I am always talking about DIY projects because if you own your home, you can do most things yourself to improve it. But, there are jobs that come along that you can’t do. That’s when you need to hire a contractor.
But, contractors aren’t always reliable or honest. It’s great if you can find a contractor someone you trust refers to you. But, that’s not always the case. Most people have to go rummaging through the phonebook or do a search online to find a contractor. When you have to do that, you never know what you are going to get.
So, there are a few things that you can do to protect yourself. Make sure you stick to your guns when you are talking to a contractor. The scam artists are good salespeople and they are gifted in the art of changing your mind from what you know you should do to what they want you to do.
First of all, if a contractor comes to your door offering you a service, take that as your first clue. Now, sometimes they can be very upfront and are only trying to spread awareness. So, you can’t be too skeptical. Just be very cautious.
Do the same thing you would do to the doctor and let them know you want a second opinion. Take a card and tell them you will get a hold of them if you do in fact need the service. You’ll find out one of two things at that point. The honest contractor won’t mind one bit while the scam artist will find a way out of that conversation quick.
Second of all, get a contract for any work any contractor is going to do for you. Make sure you get to see it in writing and that you get a chance to discuss terms. Again, an honest contractor won’t mind while a scam artist will find a way to be gone.
Third of all, make sure everything is spelled out in detail before you sign. The bottom line of what it will cost is something you have to watch for when dealing with scam artists. Make sure that the price you see is the final price, no hidden fees or anything else to pay. Also, make sure you have start and finish dates, contractor information and that the contractor has signed the contract.
Finally, never pay the full amount upfront. You can expect to pay about a third of the total project for the contractor to begin work. But, there should be a payment schedule put in place with milestones. When the contractor reaches a certain milestone, then you can expect to pay another portion of the entire job.
These are just a few tips to keep yourself safe from scam artists. There are plenty of honest contractors out there who will do a great job for you. Just make sure you do your research, follow what you know is right and be alert for any signs that a scam artist is trying to take your hard earned money.