How to avoid home repair scams?

reparationsSpring is the time for home repairs – and that it also a time of outright fraud and disputes frustrating. You can avoid both problems. Street repair scams work like that: Scammers calling at your door, make it a hard sell, and offer sensational low prices. Could it be roofing or painting, pruning a tree or pave your driveway with a material called “surplus” in a recent paper. Fraudsters take advantage of you pay before – but do little or no work and never return. Remember, legitimate contractors rarely provide door to door. Be skeptical. The main rules are to review a contractor, and never pay large sums in advance for a contractor you do not know. Help elderly neighbors who may fall victim to pressure or intimidation to pay street hustlers.

Some scammers local contractors also take large advances but do not work, or are simply part of the job. This is difficult to prove as fraud, but it is expensive and frustrating. Follow these tips to protect yourself when you hire a contractor:

Be careful with the methods of high pressure sales and discounts “just for today,” deals to use your home as a “model house” to replace the window frames, and “lifetime guarantees” that last for life company. Always get several written estimates – walk to shopping for the best deal before making a big investment.

Check the contractor before signing a contract or pay any money. Ask for local references Рand cot̩jelas. Contact the Public Prosecutor to see if you have a complaint or contact the Better Business Bureau. You can also contact your county clerk and may ask how to inspect whether a contractor has been sued by unsatisfied customers on work performed.

Get it in writing. Before any work begins, agree a written contract detailing work to be finished, responsibility for permits, costs, and any other promises. Request a copy of the contractor’s liability insurance. Write down the date of commencement and termination, and consequences if the contractor dishonors the contract. (Example: The contract could be voided if the contractor starts the job on time.) If you sign a contract in your home, in most cases will have three days to cancel.

Avoid paying large sums in advance if you do not know the contractor. If you have to make a partial advance payment for materials, prepare a check to the supplier and the contractor. Insist on an “escape clause builder’s lien” if the contractor ceases to pay others for materials or labor.

Be very careful for the credit or financing arranged by a contractor. This is an area of serious abuse by some contractors in Iowa who arrange credit with lenders of high prices. Such loans may have high interest rates, fees can be ordered in advance, have hidden costs and may even include third party fees. Beware of deals that will incorporate into debt credit card or other debt on a second mortgage. Check first with your local lender or a lawyer in whom you can trust.

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