Find your local handypro

Request Quote
Apr
7

5 Tips to Avoid a Contractor Scam

Tags: contractor, scams, tips, prevention

Share on Facebook |


5 Tips to Avoid a Contractor Scam

In the consumer world, the word “contractor” is sometimes synonymous with “scam.” The reason being is that consumers aren’t always educated on what they should be looking for when it comes to finding a legitimate and reliable contractor. It’s easy for scammers to pass themselves off as a business. All they have to do is get some business cards made, create a free website and make up a few fake referrals. So how do you prevent yourself from getting scammed? How do you know if the person you’re letting into your home is the real deal?

Here are some tips on how to find a legitimate contractor and prevent a scam:

1. Do your homework.

The Internet can be your best friend and your worst enemy. Remember that just because it’s on the Internet does not mean it’s true. Searching for a contractor online is going to give you plenty of results but they may not necessarily be legitimate. When looking for a contractor it’s important to do your research on them. What’s their rating on the Better Business Bureau or Angie’s List? There are plenty of companies out there who are there to help you, the consumer, find a trustworthy company to work with. If the business you found isn’t on any of those sites, chances are you shouldn’t use them.

2. Do they have insurance? 

If you’re paying someone to do work at your home, they should be insured. Your home is their job site and if they get hurt on your property, you don’t want to be liable.

3. Make sure it's in writing. 

When getting work done on your home, always make sure you have the job in writing, with the terms listed out. If there’s a warranty, make sure that’s listed as well. The more detail about the job, the better. If it seems pretty vague, ask to have it written in more detail. Sometimes, unexpected issues will come up on a job. Sticky notes or scraps of paper don’t count.

4. Don't pay in full before the job is complete.

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard a story about someone paying in full for services before they had them done and then getting scammed, I would be rich. Often times paying in full before any service is done means your “contractor” is going to skip town or they’ll start the work and then one day they’ll decide they don’t want to finish it. It is common for contractors to ask for a deposit to start the job but it shouldn’t be more than 50% of the labor.

5. Always ask questions. 

If you don’t understand why you’re being charged for something or need clarification on terms, do not be afraid to ask. You and your contractor need to be on the same page and your contractor should always be able to give you reasonable explanations for their pricing and how they run their business.

Scams are an unfortunate but very real possibility in any industry. The best way to avoid them is to always take precautions and educate yourself as much as possible. If you spot a scam, you should report it to the Federal Trade Commission by calling the FTC at 1-877-FTC-HELP or online at ftc.gov/complaint. Also check out ftc.gov/passiton for more information on different types of scams as well as signing up for Scam Alerts.

Follow Us

   

Do It Yourself (DYI)

Got Holes in Your Wall? DIY Drywall Repair

Give Mom the Gift That Will Keep on Giving

How to Revamp Your Dusty Old Lamp in One Hour

handyman

Keeping Your Home Safe for You and Your Family

Looking for a Handyman? Here Is What to Look For

Tips for Retrieving Valuables from the Drain

Giving a major deck appearance update, without breaking the bank

7 Things to do Before Moving in Guaranteed to Make Life Easier

5 Tips to Avoid a Contractor Scam

Top Tips to Prepare Your Home for the Winter

Top 8 Tips to Winterize Your Home and Save Money

When is the Best Time to Get Your Gutters Cleaned?

Healthy Living

7 Tips to Stay Safe and Cool in the Summer

Home Modifications

How to Plan for Long-Term Care and Cover the Associated Expenses by June Duncan

BATHROOM, MOST DANGEROUS ROOM IN THE HOME

Simple Home Modifications that Make Homes Safer for Seniors

Top Three Projects That Will Make Your Home Safe

Walk-in Tub vs. Transition Tub: Which One is Best for You?

Prepare Your Home's Safety and Accessibility for the Holidays

How to Safely and Comfortably Age in Place

The Benefits of Modular Wheelchair Ramps

Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the ADA

How to Know it's Time For a Walk-In Tub

The Best Places to Install Bathroom Grab Bars

6 Bathroom Safety Tips That will Help You Live to 100

organization

Decluttering Tips for a Healthier Environment and a Happier You

How to Save Space and Stay Organized With Terrific Shelving

Top 8 Ways to Simplify Your Dorm

Remodeling

Top Kitchen Features for 2018

Improve the Traffic Flow of Your Kitchen

Value vs. Price: What to Look for in a Contractor

Understand the Traffic Flow of Your Home's Kitchen

Top Home Improvement Projects That Pay You Back

Build Your Own Backyard Retreat

10 Easy Upgrades to Improve Your Kitchen on a Budget

Technology

8 Gadgets to Help Seniors Live at Home

Request An Estimate

Submit