Don’t Fall for These Home Improvement Scams
Making home improvements is necessary to keep your house in top shape. It can become run down due to everyday wear and tear, and weather elements can also impact your home’s structure.
Before rushing into hiring a professional, make sure you’re aware of potential scammers. Here are some common home improvement scams to watch out for.
1. “Your Home Needs Urgent Repairs After the Storm”
Storms can negatively impact your home’s foundation. Rainstorms can collect moisture, leading to mold or mildew. Heavy winds can cause broken roof shingles. Many con artists take advantage of this and will try to sell fake or unnecessary services. They may even claim to give you a discount.
A majority of these scammers travel door-to-door to offer repairs. Some also offer assistance by phone or email. You’ll just want to ignore these advertisements, or you may end up with a messy legal situation on your hands. Work with your insurance agent to find a reputable contractor to make the repairs.
Here are some of the essential criteria your contractor should meet:
- Established company with a positive track record
- Fully insured
- Insurance claims experience
- Have passed a background check
- Can provide you with at least three references
2. “While Cleaning the Gutters, We Noticed Problems with Your Roof”
This scam is a convenient way to get additional cash from you. The contractor will likely say you should make repairs right away. They might also offer you a discount to try to persuade you further. Before rushing into anything, check the issue for yourself.
Here are some signs your roof may need a repair that you should look out for:
- Exposed nails
- Asphalt granules missing
- Leakage or spots of water damage
If you feel there is a genuine problem, then find reputable contractors to inspect your roof. Also, ask for written estimates before making any final hiring decisions.
3. “We Have Leftover Materials from Another Project and Can Offer a Deep Discount”
Saving money may sound good but be mindful of this type of scam. Many con artists end up using inferior or fake materials. Watered-down paint is one of the common types of counterfeit supplies they use. Scammers also usually take your cash up front.
If you feel your contractor is untrustworthy, then you may need to have a conversation with them. Here are some signs you are working with a good contractor:
- They are willing to provide you with the requested information
- They give you a detailed written estimate
- They don’t ask for upfront payment
- They uphold the contractual agreement
- They openly communicate with you
4. “Your Garage Door Needs a Rebuild”
This scam occurs when a repair service says you need a hardware overhaul. They will then ask you to pay to replace everything from torsion springs to bearing brackets.
In reality, there may be nothing wrong with your equipment. Your garage hardware should last between 10 and 15 years, depending on maintenance. So, before overpaying, double-check that all parts are fully functioning.
Here are some garage door maintenance tips to keep your garage entryway running smoothly:
- Examine your rollers and tracks
- Tighten the hardware
- Check your cables and pulleys
- Test the door balance
- Test the auto-reverse feature
5. “We Can Upgrade Your Energy Efficiency with Our Cost-Effective Products”
With energy-efficient homes growing in popularity, these scams are more prevalent nowadays. Both reputable companies and con artists use this advertising approach. Your local public utility company can provide an energy audit on your home. Then, they may make recommendations for improvements.
Scammers will make a hard sell for specific products. They may try to convince you a deal only lasts for a certain amount of time. They may push products like additional insulation or a new storm window.
The key is to educate yourself on the quality and savings of these products. Before making any energy improvements, do background research on your service provider.
Here are some energy improvements for your home that can save you money:
- Change your lightbulbs to more efficient ones
- Install a smart thermostat
- Switch out light switches for dimmers
- Use smart outlets
- Add a smart fan
Avoid These Common Home Improvement Scams
Over time, your house receives a lot of wear and tear. Making home upgrades can enhance its visual appeal and keep your family safe.
But before diving into any projects, be sure to do your research on your service providers. Also, keep in mind these common home improvement scams to ensure you’re getting the best deal.