Home improvement scammers know that spring’s one of the best times to take advantage of homeowners. Here’s what you need to know to spot scams and avoid getting ripped off.
Common Home Improvement Scam Red Flags
These five things should always be considered “red flags” when dealing with any unknown contractor.
- The contractor shows up unannounced and uninvited because they were “already in the neighborhood.” This scam may feature “leftover materials from another job nearby” that will allow the contractor to give you really great pricing.
- The deal they’re offering seems really good, but the pricing is “only available today!” Don’t allow a contractor to push you into deciding before you have a chance to check out their credentials.
- The contractor seems professional, but asks for payment before the work begins. Reputable roofing contractors, for instance, won’t request that you make any payment until the materials for your job are delivered.
- Your safety is a primary selling point for the contractor. This may include them telling you that you’re not safe in your home unless repairs are completed immediately. Reputable contractors will be able to help you understand what’s wrong, why the need for repairs is immediate, and won’t object to you contacting authorities outside their company to verify the problem.
- The contractor seems less than professional. They may be difficult to contact, don’t have a local location, or the Better Business Bureau hasn’t ever heard of them.
Avoiding Phony Contractors
There are several steps you can take to protect yourself from home improvement scams. These include:
- Performing a background check on potential contractors to search for a valid license, local location and proper insurance and bonding.
- Knowing your consumer rights, including specific protections for home improvement contracts offered by state laws.
- Insisting on a written contract for any home improvement project.
- Avoiding contractors that “just happen to be in the neighborhood,” no matter how good the pricing may seem.
A reputable home improvement contractor in Des Moines should be able and willing to withstand this sort of scrutiny.
Exterior Home Improvements
Spring is a great time to find a good home improvement contractor in Des Moines to start working on your home’s exterior. At VanWeelden Co. Roofing, we’ve been helping Des Moines area residents take care of their homes since 1997. Contact us today for exterior home improvements like roofing, siding, windows, paint and more.