairing your roof or redoing the driveway. However, this is a scam; qualified contractors use referrals, internet market, or other forms of marketing to find prospects. They do not just show up at your door to seek business. If a contractor shows up at your door, immediately send them away. They could be looking for avenues to steal from you.
“I Need the Payment Right Now”
This is a typical scenario where a contractor meets you, discusses the project, and needs money upfront. He could ask for half the amount or all of it upfront. This is a red flag that you should never fall for. There are high chances that you’ll never see the contractor again.
No Physical Location
A contractor who has nothing more than a P.O. Box and a cell phone could be a scammer out to con you. Before signing any contract, do your research. Your state licensing bureau could be an excellent place to check if there have been any complaints against the contractor. Any reliable contractor should have a physical location and a reference to local suppliers or banks.
Broken or worn out equipment and poor workers appearance are signs of a contractor that is a fly by night. While not all contractors have the latest equipment or uniform, the right contractor takes care of his equipment and is professional even in his appearance. This assures you that he’ll get the job done.
Hiring the right contractor is tricky due to the presence of many conmen. However, do your homework, check the better business bureau, and find out if they have a license to operate.