Ways to Avoid Home Improvement Fraud

by Enrique "Henry" Estrada 05/13/2019

Do the echoing thumps of a hammer, or the high pitched-squeals of a table saw trigger any Deja-vu? That is right, the season of home improvement is officially here. Whether you are adding a deck, installing a new window or perhaps replacing a roof, the fact is you're most likely going to hire a contractor to make this happen.

To avoid falling victim to home improvement fraud, you need to know how they operate and the techniques they use. Once equipped with this knowledge, it's tough to become a victim of the scam.

It's crucial to research and ask questions about their services before hiring a contractor. However, you can never be too careful, so brace yourself with these tips on how to identify a contractor that is trying to defraud you:

  1. Your contractor states that their service to you is going to be a demonstration. 
  2. They prefer you pay in full before work commences.
  3. They give a lifetime or unrealistic warranty.
  4. Their business number is unregistered on any directories.
  5. They pressure you into making hasty decisions.

Contractor scams are one of the most significant issues in the contract industry, and those who fall a victim, end up spending thousands of dollars to remedy the situation. According to many victims, scammers work by putting you off balance and luring you into a vulnerable position that allows them to drain you out financially before you even know what's happening.

A common trick used by scam artists is to knock at your door and offer to do a free inspection. At the mention of free, you let your guide down and in turn, pay for things you know nothing about later.

Another example of contractor scams is the roofing scam. These scammers are popularly known as storm chasers. They travel the country, looking for desperate and vulnerable homeowners to scam under the guise of roofing. They do a poor job and most often, leave the town afterward, thereby ensuring the homeowner is stranded and swindled.

From the above tips, you can understand how they work and counter their manipulative techniques without any hurdle. In addition to being informed, whenever you’re in doubt, always remember not to be in haste to make decisions. Avoid the offer of free home inspections without proper verification and lastly, don't permit work without a duly signed contract. Knowledge is power, and that is the best tool you have against contractor scammers.

About the Author

Author
Enrique "Henry" Estrada

Hi, I'm Enrique "Henry" Estrada and I'd love to assist you. Whether you're in the research phase at the beginning of your real estate search or you know exactly what you're looking for, you'll benefit from having a real estate professional by your side. I'd be honored to put my real estate experience to work for you.