Be cautiousIakov Filimonov/Shutterstock
Be extremely cautious of door-to-door salesman offering to give you to best deal on a home repair project. Take the company’s information and tell them you’ll contact them if you need work done. If the salesman pushes you to make a decision fast, don’t trust them. Always think over big decisions, such as home improvement projects, for at least a day. Be especially wary if the contractor drives a vehicle with no company name and phone number or with out-of-state license plates. Also, after you’ve hired a contractor make sure you know the specific time they’re planning to come and their name. Only let them in your house to do work if the information lines up. Read up on these secrets contractors wish first-time home buyers knew.
Look up the problem yourselfLightField Studios/Shutterstock
Many repair technicians will try to charge you for a bigger job than you need so they can make more money. If you know that something is wrong with your house, research how other people have fixed it online. A scam that George Strauch, owner of Glass Doctor in Ramsey, NJ, sees a lot is people being charged for completely new windows when a simple solution was available. “When the temperatures inside and outside the home vary drastically, many windows will build moisture on the inside,” says Strauch. “People believe that something is wrong with their windows and many repair technicians will take advantage of this, suggesting that either their windows are old, not sealing properly, or are cracked.” Then, homeowners end up spending thousands of dollars on new windows that they didn’t actually need.
Get a permitfizkes/Shutterstock
This is a step that many homeowners skip because they think it’s a waste of time. To avoid a home improvement scam you should always require your contractor to pull a permit. “By doing all work with a permit, the city will then provide inspections to make sure the work was done to code and by law, the contractor must fix any issues identified by the inspectors,” says Zachary Rose, founder of Rose Architects. “By skipping the permit process, you are at the mercy of the contractor and there is zero accountability for their work.”