Remodels and other home improvements are an important part of being a property owner. When done correctly, these projects can add value to a home and make it more attractive to future buyers.
Unfortunately, hiring a contractor to complete home improvement projects is not always simple. The average homeowner is often unaware of the average cost of materials and labor. What’s more, construction projects can be stressful, and it’s common for individuals to rush when choosing a construction company just to get a job done faster.
As a result, homeowners are an easy target for contractor fraud, which is when a company performs substandard repairs or offers services that deliberately cheat another party. To avoid contractor fraud and ensure that your home improvements are done to a high standard, look out for the following:
• Contractors that contact you looking for work
• Unsolicited, free home inspections that turn up problems you were previously unaware of
• Contractors that want you to commit to repairs immediately
• Contractors that request money in advance
• Contractors that do not get the right permits or want to sell extra materials to you for a cheap price
When choosing a contractor, obtain as many references as you can and be diligent about researching reputable companies. If you are the victim of contractor fraud, you can report it to your local police department or notify services like the Federal Trade Commission.