Home Improvement Home Truths – part two

By administrator On May 5th, 2009

It’s important for your money’s worth and your peace of mind that you don’t get stuck with an unscrupulous contractor who takes you on a frustrating ride. Be wary of contractors that solicit customers aggressively and actually ring your bell asking you if you need their services. Contractors are not door-to-door salespeople. You can say that the contractor is a rip-off agent if he offers you discounts for getting other customers. It’s not normal for contractors to offer affiliate propositions when asking for business. Home remodeling contractors advertise in yellow pages, telephone directories, websites, cable TV, newspapers, etc. All these are legit channels of advertising. If he says he’s got materials left over from a previous job, be aware that something is not right. Back off if the guy says he works only with cash payments. Usually these guys know the rules about getting the building permits, if he asks you to get the permits it means he’s probably on the wrong side of the law.

If his business name and number are not listed in a telephone directory, it should raise your suspicions. Stop conversations with him immediately. You can check with the Better Business Bureau if these guys are registered there and if they are do they have a good record.

In any situation don’t let them pressure you into making an immediate decision and ask him what he means when he says that your project will be a “demonstration”. Does it mean that he doesn’t have the background and information to carry out a home improvement project as you want it? A rip-off guy will hunt for gullible customers by offering extra-long guarantees and try to squeeze the entire payment upfront. If you fall for a guy like this, you probably deserve it. All your danger signals and bells should start buzzing if the guy suggests that you could borrow at cheap rates from a lender he knows. You could actually sign your house away to a home improvement scamster.

Consumer protection officials can always tell you if a contractor has any cases pending against him. If a contractor has been in the business for a sufficient period of time then he would have been careful of his reputation. Keep in mind that a lack of record of previous complaints does not mean that there have been no previous complaints.

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