Scams in construction are more common than you might think. It can be challenging to spot a home improvement scam. After all, scammers are experts at what they do and often target vulnerable homeowners who need repairs. But there are some telltale signs that you can look for to help you avoid becoming a victim.
Stick along with this guide from The Twin Brother Corporation to know more about the common scams in construction and how to avoid them.
What is a Home Improvement Scam?
A home improvement scam is any fraudulent activity that targets homeowners needing repairs or improvements to their homes. Scammers often promise low-cost or free services but fail to deliver on their promises or do sub-par work that leaves the homeowner worse off.
There are various home improvement scams that you should be aware of and some common red flags that can help you spot them. Keep reading to learn more and protect yourself from becoming a victim.
Common Home Improvement Scams
Bait & Switch
One of the most common home improvement scams is the “bait and switch.” This happens when a contractor offers a low estimate for a job, but once they start working, they find all sorts of hidden costs that quickly drive up the price. In some cases, these additional costs are entirely fabricated.
A low-ball bid is another common scam in construction. A contractor will submit an artificially low bid to win an offer from you. They would then raise their prices once the work began. This can be highly frustrating to homeowners expecting to pay one fee, only to be hit with another.
Upfront Payment Scams
In this kind of scam, the contractor will ask for substantial payment upfront before any work has begun. They may say they need the money to buy materials or pay for permits. Once they have your money, they will disappear without doing any work.
Upfront payments are a very dangerous scam because it can be hard to get your money back once you have already paid. You should always be suspicious of any contractor who asks for payment before work begins.
How to Avoid These Scams
You can avoid home improvement scams by ensuring that:
- You have done enough research in getting to know the contractor
- You never pay in cash but instead use a check or credit card
- You get everything in writing, including a detailed contract and estimate
- You have checked the website, references, and online reviews
Now that you are aware of the most common scams, you can be on the lookout for them. If you are suspicious of a contractor, do not hesitate to ask for more information or get a second opinion. By being informed and taking precautions, you can avoid becoming victims of these scams.
If you want to hire a trusted and reputable contractor in Leicester, you have come to the right place. The Twin Brother Corporation has been in business for over 45 years. We have a solid reputation for providing quality services at a fair price. Renovate your home with us! Request an estimate.