Common Home Renovation Scams
One of the downsides of home ownership is the constant upkeep of your property. But hey, it’s worth a lot of money so it ultimately pays off. Not all of us were born with hammers in our hands and unscrupulous people try to take advantage of this. Here are some of the most common home renovation scams and how to avoid them.
The Door To Door Game
One of the most common renovation scams is the door to door “contractor” who says that they’re in the area and if you sign a work order you can get the work done cheap. Variations include chipping in with your neighbour to get the front porch roof re-shingled or the shared driveway repaved.
Another scam is when they offer to inspect your furnace, chimney or roof for free and then find major problems with it which entails expensive repair work. They always have a contract on hand. Funny that.
The Disappearing Contractor
Never let a contractor talk you into providing large down payments to cover the purchase of materials, advance payments or 50% at the start and 50% at the finish. A reputable contractor should always provide their own materials. Always keep down payments to around 10% and never complete payment until the job is done and the permits are closed.
The Cash Deal
It might save you the tax up front but it could cost you plenty further down the road especially if there’s no paperwork to match the job and you need to get it redone because it was done badly.
The Paper Free Trail
No contracts, no estimates, no procurement orders, no permits, no insurance, no nothing.
From getting bombarded with flyers in your mailbox to door knockers and hawkers the scammers are out there in force. Even the best of us can be taken in. There are a couple of simple things that will deter most of them though.
- If you are not expecting them don’t let them in.
- Never let them talk you into starting work immediately
- Always get three quotes for any work. Quotes are free.
- Ask for ID, City License no., Proof of Insurance and past references.
- Google them if you need the work to get done.
- Never give more than 10% as a down.
If you are considering renovations read this page about your choices.