Summer is a peak time for home improvement projects and Better Business Bureau is arming consumers with tools to avoid common remodeling troubles. According to BBB's second quarter statistics (April through June 2010), the following home improvement categories were among BBB's most inquired-about-industries:
Contractors – General
Construction & Remodeling Services
Alaska's top 20 most-inquired-about industries
Oregon's top 20 most-inquired-about industries
Western Washington's top 20 most-inquired-about industries
Common Scams. BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington warns of:
- "Traveling Handymen" - Beware of unknown solicitors who show up at the doorstep promising home or yard repair for a low day rate. They may ask for money up-front, and then disappear—leaving jobs incomplete.
- "Extra Materials" - Don't trust repair solicitors who claim they've got leftover materials from working on a neighbor's home. They guarantee a good deal and perform the work, but then demand a higher payment. In other scams, they collect a full payment and ditch out mid-project.
- "#1 Contractor" - Be careful with contractors who embellish qualifications, but aren't properly licensed or offer poor workmanship.
Caution Signs. Steer clear of contractors and remodelers that:
- Use high pressure sales tactics and aggressive limited time offers.
- Show up on foot or in unmarked vehicles. Legitimate repair businesses usually use trucks featuring their company logo or decal.
- Refuse to provide a written bid or estimate.
- Demand a full payment up-front.
Home Improvement Tips. Do research first.