How to Recognize Home Improvement Scams

home improvement scam

Home improvement season is here! If you’re hiring a company to make improvements on your home this summer, be on the lookout for scams. Home improvement scams are more common than you might think, and can end up costing you a lot. 

A salesman can con a homeowner by doing sloppy work that requires more repair down the line, leaving a job unfinished, or even making off with their pay and doing no work at all. Don’t let this happen to you. Read on for eight ways to recognize a home improvement scam.

The company insists on being paid up front
Be skeptical of any company demanding you pay most of the costs up front. This could be a scammer who’s trying to cover their bases in case of low-quality work or even a no-show. 

You haven’t received any references
Never hire a company without speaking to someone who has used their services. If a company is in the middle of another job, ask if you can check out their work. If the company refuses to provide names and contact information of previous clients, move on to other options. 

There’s negative information on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website
Before hiring any small business, check them out on the BBB website. You can read reviews and ratings and see if complaints have been filed against the company. 

The company is requesting a cash payment
Cash doesn’t leave a trail and makes it easy for scammers to walk away without doing much–or any–of the work. 

The price is too good to be true
Ask questions if you’re offered a bid that’s a lot lower than the going rate. You may be dealing with someone who plans to cut corners. Look elsewhere if you only get evasive answers. 

A salesman solicits you for business
Don’t fall for every salesman knocking on your door and claiming to have done work in your neighborhood recently. Your uninvited visitor could be a scammer who could end up doing sloppy work, leave the job half-finished or disappear with your money. If the company seems legit, be sure to look them up on the BBB site and ask for references. 

The company will not provide a contract
Don’t hire anyone to do work on your home without a written contract. Include as many details as possible like payment terms, a definitive date for the work’s start and completion, warranty information and a clear description of the job. 

The company insists permits aren’t needed
A salesman who tries to convince you there’s no need to pull permits is one who wants to avoid the authorities. You’re likely dealing with an unlicensed worker or one who will cut corners and not do a good job.

Don’t get ripped off by a home improvement scammer. Do your homework before hiring any company. It’s one surefire way to ensure your home improvement project goes smoothly and without any surprises. 

Need help funding your home improvement projects this summer? Get a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) with no closing costs! You can choose a fixed-rate HELOC and lock in your rate for the life of the loan or choose a lower variable-rate HELOC. Find full details on our website.

 

SOURCES:

https://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/info-2019/home-improvement.html

https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/the-ultimate-list-of-the-years-worst-scams/

https://www.thespruce.com/common-home-improvement-scams-4163354