Scammers pose as professional contractors, offering “great deals” for repair or renovation services that can ultimately leave unsuspecting homeowners with little to no progress and thousands of dollars less in their pockets. To ensure your home improvement project runs smoothly, it’s essential to spot and avoid common home improvement scam offenses, which is why MoRe 2.0 Conference will review them in its upcoming edition in 2023.
Ways To Spot Home Improvement Scam Offenses
The most common home improvement scam starts with a scammer offering up too-good-to-be-true deals. While lowball bids on jobs can sometimes save you money, they often mean home improvement trouble. When contractors bid incredibly low on a project, they may be more interested in making a quick buck than delivering a quality job. Make sure to get multiple quotes on any repair job and cross-check the credentials of anyone you’re considering to ensure they have the experience necessary to do the job correctly.
Another common home improvement scam revolves around fake discounts and coupons. Some scammers offer deals or coupons for home repair services that seem too good to pass up. Unfortunately, many of these offers are just scams designed to entice people into hiring an unlicensed contractor who often charges more than the discounted amount for services. If a deal or coupon for home improvement services looks too good to be true, it probably is.
An even more devious scam preys on unsuspecting homeowners who’ve already begun their projects. Scammers often target mid-process projects, making grand promises to complete them on budget and time while raising their prices later. If you prepare a home improvement project and the costs or timeline keeps shifting, that’s a major red flag. Always research a contractor before signing any agreements, and be wary of making too many payments in advance for any project.
To make sure you avoid becoming the next victim of a home improvement scam:
- Do your research and ask for references from any potential contractors.
- In addition, make sure the contractor you’re considering is properly licensed and insured, and double-check that any proposed deals or coupons are accurate and verifiable.
- Read online reviews from former customers to ensure they have a solid track record of completing projects on time and within budget.
However, with some research and caution, homeowners can ensure that their hard-earned money is well-spent and that their commissioned projects are done right the first time. To ensure your home improvement projects turn out exactly as you expected, research potential contractors thoroughly, be aware of red flags, and always look for reviews and references. With some preparation, you’ll be on the right path to ensuring your home improvement projects turn out successfully.
1. Do Your Research: Research is the best way to protect yourself against common home improvement scams. Check online for customer reviews and complaints about the company you’re considering doing business with. Ask for referrals from friends, family, or coworkers.
2. Get Written Estimates: Obtain written estimates from at least three contractors or businesses. Check for insurance coverage, warranties, and licenses. Review the estimate carefully and make sure you understand what it covers. Don’t be pressured into making a quick decision.
3. Make Smaller Payments: Avoid making a full payment upfront whenever possible. Instead, arrange to make small payments throughout the project. Don’t be afraid to stop check payment if the work isn’t meeting expectations or you’re having second thoughts.
4. Stay Vigilant: Pay attention to changes in pricing and timeline. If the project’s cost keeps rising and deadlines are pushed back, it may be a sign that the contractor isn’t professional or reliable.
5. Stay Local: Hire local companies or individuals to avoid scams. This will help you protect yourself against scams involving out-of-town businesses or non-local companies.
6. Get It In Writing: Get a signed contract before any project starts. This will help protect you and ensure both parties are accountable for their responsibilities.
7. Don’t Let Contractors Handle Finances: It’s important to remember that the contractor is hired to do a job, not manage your finances. Don’t let contractors dictate the financial terms or ask for money upfront.
8. Report Suspected Fraud: If you suspect you’ve been a scam or fraudulent activity victim, report it immediately to the relevant authorities and consider legal action if necessary.
Following these steps, you can protect yourself against common home improvement scams and ensure your project is in good hands. Don’t be afraid to take extra steps to ensure the job is done right. Doing so could save you time and money in the long run. To learn more about ways to stay safe and secure while dealing with finance and real estate issues, attending a conference in 2023 like MoRe 2.0 Conference, planned for the USA and Dubai, will help you expand your knowledge and understanding.