Dympna Fay-Hart
Serving Chicago Area Sellers & Buyers

(773) 230-3800

Send me a message

How To Spot A Home Improvement Scammer

Lately it seems I've seen more instances in social media and on television of unscrupulous remodeling and home repair contractors who are scamming consumers, especially the elderly.

If you are planning to do a major remodeling project or even a smaller repair on your home, it is always best to get a recommendation from a trusted source. 

If you don't have someone locally to ask, then you can always give me a call.  We know lots of reputable people and companies that provide great services of all kinds to homeowners in the Chicagoland area.

What are some of the signs that a home improvement contractor may be a scammer?  Well, they don't usually look like this guy . . . it would be nice if they did :-).

1. If they ask you to pay for the entire project cost up front.  When a contractor asks you to pay for the entire project up front before they start any work, then you should not hire them.  It is standard, however, for the contractor to require a down payment for materials and initial labor, and most of them will ask for a certain percentage of the estimated cost.  Depending on the job, how expensive it is, and how long it will take, the contractor may ask for periodic payments as the job progresses.

2. If they solicit your business by showing up at your door.  The contractor may come to your door and talk about the work they noticed needs to be done on your house.  This is a common scam technique, and unfortunately one that proves to be very successful.  You should be very cautious of anyone who just shows up at your door uninvited. 

3. If they offer you a limited-time deal and a short time to make a decision to get a special discount.  Reputable contractors may indeed offer you savings, but they won't be pushy and force you to make a decision on a short deadline.  If the deal sounds good, then take the time to check out the contractor's references before proceeding.

4. If they can't verify their contractor's credentials.  Ensure they have the proper licensing and insurance coverage. You don't want someone working on your house that does not have the legal credentials to do so.  Not only that, but if they do not have the proper insurance coverage, you could be liable for an accident they have while on your property.

And, above all . . . if you just don't feel right about them, or there is something about them that makes makes you uncomfortable, go with your gut.  Don't hire someone to work on your house if you are not 100% comfortable.