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.)