The home repair scam is probably the most terrifying aspect facing homeowners when they think of home improvement projects. Unfortunately, there are good reasons for this fear. There are many crooked entrepreneurs and it seems that we all know someone who has been a victim. I think the reasons are easy to understand. First and foremost, homeowners are usually at a disadvantage because they do not know much about the work they need. It's like taking your car for repairs. Most of us simply have to take the mechanic to the word (there is a little more advantage with home repairs because we do not take our home in someone's store and let them disassemble). The second reason is despair. If there is an emergency situation, such as a storm or a broken pipe, we are vulnerable. We need our fixed home now and we are tempted to make decisions that we would not have otherwise. Fortunately, following these seven steps will help you avoid the costly consequences of home repair fraud.
1. Take your time! – Do not rush into decisions without doing your homework. If you have a tree across your roof and it's raining in your home, you probably do not think clearly. Unfortunately, Scam artists know it and they are waiting to jump and enjoy your misery. Breathe deeply, count to ten, whatever method you use to calm you down, do it now. Call your insurance company or a neighbor or family member before rushing into a decision that you will regret. The reality is, it is already raining in your house (or any other emergency you may have). How bad can it be? Do not complicate the problem by giving your money to a scammer.
2. Do Your Homework – Whether it's an emergency or not, you need to check people before doing business with them. I had business that went wrong and after that happened; I look like a detective, checking the background, digging up all kinds of dirt, and discovering that they have done the same thing to several others before. Too bad I did not do just a fraction of this detective work in advance. No matter how well the contractor seems to be clean and cut to the ground, follow the steps outlined here and do your homework.
3. Beware of down payments, deposits or initial money – Many entrepreneurs will need money from the outset or when they start a project. This is done for two reasons. Reason # 1 is to cover the initial cost of labor and materials to start the project. Many entrepreneurs, especially the smaller ones, simply do not have the working capital to finance the project until it is completed. The other reason is that entrepreneurs are tired of being deceived in the same way that homeowners are. A scam can work both ways. If you have done your research, asked all the right questions and checked the references, there should be no reason for you not to pay a deposit or deposit to someone. Just exercise a little common sense. If we are talking about a $ 500 siding repair, 50% in advance should not be a problem. But, if we do a $ 30,000 kitchen remodel, 50% is out of the question. As a way to pay money in advance, offer yourself to buy the materials yourself, thus avoiding the contractor to withdraw money from his pocket to start the job. Some home repair gurus will tell people " Never give money to entrepreneurs " . I think this advice is out of date. You will have a hard time finding someone to take your work without some kind of payment in advance. Just do your homework.
4. Get all in writing- Another common mistake when we rush into a decision (and yes, I did), is that we do not do the necessary formalities. Always have a signed contract. For help on writing your own contracts, visit my website by clicking on one of the links below or, if you use one provided by the contractor, read on carefully. Scratch items you do not agree with or make changes to before signing them. Do not be intimidated by signing something with which you do not agree. Remember, your boss. The contract must always include the contract price, the payment terms, the date of signing, the start and end dates, as well as a physical address and a phone number (which you have checked) for the 39; contractor.
5. Beware of entrepreneurs who seem too hectic or try to create a false sense of urgency- This can be one of the first signs of a scam. "I need a deposit today to reserve you a place." Egypt "You really need to register today because I have a big job starting in the city next week and I will no longer be able to offer this award." If they have so much work, why are they so desperate to join your work? By the way, I said earlier that it 's OK to give someone a payment in advance. This does not apply to giving someone a deposit to "hold a place for you" for 2 months until they can reach you. It is good to wait for a good time for a good entrepreneur, but do not give them money until they are ready to start. There are only many entrepreneurs to do this.
6. Be very careful of contractors from outside the city When natural disasters such as hurricanes or floods occur, there are usually not enough local contractors to perform all the Timely work. There are entrepreneurs who roam the country, following these opponents. They are known in the industry as thunderstorms. Like any industry, they have good and bad elements. Taking the proper precautions and doing the proper research is more important than ever with storm hunters because unlike local businesses, by the time you realize the scam, they will be far away for a long time.
7. Do not get angry – If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. If an entrepreneur agrees to have the insurance company or FEMA pay for repairs that you know are not covered or to repay the money that you do not have. have not received, send it packing. If you take the bait, you could find yourself complicit in the fraud. Plus, if you know that they are dishonest, what makes you believe that they will not scam you? In these tough economic times, an extra dollar can be tantalizing, but do not be taken into account.
I hope this will give you ideas and perhaps save you from grief. There are many good and honest entrepreneurs to choose from. Do not be the victim of a scam. Thank you for reading and good luck.