All sorts of scams exist in the world, but one of the biggest types involves the so-called “contractor.” Some of these scams are carried out by people claiming to be home improvement professionals taking advantage of unsuspecting homeowners. Other scams come in the form of shady business practices or shoddy work. While a majority of contractors are legit, it’s important to note that not all of them are. So, how are homeowners and commercial building owners supposed to protect themselves from contracting scams? Below are six tips to help you avoid being scammed by a dishonest general contractor in Fort Worth, TX:
- Be wary of door-to-door reps: Sometimes you find flyers for residential services left on your doorstep, but it’s also common for a service salesperson to actually knock on doors. Door-to-door sales tactics do not always equal fraud, but keep in mind that building contractors typically don’t do unsolicited sales pitches. Hear them out if you want, and feel free to take a brochure, but never sign anything or give any money up front.
- Hire a local contractor: There are good reasons to hire a local contractor. First, it gives jobs to people living in your own community. It also means that the contractor is more likely to have ties with local building material suppliers. The easiest way to find out if the contractor truly does business in the local area is to verify that they have a physical address, rather than a P.O. Box.
- Don’t give money up front: Seasoned scammers are smooth, fast talkers, and before you know it, they have you convinced you’re getting a phenomenal deal on services and materials. Once they have you in their grasp, they’ll tell you they need a partial cash or check payment up front in order to secure the special offer. Don’t do it!
- Check business certifications: Before choosing a general contractor to work with, take the time to check out their business credentials and their standing with the Better Business Bureau. The quickest way to do this is by searching the company’s name and owner. You might even consider using specific keywords like fraud, scams and bad ratings. While you’re online, see what past clients of the business have to say, and if any comments include specific complaints.
- Contact references: Once you have a short list of possible contractors, request references from each. This sounds time consuming, but it’s worth it to ensure you’re hiring a good company. Some people even get references of suppliers that regularly work with the contractor. The goal here is to find out whether references would recommend the contractor or not.
- Make sure they’re insured: Be absolutely sure you are hiring a contracting team that is licensed, bonded and insured. Legit businesses will have up-to-date liability insurance or worker’s compensation to cover their employees in the event of injury while on your property. Without this type of company coverage, you could be stuck with an injured worker’s medical bills, and may potentially even find yourself at the center of a lawsuit.
If you’re looking for a general contractor in Fort Worth, TX, contact The RockAway Company to learn more about our services!
Categorised in: Contractors