Skip to main content

Protect yourself from Unscrupulous Contractors (Part-1)

You must have heard about the ‘National Center for the Prevention of Home Improvement Fraud’ (NCPHIF). If not, search for it online: you will come to know that it has been set up to help homeowners protect themselves against home remodeling and renovation frauds.

Americans spend over $200 billion every year on home improvement. That much money will always lure the sharks.  The truth of the matter, however, is that there are more good and honest home remodeling contractors than crooks. But it is the bad ones who make the news and create fear among homeowners.

There are a number of things you can do to protect yourself from unscrupulous contractors. Here are a few important ideas for you.

Vital tips

  • Decide on the nature and scope of the remodel.
  • Have a budget in place.
  • Consider the timelines and the insurance options that may be available.
  • Spend time researching contractors and make a shortlist of those who appear to be the best.
  • Contact them and ask for reliable testimonials.
  • Once you are satisfied of their background, provide all the project details, and ask for estimates.
  • If you are asked for additional information, provide only what is relevant to the project, and nothing of a personal financial nature.
  • Do not provide the contractor with any personal information about any family member.
  • Ask all the questions you want to. Be cautious of a contractor who resents your questions or does not give you clear answers.
  • Do not choose a contractor based on cost alone. The lowest bid is often not the best one.
  • Know the lien laws before beginning a project.
  • Beware contractors who offer quotations that are too good to be true. Discuss the figures with trusted friends, who have some experience in such matters.

Pressure traps

Being pressurized is an easy way to make mistakes. Do not accept magical offers that come your way unasked. Such people who entice you are usually desperate for business. You need to ask yourself why. Would a good and reputable contractor act that way?

Be careful of “free” home inspections from unknown or unverifiable sources. This is a well-known trick to trap you into repairs and renovation that you do not need. Never let yourself be pressured into signing a contract. Take as much time as you need, and if required, consult a lawyer. If you are told a “special offer” will lapse in one day, it is an offer you can do without.

Find a reputable contractor

Every contractor will surely present an edited high profile; it may be true or not. There is only one way to evaluate the honesty of a contractor and the quality of work promised. That is to ask for reliable referrals.

After getting the contractor’s okay, contact the people s/he has worked for in the past; hear what they have to say. If possible visit them and have a look at the work completed. Of course, some customers can be unreasonable and will bad mouth a contractor who has done nothing wrong.

So, it is better not to expect every referral to be unequivocal in praise. However, at least 90% of them should be happy with the work that was done for them.

The next blog post will deal with a few more things you can do to protect yourself from home remodeling frauds.


Popular posts from this blog

7 Tips for Hiring a Reliable Home Remodeling Company

If you are looking for a home remodeling company, there are many which claim to provide top quality services. However, only the right one can offer you effective remodeling solutions and get you the maximum return on investment. Reputable home remodeling companies handling both exterior and interior remodeling service requests have extensive knowledge about the latest industry trends. In addition, they can fulfill your home remodeling needs taking into account your preferences, budget and aesthetic interests. When you start exploring the market for the best home remodeling company, keep in mind the following tips for picking the most reliable service provider depending on remodeling goals and other requirements. Here are the tips: 1. Ask Your Friends, Family or Colleagues for References This is a good and safe way to find reliable home remodeling companies. Talk to friends, relatives, and colleagues who have used the services of a remodeling company and are satisfied with it.

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Remodelling Company

While remodeling your house, it is crucial to connect with your contractor based on your vision. Choosing the right contractor is indeed a tough job when each one of them is promising you heaps. This job gets much easier when you understand which are the  questions that  need to be asked when you interview them. It will allow you to know how much your project means to them and how much of their resources they are going to pool in, to deliver as much as they have promised.  Q1. How experienced are you in this industry? Don’t look for a decent number of years as the answer to this because quantity over quality is not what you should be looking for. Instead, look for 10-20 references whom you can contact to get a genuine review of their work.  Q2. Have you been licensed? The answer should be yes. But the catch here is that only a few states require contractors to get a license before starting their practice. But a licensed contractor is going to be answerable to you

Licensed Remodeling Experts in San Jose

We have skilled, qualified and licensed remodeling experts for all your home remodeling projects. Call (408) 274-6060 for an appt.