With this post, we want to go in a different direction, the consumer protection direction. In this article, we want to touch on construction fraud. This type of fraud can happen anywhere in the U.S. if you don’t think you could be a victim, think again. For more information on homeowner complaints, head over to BBB.ORG. Fraud or scams in this industry are running rampant and homeowners are tired of dealing with it.
So what we want to do is provide you with a top 5 list of things to look out for when contracting a “Pro”
1. Reach out to several contractors for and ask for bids.
We recommend asking different contractors for quotes. Go out and get at least 5 different quotes from 5 different business owners. This will usually help you identify who is legit or not. For example, if a contractor cannot provide you with a list of repairs needed, exact cost, time of day, or any other details that should be considered a red flag. If you need Garage Door Repair work done, as a homeowner you have the right to ask a thousand questions. Use your best judgment and move forward.
2. Shop Local
Shopping in your local area is always a plus. We’ve found that review websites like thumbtack or homeadvisor use a screening process that works. You can put in a request and have a screened local professional contact you within minutes. These review websites do all the heavy lifting for you making sure all license and proper documentation are up to date and valid.
3. Ask For proof
There may be times when you do not use a review website like thumbtack or homeadvisor. If you find yourself in this situation don’t be afraid to ask for proof of all licenses and insurance. Most pros should be carrying all of their credentials on them to prove who they are and to protect themselves. If they do not or cannot provide any info you ask for I would move on to the next business owner in the area. As stated before check out the Better Business Bureau website to verify a contractor’s info.
4. Do Some Research
We all have the power of the internet at our fingertips use it to do some more research on who you may be hiring.
Do they have business cards?
Do they have a website, phone number, email or business address?
Are they advertising online?
A little research never hurts and can save you from being scammed and taken down a path of nonsense.
5. Get it in writing
This has to be one of the best things you can do to protect yourself and your property. Get a signed contract from the pro you may be contracting. Having a document that provides all the necessary info is power in any court. If an owner refuses to sign any contract for your work move on to the next pro. This should be a huge red flag to any property owner.
We’re hoping this article provides you with some solid steps to spotting a crook selling you construction services. Remember, do your research, ask for for proof and get it in writing. These 3 simple things can potentially save you thousands of dollars.