Learn How to Spot the Warning Signs of Dishonest Contractors
Hail, tornadoes, and heavy storms all can leave devastating effects on area homeowners. When these disasters strike, the likelihood that contractor scams aren’t too far behind. Overwhelmed homeowners have enough to deal with and don’t know what to look for when bringing in a complete stranger to help with the reconstruction of their home.
What to Look For In a Good Contractor?
Find a contractor and company that is licensed, insured, established, and skilled in their trade. Fitting into your budget is important as well, and many contractors that appear out of the woodwork can cause even more damage to your property. They may not know what they’re doing as they begin the project, costing more time, money, and even legal risk to you and your family.
Watch for these signs to keep yourself protected from scamming contractors.
Watch for out of town contractors. It isn’t uncommon for reputable contractors to go to the damage from the storm, where work is most needed. It is important to do research and get references from these contractors, and pay close attention to their addresses. Any contractor with a hotel or PO Box as an address should be cause for alarm.
Cost is too good to be true.Does the cost of the project seem less than what you’ve researched? Or did the company offer to make repairs to the home with remaining insurance money that do not pertain to the storm damage? This is a big red flag, and is ultimately insurance fraud.
They only accept cash payment.If a contractor only wants payment in cash, be on high alert. Also cash up front is a red flag – the contractor may be looking to take your money and run, all without providing any work.
No estimate on the work or signed contract.When you work with a legitimate contractor, a paper trail is provided. Estimates are drawn up and contracts are signed.
Cutting corners by not following protocol.Does your contractor work without a permit? Or use left over supplies from another job that may not be the best solution for your home?