Top Tips to Avoid Home Improvement Scammers

As the children head back to school, thoughts turn to tackling home improvement projects before the holidays. Hiring a contractor is the fastest, easiest way to get this work done by a certain deadline. Consider a few top tips to avoid home improvement scammers and get the job done right.

Close the Door on Solicitors

Often contractors who go door-to-door are really scammers looking to generate business that might not complete the work once they get a down payment. Successful contractors place ads online, on the radio, in local periodicals and on television. They also encourage word-of-mouth advertisement rather than going door-to-door. These people could even be trying to scope out the surroundings to rob your house at a later date.

Get the Facts About Contractors

Homeowners have the right to conduct detailed research about a contractor before hiring one. Ask if the contractors has a license, registration and insurance. If you are unsure if the contractor is being honest, ask for proof. Check local litigation records and the Better Business Bureau to see if there are a large number of complaints about the contracting company. Read online reviews to learn more about what others experienced during renovation projects done by the contractor. Ask for a list of current customers and contact a few of them to see if they are happy with the work.

Develop a Viable Legal Arrangement

Know exactly what work should be done and discuss goals and budget with the contractor. Have a contract drawn up that outlines the scope of the work being done as well as the cost. Inquire about permits and avoid working with a contractor that does not require them. Ask about subcontractors being used on the job, which is a common practice in the industry. Reputable contractors encourage homeowners to ask about each subcontractor on the job and get to know who they are and what they are doing at the residence. Homeowners should always know everyone on the job for their own safety. US News recommends getting a release of lien from each subcontractor when their work is done to avoid future financial complications.

Be Wary of Limited Time Only Deals

A contractor should patiently review all aspects of the job with a homeowner. Be wary of a company that offers limited time only deals and pressure you to make a decision right away. The work should always be affordable and accessible if you are dealing with a professional. Avoid making a huge down payment until some of the work is done. Choose a company that has been in business for at least 10 years and has a solid track record. While it might be tempting to choose the new guy on the block, it could be a fly-by-night operation that is looking to run off with your cash without completing the job.

A few simple precautions can ensure your residence looks wonderful by the end of the year. Learn how to steer clear of scammer to get the job done properly and within your home improvement budget.