Sunday Nov 28, 2021

How to Avoid Home Improvement Fraud

When it comes to home construction, there are thousands of general contractors to choose from. The best way to differentiate reputable contractors from less reputable ones is to do your research, ask the right questions, demand proof of credentials, and choose a contractor who works specifically in the field you need. For example, if you need to replace your roof, choose a licensed roofing contractor over a home remodeling contractor. A vague job description can mean they specialize in a wide range of construction projects. Instead, you want a contractor who runs your business with a keen focus on roof repair and replacement.

One of the biggest problems in the home building industry is contractor scams. It is essential to always be careful of deceptive home improvement scams because they are so common. They can easily cost a homeowner thousands of dollars if they fall victim to dishonesty. Fortunately, anyone can avoid becoming a victim of home improvement scams with the right knowledge and attitude. Read on for important information on how to identify these types of scams, protect yourself from bogus loans, and who to turn to if you have a bad experience with an unethical contractor.

Signs that a contractor is trying to scam you:

– They knock from door to door and offer their business.

– They arrive at your door and offer you discounts for recommending other customers.

– They tell you that they can give you a deal because they have leftover material from another job.

– They give you ultimatums or pressure you to make an immediate decision.

– They only accept cash payments and / or require you to pay all fees in advance.

– They know a lender and recommend that he lend you money.

– They tell you to obtain the necessary building permits for the work.

– They tell you that the work of your property is going to be a “demonstration”.

– They offer a lifetime guarantee or an unlikely long-term guarantee.

– You cannot find your business number or name in any local directory.

Even just one of these signs is an indication that you are not working with a responsible or experienced contractor. Also, beware of a similar loan scam. The downsides of home improvement loans are just as common and damaging. This can lead to you unknowingly signing a home equity loan with incredibly high interest rates, points, and fees. And since the contractor has already been paid on this loan, he may lose interest in the job and not do a good job; or worse, not completing the job at all.

How to report a bad experience

If you have a bad experience like this with a contractor, first try to work it out with him. After any phone conversation, send them a registered letter and ask for a receipt. Then keep copies of all records. This paper trail is your record that the business or contractor received your letter. If this doesn’t work, you still have other options.

You can report them to certain industry organizations and possibly get some kind of reward. This includes the state attorney general, local consumer protection office, local association of home builders, local media “call to action” lines, and various dispute resolution programs in your city.

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