Avoiding the potential of contractor fraud is about as easy as escaping from Alcatraz Island in the 1930’s. While we’ve previously touched upon the subject of home improvement contractor questions you should ask, we’d like to focus a bit more in-depth on avoiding those fraudulent souls determined to rip you off.
So how can you ensure that you won’t become a victim of contractor fraud? It all starts with the hiring process.
You’re Hired … Or Maybe Not
Avoiding contractor fraud starts during the hiring process. You may feel a bit overwhelmed at first, especially if a fast-talking company sales rep is your initial point of contact. Which by the way, is how the process works. Once you’re sitting at your kitchen table with a prospective contractor you need to ask the following questions:
- Ask the contractor if he hires and trains his own employees or if he subcontracts the work. If he does happen to subcontract the project, does the contractor really know the subcontractors? Does he constantly check up on them or does he disappear once the contract has been signed and a handshake has occurred? While subcontracting isn’t necessarily a bad thing, you need to make sure those workers are legitimate and properly managed.
- Does the contractor have work he can show you that’s fairly old? He should. Don’t be fooled with photographs that only showcase recently completely projects. Of course they look amazing; the paint has barely dried. You want to be confident that projects completed on your home will hold up a decade from now and beyond.
- Does he carry all the proper licenses? Make sure to see copies of these licenses yourself. A verbal “yes” isn’t sufficient.
- Does the contractor have all the tools and proper building materials to complete the project? Moreover, is the finished project going to pass a final inspection to meet building code? A great way to attain these answers is from past customers who have worked with this contractor.
Here’s an additional tip for avoiding contractor fraud: even if you get a great referral from a friend or a family member you still must do your homework. We here at HomeProHub hear from homeowners all the time who have had projects end in disarray even though the contractor was a “trusted” referral.
Why You Need a Watchdog
So now you know a few questions to ask and items to look for. But here’s the reality. You could still end up being a victim of contractor fraud. No matter how much homework you do, you’re still leaving it up to chance that a home improvement contractor isn’t going to cut corners on your project. What you need is a watchdog in your corner to ensure you only work with the best professionals around and that those professionals are continually monitored.
This is where the HomeProHub Referral Service can make a world of difference. They have already vetted the contractors for you through an intense certification system. This means that only fully licensed and proven contractors will work on your home. Period. You’ll no longer have restless night while wondering if your contractor really is who he says he is.
Having a watchdog in your corner is critical. They’ll make sure the contractor isn’t cutting corners, both during the installation and after. Beside, how would you really know if a contractor was doing something shady unless you just happen to be an industry expert? The HomeProHub service makes sure everything is completed in a professional manner by constantly monitoring all the contractors in their network. This means even following up with projects long after they are completed to make sure the homeowner is 100% happy.
You don’t have to worry about contractor fraud if you have home industry experts in your corner you can trust. Contact a consultant today so you can have a watchdog on your side for once.