How to Avoid Home Repair Scams

SCAM ALERT. Grunge red rubber stamp. Scam square sign label isolated on white background

When you own a home, you’ll inevitably have to invest in some repairs. We mentioned a few tips on how to fix things around your home, but when you have a bigger repair that needs professional attention, it’s important to make sure you know how to avoid any home repair scams.

Ask that you pay up front:

One of the major things that scam artists will do is insist that you have to “pay up front.”  If a contractor asks you to pay before any work commences it’s a strong sign that they may be out to rip you off or they can’t cover the cost of their supplies. Be sure to ask for a contract before handing over any money.

Show up at your door:

Ever have someone show up at your front door offering some special home repair deal? Things to look out for include someone showing up in an unmarked vehicle or doesn’t have a business card or anything indicating they are legitimate company.  Spend time doing your research before just hiring the first contractor you see.

“One day only” offers:

If a contractor offers a “special deal” that is only valid for one day, you’ll want to proceed with caution. Usually the special deal ends up being more costly than what the project is worth and will end up draining your wallet in the long run.

Unexpected additional repairs:

It’s natural for some unexpected snags to come up when a contractor is repairing something. But sometimes, they’ll adjust their quote with the anticipation of charging more for “unexpected” updates. The best way to avoid this is to get a full contract in writing and ask that they include a change order clause so you know what you are getting into.

Lack of references:

One of the best ways to gauge a contractor? Ask for their references and do your research. A reputable contractor will have a good rating on the Better Business Bureau, should be able to provide references and are insured.

Home repairs require a lot of work and money, so it’s important to do your research and find the right contractor for you, and not get caught up in any deceptive offers.