Home Improvement Scams to Avoid is a consumer website that provides information and tools to help you avoid scams and make informed decisions when remodeling or improving your home.

It’s always best to be properly informed before hiring remodeling contractors. Please stay safe and avoid scams by reading our top five cons in home improvement and the solutions for how to avoid them.

1) Cash Before Work Starts

Nothing should set off alarm bells more than remodeling contractors who want to be paid in full for a project before it’s even started. This plan sets you up for a disappearing contractor who never starts the work. A realistic down payment is expected to cover startup labor costs and materials, but this payment typically should not exceed one-third of the total contract value. It’s wise to make it as small as possible!

2) Model Home

Please beware of remodeling contractors who want to repair your home so they can show it off to other potential customers. In exchange for your agreement to the recommended work, you will likely be persuaded with a deal that seems too good to pass up. The odds are good that some of the work he’s proposing doesn’t need to be done and could cost further issues down the line during construction. Reputable contractors don’t need models to showcase their work.

3) One-Time Special

The reality is that most companies hold sales throughout the year, and that’s not likely to change anytime soon. If a remodeling contractor approaches you with a special offer, ask for tangible evidence that the quoted price is lower than they have charged in the past for the same work. Don’t be bullied or swindled into agreeing to a deal that will expire before you’ve had a chance to do research, get competing bids, and check references.

4) “We’re Just Working in the Neighborhood”

Be especially wary of remodeling contractors who knock on your door and say they’re doing some work down the street. They tell you that they spotted a few things around your home that could use some work and that you can save money by booking on the spot. Luckily, they happen to have all the materials and tools to start right away! This tactic is often used to entice you into doing things that are visible from the outside, like roof repair, painting, window caulking, deck restoration, driveway coating, and chimney renovation.

5) They Don’t Need To Pull A Permit

You’re legally obligated to get a building permit for any significant construction project. An immoral contractor may try to skirt the rule by telling you that authorities won’t notice small interior jobs. The contractor may try another strategy on large jobs that can’t be hidden and ask you to apply for a homeowner’s permit, an option available for do-it-yourselfers. But taking out your permit for a roofing contractor means you both are lying to authorities about who’s doing the work. Not only is it irresponsible for both parties, it also makes you the one responsible for supervising all the inspections; since the contractor doesn’t own the permit, they don’t answer to the inspector, you do.

Let’s Talk About Home Improvement Scams to Avoid More!

Our advice is if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. It’s always wise to get multiple estimates before starting any project and if there are vast differences in the quotes, try to figure out why. If you would like to schedule an initial consultation with our expert team, don’t hesitate to contact us at (925) 885-3770 to talk with us about your home remodel project!