In today's economy, more and more people are choosing to keep their home rather than trying to sell it. In doing so, they take advantage of the opportunity to make repairs and home improvements, presumably hoping that this will benefit them in the future when the domestic market picks up.
Of course, there are always those who seek to profit from the misfortune of someone else, and there is a whole industry of crooks that has developed around the home repair industry. Many of these scams are pretty convincing at first, but in the end are only designed to separate you from your money.
Here are my five home repair scams:
The leaking roof. Who of us did not have someone who knocked on our door and offered to have our roof replaced in order to avoid more serious damage to our home? The removal and replacement of roofing shingles typically cost $ 5,000 or more, and the replacement of the deck (the wood base benefits the shingles) adds thousands of others. Remember that roof shingles are designed to last 15 to 20 years. You should only consider replacing your roof if you have a lot of missing shingles or granular material residues from the shingles that accumulate in your gutters. With regard to the bridge, a complete replacement is rarely necessary. The repair of the damaged section
is generally perfectly adequate.
Waterproofing the basement. This is the crazy cousin of The Leaky Roof, where someone tells you that, to stop your basement water problems, you will have to dig your entire foundation and have it waterproofed, usually costing between $ 5,000 and $ 15,000. In fact, most water infrastructure solutions are much simpler and less expensive.
Termites. The ubiquitous termite letter is an essential part of any real estate transaction. Unfortunately, too many people adhere to the myth that termites can literally destroy a house, making it an open season for crooks to use such misinformation to defraud people for $ 3,000 or more. Do not just take the word of anyone for that. Your house is not going to collapse. Take the time to research and hire a qualified local pest control company, preferably one that will give you a five-year warranty.
Chimney sweeping. You are knocked on your door by a gentleman who has just cleaned the chimney of your neighbor and who offers to make yours for a low price of $ 39.95 (or whatever the low rate of the day). Once inside the fireplace, however, it finds additional problems that can be repaired at additional costs. In no time, the $ 39.95 quote is a distant memory. Hire only chimney sweepers who have been certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America, and be prepared to pay a minimum of $ 250 for an inspection, and more if cleaning is actually needed.
The mushroom among us. Mold fears are rife, especially if you think that there might be mold in your home. The crooks will try to convince you to pay between $ 500 and $ 600 for a mussel inspection and then go to a mold release company with which they are in cahoots. In case of mold problem, hire companies that have been certified by industry leaders such as the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Services (IICRC). They will be able to identify any mold problem and apply the proper sanitation procedures.
So, when you take the time to do your renovations, also take the time to do your homework and do some research on anyone who tells you that some work needs to be done at some point. Taking the time to do it can save you thousands of dollars and lots of heads.