Beware of Home Improvement Scams

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Beware of Home Improvement Scams

Consumer Reports urges homeowners to do their homework before hiring a kitchen remodeling general contractor or any construction company in Pompano Beach.

Here are tips from Consumer Reports on how you should proceed when you are hiring a professional to work on your home – whether you are shopping for a custom homes construction company or someone who can handle outdoor kitchen construction:

Check the Better Business Bureau.  Find out whether the contractor has a report at the BBB. If it does, don’t pay attention to just the letter grade the BBB has given the company. Also review the number and types of complaints, if any, and look for reports of government actions.

Search for complaints and reviews. Try a web search with the company and contractor name and such words as “complaints” and “reviews.”

Check your state’s law.  Review your state’s laws and regulations governing home improvement contractors. You typically can find them on your state’s consumer protection website, along with advice. Some states, for example, require contractors to be licensed or registered. Some also give consumers a three-day right to cancel a contract with a contractor.

Beware of cold calls. Avoid doing business with a contractor that contacts you unsolicitedly by telephone, mail, e-mail, or by going door-to-door. Don’t fall for the old scam in which a contractor says he’s offering a great deal because he has materials left over from another job.

Get references. Ask the contractor to provide references from at least three past jobs. Contact the former customers to find out how the work is holding up. Read our report “Find a Contractor Who Won’t Rip You Off or Ruin Your Project” for our advice on the questions you should ask when checking references. Or better yet, get referrals from friends and family.

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