No one wants to be taken advantage of, especially when it comes to home improvement projects. It's important to take the necessary steps to protect yourself from contractor scams and ensure that you get the best value for your money. The best way to prevent a contractor from ripping you off is to do your research and be prepared. Spend time on contract details early in the process and make sure that the contract is extremely detailed.
List the products by name and serial number, include a schedule for project completion, and establish a progressive payment schedule. Don't be afraid to negotiate changes to the initial contract you receive from the remodeling company. When evaluating different contractors, pay attention to how they communicate with you, how comprehensive their estimates are, and how inclusive they are. GreatBuildz is a free service that connects homeowners with trusted, carefully selected general contractors and supports the project from start to finish.
If you have a problem with your home improvement project, first try to resolve it with the contractor. Many disputes can be resolved at this level. Follow any telephone conversation with a letter you send by certified mail. That's proof that the company received your letter.
Keep a copy for your files. If it's obvious that you're dealing with a bad contractor who demands more money or overcharges, you have the right to report the contractor or file a claim with your Bond or the contractor's state licensing board and even decide to file a lawsuit. In extreme cases, the contractor may owe you more than the state limit for small claims. You may also feel more confident hiring an experienced lawyer. Another dispute may arise with the contractor when the owner agrees that an additional item is needed, but feels that the contractor's price is too high.
You can file a case in small claims court if you think a contractor has shorted it or left it in the sawdust. In addition, you can decide to fire your contractor and bring in a new one to finish the remodel, but keep in mind that this could lead to a budget dispute. Check out articles and videos from home improvement expert Danny Lipford to learn how to select the right contractor for your next job and avoid getting ripped off.