Home improvement fraud can happen when someone, who is not a reputable contractor is hired to perform work on a property. Home improvement fraud can happen in many ways including when a dishonest company does not fully complete a project it has been paid for.
Companies and individuals who are dishonest and commit home improvement fraud hurt consumers by not completing projects and also by leaving them with a negative inference of honest contractors.
There are certain measures a consumer can take to stop contractor fraud. This brings us to our Home Improvement Fraud Prevention Series. For the next week or so, we are going to post some blog articles on way to prevent home improvement fraud.
Let’s start with number one:
No. 1: Research
An outlet for consumers to use is the Attorney General’s contractor look-up. If a contractor has an HIC license it means they are insured and have registered with the Attorney General’s office (which is required by law in Pennsylvania). Click here to visit the contractor look-up page on the AG's website.
Perform some research on a contractor to see if it is worth them coming out to do an estimate. Look into their social media accounts, website, reviews, photos of previous work, etc.
It is important to note that just because a company does not have a website or social media accounts does not mean they are not reputable. Some contractors do not have the outlets, (such as an awesome, selfless, humble friend… cough, cough) to make websites, to optimize their websites, or even to make social media platforms.
If a company does not have a website, you can ask them to see pictures of previous work or to ask them for references. A conversation about your upcoming project can introduce you to their contracting experience.
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This is where we show pictures of our recent work. Also where you can see my constant struggle to get our contractors to take pretty pictures.