Top Contractor Scams to Avoid
Although there are hardworking, honest professionals in the construction industry, there are scammers too. Unfortunately, even scammers seem like legit contractors. To avoid being scammed, it’s wise to know the top contractor scams to avoid.
Need for Money Upfront
This is a common contractor scam that you should avoid. A contractor will argue that they need money to rent earth movers and buy materials in order to start working on your project. Some will ask you to pay between 30 and 50% of the price of the project upfront. Unfortunately, if the contractor is a scammer, you will never see or hear from them again.
To avoid this, avoid paying more than 10% upfront for a construction project. That is the legal maximum required by most states. It’s also sufficient to establish that you are a serious client.
Take My Word for It
On meeting a contractor for the first time, they might be very agreeable in regards to doing what you specify. They can even suggest extra upgrades and touches. Some of these details might not feature in the written contract agreement. It’s easy to be tempted to assume that this doesn’t matter because your verbal understanding with the contractor is clear.
However, the contractor may not include the discussed extras after sometime. On confronting the contractor, they will simply tell you that they were not included in the contract. That means you will either have your house built without them or spend more money to have them built.
No Need for a Permit
Significant construction projects require building permits. This enables building officials to come to your site periodically in order to ascertain that the work being done complies with safety codes. It’s the contractor who should get the permit because they are the one to do the job. If a contractor tells you that your project doesn’t need a permit yet it is major, avoid working with them.
Other contractor scams to avoid include being told that a contractor ran into unpredictable problems that need more money to solve. Others may ask you to buy building materials from them. If you come across such scams, look for another contractor.