In 2017, 350 home improvement scams were reported to the Better Business Bureau, through the BBB Scam Tracker program. These scams cost American homeowners more than six hundred thousand dollars. If you’re a Harford County, Maryland homeowner, you need to know how to spot DIY scams in your area. Our expert tips will help you to recognize the red flags and then avoid unethical contractors who don’t deliver on their promises. Follow these guidelines, and you’ll be able to find a Harford contractor with the right credentials.
Ask for Proof of Credentials
It’s not smart to hire a contractor without seeing his or her credentials. According to the Popular Mechanics website, any reputable contractor will be happy to show you company identification, proof of certifications, proof of licensing and proof of insurance. If a contractor is reluctant to produce this sort of proof, it’s a signal that something isn’t right. You need to be careful who you allow into your home, as your personal security is at risk. You also need every assurance that a contractor is fully qualified to perform repairs or upgrades of homes. Asking for credentials will give you greater peace of mind. It will also boost the odds of a successful transaction.
Be Wary of Unsolicited Communication
Good contractors are busy and don’t spend a lot of time emailing or calling new sales leads. According to the Federal Trade Commission, you should be wary of unsolicited communication from so-called contractors. This includes knocks on your front door. When it’s time to hire, do your own research online (and locally) and then decide which home improvement contractor offers the most for a reasonable rate. According to respected contractor Tom Silva, people who are in the market for home remodeling should consider chatting with building inspectors in their regions before hiring home reno pros. Building inspectors know which home reno contractors offer the most bangs for the buck.
Look Out for Hard Sell
If a contractor who is interested in handling DIY jobs for you puts a lot of pressure on you quickly, you should proceed with caution. Hard sell is something that disreputable contractors often rely on to generate quick cash. Contractors who use hard sell tactics don’t want homeowners to spend a lot of time thinking things over before making decisions about hiring them. Also, stay away from contractors who take cash payment only, ask for up-front payments or put the responsibility for accessing needed permits on you.
Find the Right Contractor Today
Now that you know the red flags, you’ll be ready to shop for a DIY contractor with confidence. You deserve a contractor with excellent credentials, who doesn’t pressure you and/or offer services with unusual strings attached. A highly-rated local contractor with years of experience will be the right option. We recommend gathering at least three quotes from five-star provider companies or individuals before signing on the dotted line.