ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

3 Ways to Avoid a Home Improvement Scam

Updated on April 29, 2011

When you turn on the local news or scan the national news stories, you’ll find homeowners across the nation, young and old, that are falling prey to home improvement scams. Unfortunately for consumers, scam artists are on the move, here today to take your money and gone tomorrow without completing your home improvement project. The key to avoid home improvement scams is to be aware. When you’re an educated homeowner, you know what to look for in a contractor and how to work with a contractor, so you don’t end up as part of a home improvement scam article in the newspaper or as a news story.

Obtain an Estimate in Writing

Scam artists tend to be nice people and people that seem to know what they are talking about. Niceness doesn’t cut it when they run off with your money. A professional contractor puts the estimate for the work in writing. This allows him or her to list out the work they will be responsible for completing and assigning a cost to each aspect of the project. A written estimate also allows you to carefully review it and ensure that everything you expect from the contractor is in the estimate. If you do not understand an estimate or there is information missing, then discuss this with the contractor and get a revised estimate. Do not approve an estimate until it is in writing and to your satisfaction.

Check and Verify

Since scam artists come and go, you may not have time to figure out the contractor has a bad reputation until it is too late. Before you hire a contractor, gather information from them up-front. Check with the state and/or the county business licensing office to ensure the contractor is licensed. Require a copy of the contractor’s liability insurance certificate. Ask the contractor for customer references and then check the references. When you do your due diligence, it ensures that you won’t fall prey to a home improvement scam.

Spread Out the Payments

Never pay a contractor all of the money for the project up-front. Most contractors do require some kind of a deposit up-front in order to book the job and buy any supplies they need to complete the work. Deposits can be up to 50% of the total project. Larger projects may have multiple payments based on milestones in the project completion taking place. Spreading the payments out into two or more installments helps to reduce the chance that you’ll be taken for a ride by a contractor.

You don’t want to end up as part of a local news or newspaper story featuring homeowners that have been scammed. When you use these tips as a guideline for hiring and working with a contractor, however, it helps reduce the chance that you’ll become a victim of home improvement scams. In the end, it’ll save you time, money and a big headache.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)