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Don't Fall for These Home Improvement Scams

By DiCharry Homes - 7-24-2023

When you are ready to take on a home improvement project, you are committing a lot of trust and money to a tradesman. How can you know who to trust with such a big endeavor? One of the most valuable things you can know how to do is spot someone you cannot trust. Knowing how to weed out the bad ones can make it simpler to choose a good company. That's why today we want to share with you some classic home improvement scams so that you can spot them and avoid them, and ultimately go with someone who will leave you with a job well done.

Handshake Deals or Verbal Agreements

Always insist on having a written contract that clearly outlines the scope of work, timeline, costs, and any warranties or guarantees. Verbal agreements leave room for misunderstandings and can make it difficult to enforce your rights if something goes wrong. Never rely on handshake deals.

Lowball Quotes

Some contractors may offer unrealistically low quotes to win the job, only to increase the price significantly once the work has started. Be cautious of bids that are significantly lower than others, as they may indicate subpar materials, shoddy workmanship, or hidden fees.

Upfront Payment or Excessive Deposits

Be wary of contractors who demand a large upfront payment or request the full payment before starting the work. Legitimate contractors typically require a deposit to cover the cost of materials or a partial payment schedule based on milestones. Paying in installments ensures you have leverage if issues arise.

Door-to-Door or Unsolicited Offers

Beware of contractors who show up at your doorstep offering their services, especially after a natural disaster or storm. Reputable contractors are unlikely to seek business in this manner. Always research contractors and seek recommendations before hiring them.

Pressure Tactics and High-Pressure Sales

Scammers may use high-pressure tactics, such as limited-time offers or discounts, to push you into making quick decisions without proper consideration. Take your time to research, obtain multiple quotes, and make an informed decision based on the contractor's reputation and credentials.

Unlicensed or Unregistered Contractors

Verify that the contractor you hire is properly licensed, registered, and insured. Check with local licensing boards or government agencies to ensure their credentials are valid. Hiring unlicensed contractors not only puts you at risk but may also violate local laws and regulations.

Lack of Proper Documentation

A professional contractor should provide you with a written estimate, a detailed contract, proof of insurance, and any necessary permits before starting the work. Failure to provide these documents could indicate a potential scam.

It's essential to do thorough research, obtain multiple quotes, and ask for recommendations before hiring a contractor. Be cautious of any red flags or suspicious behavior and trust your instincts. If you suspect you've encountered a scam or fraudulent contractor, report the incident to your local consumer protection agency or law enforcement.

If you are in the market for a new home and you don’t know where to start, why not start at DiCharry Homes? We are a homebuilding team you can trust and we communicate and collaborate with you every step of the way to ensure the best home building experience possible. Call us today to learn more about our process!

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