No one likes getting scammed, and getting scammed on a home improvement project is something that could cost you thousands of dollars and a lot of frustration. Today’s contractors have come up with some clever schemes to take advantage of homeowners, so we’re here to shed some light on some of the most popular ones and how to avoid them:
The “I’m in the Area”
This common scam involves a “contractor” coming to your home and letting you know that because he’s working nearby, he can offer you a great deal on a new roof, upgraded siding, new doors, etc. If you agree and give him the money up front for materials, he’ll likely never return. If you agree to pay for the service afterwards, he’ll likely overcharge you.
If you hire a home improvement contractor that demands a substantial amount of money before they begin the work on your home, take it as a red flag. These companies are either trying to charge you way too much or don’t have the funds to buy the supplies up front. Either way, you should steer clear of this.
The “Today-Only Deal”
Sometimes, deceitful contractors will offer you a “special deal” that can only be redeemed that day (or sometime in the immediate future). The idea of this scam is to pressure you into committing to a project quickly so that you don’t have time to do any other research to see if you can find a better offer or better work. Saying yes will most likely result in bad workmanship or an overcharge.
One of the most important things to look for in a home improvement contractor is professionalism. Before you hire a company, pay attention to how you’re treated on the phone and if reaching the company is easy to do. Also pay attention to the people who come to your home – are they dressed professionally? Are they friendly? Is the truck or van they arrived in marked with the name of the company? If the company seems unprofessional, take it as a red flag.
The “Free” Inspection
While some home improvement companies do offer free inspections, others use the idea to find something “wrong” with your home and charge you to fix it (when it likely doesn’t need fixing). If you agree to a free inspection, make sure it’s with a company you trust. If it’s with someone new, use your best judgment and be cautious if they suddenly discover several things “wrong” with your home.
Trust P.J. Fitzpatrick
When selecting a home improvement contractor, it’s important to choose one that’s fully licensed, offers quality workmanship, employs trained professionals, and has a stellar reputation (like P.J. Fitzpatrick!). Home improvement projects are major investments and the last thing we want is to see a homeowner fall for a scam that costs them time, money, and peace of mind. If you have a project you’re looking to complete, talk to us about it. We offer the best in roofing, siding, windows, gutters, and more!