Protect Your Home From Scammers

Dated: August 29 2019

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Most homeowners begin remodeling projects just after moving into their new home or right before the're getting ready to list their home . In either case, you don't want to fall prey to unethical remodeling contractors. While the majority of home re-modelers are reliable and hard-working, be sure to choose a company that is well established in your area and is a member in good standing with the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). 


Here are 5 ways to avoid hiring a scammer, according to HousingLogic.com:

  1. Be careful not to prepay more than $1,000 or 10% of the total job cost, whichever is less. A professional re-modeler with good credit in the community shouldn't need to ask for prepayment for the cost of materials.

  2. Insist on a written contract. Verbal agreements sealed with a handshake can lead to misunderstandings and disappointments if the completed project falls short of your expectations.

  3. Be sure that your contractor applies for the required building permits. Unlicensed contractors may try to avoid pulling permits on small interior jobs that aren't visible from the outside, but it's for your own protection to ensure the work is up to code and passes independent inspection. 

  4. Some contractors intentionally underbid jobs and then make excuses why there are delays or cost-overruns. Whether initiated by you or the contractor, put any chance orders in writing.

  5. Avoid the temptation to hire a contractor who is selling surplus materials leftover from another job in the neighborhood. Most often this scam is perpetrated by driveway paving companies, storm-damage roofers and landscapers with extra plants. It's better to take the time to check contractors' references and make sure they do quality work.

A great resource for checking references and seeing who your local neighbors have trusted and used isNextdoor.com. You can search for a wide variety of contractors and vendors local to you, and see if your neighbors rated their work and if they would recommend them.
I also have a list of GREAT vendors that I've worked with for many years now and would highly recommend to any of my clients. If you're in need of a roof repair, remodel, pest work, termite troubles, landscaping, or pool cleaning, I'd be more than happy to recommend a few contractors and help get you started on a great home improvement project.
Leave a comment if you've worked with a reliable vendor who did a great job on your home! Be sure to include the vendor's name, company, and best contact number, if you can. Always keep in mind these 5 points when vetting your next contractor!

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Rachel Librach - CalDRE #02081922

I understand that buying a home can often times be one of the biggest financial decisions of a person's life. Not only can the whole process seem stressful, emotional, and time consuming, but if you a....

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