Having a remodeling project done on your home is exciting – and SCARY! Your home is very likely your single biggest investment in life. Adding to and protecting that investment is, rightly, a very serious matter. There are plenty of scam operators out there just waiting to take your money and leave you with a mess. How do you make sure you are getting the best products and workmanship for your dollar?
How do you select a contractor who will not only give you everything promised, but also be there for you long term to give you the proper service you might need down the road? K-Designers, a national home remodeling industry leader, offers the following tips for how to avoid the scams and come away from your remodeling experience with the home of your dreams (without headaches or hassles.)
Do your homework. If you are considering a specific type of home remodeling project, you should really take the time to study your options. A contractor with integrity and experience will help you do your homework, showing you several different product options and explaining the benefits and drawbacks of each. Whether you do the research yourself or ask the companies who come to give you bids, the following questions should be on your list to avoid being the victim of a scam:
What is the warranty on the product and how does it compare with industry standards?
What is the relationship between the contractor and the manufacturer?
How long has the manufacturer been in business and what is their reputation for warranty service?
Who actually performs the work?
Does the contractor use certified installers?
How many other homes already have this product installed and what is the track record?
Does the company offer a warranty on the labor as well as the product, and if so, how does it compare with industry standards?
Are they asking for a significant amount of money up front? (Note that if a company is in good financial condition and does great work, they shouldn’t need your money up front to complete the work. A great contractor will know you will happily pay for a job well-done after the work is complete. A scam operator wants your money before delivering anything and then substantial advances during the project.)
IMPORTANT! Find out more about the contractor. Call the Better Business Bureau (or visit bbb.org) and your state/local Contractors’ License Board. These are the most reliable source for an unbiased report about the reputation of a particular remodeling contractor.