Hiring a contractor may sound like a simple task but if your not careful you could be that “little old lady” that gets taken advantage of.
If you own a home and have a project your thinking of, you may need a contractor, BUT you run a risk of being scammed by a fraudulent one. Contractor fraud in the home improvement industry is one of the most complained about industries at the Better Business Bureau. If you think fraud victims are just little old ladies, think again. Some unscrupulous contractors can be so clever that it makes them a hazard to all of us.
Be careful of the so-called “free” inspection or “my crew is in the neighborhood on another job”. They seem to have extra materials left over and want to offer you a great discounted price, so they offer a free inspection and guess what? You need work done! The chances are the materials aren’t the best, the workmanship is going to be shabby and the price he gives you will be so good you won’t be able to pass it up. Oh and I almost forgot, you probably don’t need any work done at all!
Things To Look For When Hiring A Contractor:
- Check the contractor for a license and insurance
- Get references of his previous jobs
- Check with The Better Business Bureau for any complaints against his company
- Get at least 3 estimates from other contractors
The good guys
The vast majority of home contractors are honest, reputable small-business owners who work hard to make sure that they do high quality work, use good materials. They are dedicated to your satisfaction and earnestly want to earn your recommendation. Many contractors are members of professional organizations or unions that actively work to weed out contractor scams and fraud.
By doing your part to protect yourself, you can prevent getting taken by clever, manipulative contractors.