Many homeowners are now remodeling their homes. If you are considering hiring a contractor to do the work there are some things to watch out for to prevent contractor fraud.
- If they are not listed in the phone book they may not be legitimate and could disappear after they receive your money.
- They will only accept cash. If they will not take a cheque and credit card, they likely do not want the money to be traced. A variety of payment options should be available. A legitimate company will be claiming their income with the government.
- The contractor wants all of the money up front. Never pay before the job is finished. You want to be able to get them to come back to correct any mistakes and complete the job to your satisfaction. There is no incentive for them to do the work if they have already received payment.
- If they are soliciting door to door, this should cause you to ask questions. A business that is reliable and does good work is usually kept busy just by word of mouth.
- Insist on a written estimate and receipts.
- They offer especially low rates because your house has been chosen as a “demonstration” project.
- The contractor will not provide an address.
- You only get a special low price if you sign the contract today.
- They will not provide references.
Always ask for references and contact a couple of them and always get a couple of quotes for any work or repair work. Don’t pay for repairs that are not needed. Also, check with the Better Business Bureau to see if they are registered with them and if there are any claims against them.
For more information, call Gail Fabiani, 905-637-1700, Right at Home Realty, Inc., Burlington, Ontario
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