Scam artists may come knocking at your door, claiming to be a contractor. Do not fall for it, at least not until you do a little homework.
Monica Horton, President of the Better Business Bureau North Central Texas, said during spring homeowners should be on the lookout for home improvement scams. Horton said, Con artist goes door-to-door, offering great deals to fix up your home all in an attempt to trick you out of your money.
There are plenty of contractors out there who say they can do the job and do it well, but the BBB said, unless you have their word in writing it means nothing at all and you may be putting yourself at risk of becoming a victim of a scam.
Here's how con artist or unqualified contractors try and target you. They go door-to-door offering great deals on a variety of services at a price you likely won't find anywhere else.
Horton said before you hire or pay a contractor to do work on your home, do your research first.
"The BBB advice starts with don't make a purchasing decision when someone is standing on your doorstep," said Horton. "You need to, if there's work that you're thinking about having down and it's something that you're interested in, take their information and have them give you an estimate."
She said it's best to get at least three different estimates on the job, including area of construction, materials, labor, and the amount of time needed to complete the project.
Once you have done that the BBB suggest you research the contractor to see what the bbb knows about them.
You are also advised to ask for the contractor's licensing, insurance, and references. Their references may really give you a second opinion.
Some questions you may want to ask:
Did they start the job on time?
Did they finish the job on time?
Did they cleanup after work was finished?
Were they available to answer calls or address concerns when the project was under construction?
A big red flag you should look out for is a contractor asking you to pay for the entire job up front. However, Horton said smaller contractors may ask for a small amount of money up front for supplies. If they do, go to store with them to purchase supplies and bring them back with you until they start the job.
Lastly, never pay for any work in advance. Arrange for payments to be made upon completion of the job. For example, a payment once the project is half complete and the last payment when the job is finished.