How to Avoid Getting Scammed by Contractors
Let’s face it, making changes to a house is expensive. Whenever you are looking to hire a housing contractor, you are prepared to spend a significant sum of money. Therefore, you want to keep your costs to a minimum, which means you need to look out for common scams. Here are four tips you can use to avoid some of the most common scams pulled by housing contractors.
1. Limit Your Money Paid in Advance
You should never be paying over $1,000 or 10% of the total job in advance, whichever is the lesser option. This is the legal limit in many states, and it is enough to let the contractor know you are a serious buyer. Don’t let the contractor talk you into paying more upfront for materials and tractor rentals. An upstanding professional will have suppliers that provide those types of things on credit.
2. Get Every Detail in the Written Contract Agreement
When a contractor is assessing your home, he or she will verbally agree with everything you say, making it seem like everything will be just as you wanted, maybe with even more upgrades than the contractor suggests. Unfortunately, many times a contractor won’t include all of the verbal details in the contract agreement, which is what really matters.
If they don’t follow through with what was discussed verbally, you are stuck with an unfinished job, or you will have to break out the wallet and spend more. Make sure everything that was discussed is included in the written contract agreement before you sign it. Do not rely on verbal agreements.
3. Double Check “Unforeseen Problems”
Many times, a job will be in process of being completed, or maybe even just about totally complete, and then an “unforeseen problem” might pop up. The contractor says there are structural damages such as termite damage that is going to cause the price to rise significantly. While these claims can be legit, it’s a good idea to have an unbiased inspection done before shelling out the cash, especially if something seems suspicious.
4. Be Weary of “Storm-Chaser” Contractors
“Storm Chaser” contractors are the ones who show up to your door after a storm offering to clean up the yard or cut down trees. Since they know people can be desperate in these situations, they take advantage by charging high rates and assuring you that your insurance company will cover it. Unfortunately, many times they charge a rate that is above the maximum that your insurance will cover.
Usually, these kinds of contractors will say they are from out of town and only take cash. You should generally avoid these contractors whenever possible. If you really do need a job done quickly from them, do some quick research before handing over your money.
When possible, always go with a company you trust. The best references are friends and word of mouth. At Trevino Flooring, we take pride in our work, and the job is not over until our customers are satisfied. Call us now for your commercial and residential flooring needs.