Home improvement remodeling projects are popular and in demand. When something is popular and in demand the legitimate home contractor are there to fill the need. Unfortunately so are the scammers who want money or items in return for something easy. When scammers are mixed in with the real thing it’s hard to determine which is which. It’s important for homeowners to research home contractors before they step foot onto your property.
Scammers use the following methods to get your attention.
- Scare tactics: making you feel as if your life is hanging on the balance
- Pressure tactics: forcing you to make the purchase now without shopping around for better deals. The same tactics work for discounts and sales the scammer offers. Let the “too good to be true offer” go; real contractors give you time to think about it.
- Made-up quotes: instead of explaining how this estimate came about, they make up a number out of thin air without thorough examination.
- Intentional home damage: scammers will damage the home just a little bit just to come back and fix it the next day. It’s not a miracle the person arrived in the nick of time; it’s a scam. If you see anyone on your property not invited get them off of it.
- No identification, permanent address or referrals: businesses and self-employed independents must have a permanent address. P.O. Boxes have a stigma of not having permanent residence or hiding where it really is. It will not work for a serious profession like this. Don’t listen to anyone who makes excuses up about giving referrals. Businesses and self-employed workers are more than happy to give out references. References prove they are legitimate and have performed the same work with other people.
- Begging for referrals: scammers tempt customers with rebates, sales, discounts and coupons in exchange for referrals. Legitimate ones don’t have to beg; the referrals speak for itself through word of mouth.
- Cash now: no other payment method or payment plan will do because it takes time to process. Cash is instant to scammers, and once it’s enters the hand the scammer won’t come back. Legitimate ones ask for a percentage up front, none at all or offer different ways to pay.
- Nothing in writing: verbal agreements don’t hold merit in home remodeling. Always get a contract to agree on, and make sure both parties sign it. The same is true for under the table deals. The person isn’t paying taxes, and doesn’t plan to. A contract leaves a paper trail for recourse.
- People “in the neighborhood”: never ever hire anyone “off the street” to do remodeling work. They will not do it, do it incorrectly, or do a half-job (tearing the room down, but not fixing it back up).
They won’t tell you upfront, but if you feel or you sense any of this avoid them at all costs. Real remodeling contractors don’t stoop to this level. They are honest yet realistic and not over the top. As a home owner don’t be afraid to get nosy and ask questions. Keep asking questions until you’re satisfied with everything said. Get a detailed breakdown of how it came to this estimate. Finally don’t feel pressured to make a decision now. This is your money, and you have the right to turn down offers because the money is coming out of your financial source. Make time to weight your options. The legitimate contractor will draw up a contract both parties can agree on and follow that signed agreement.
Scammers are not going to perform the job correctly. Bank on it. Home remodeling projects are harder to work around someone else’s mistakes than it is to get it right the first time. Research, research, research; this cannot be stressed enough. Never accept the first offer, and never be satisfied with something you’re not happy with. Contact us for more information. We are the real deal.