As the temperature outside starts to warm up, many homeowners begin to think of improvements that need to be made to their home, from roof repairs and replacement to siding, decks and interior remodeling. Sadly, the change in weather invariably brings an increase in home improvement contractor scams too. While the majority of roofers in New Jersey are hard-working and reputable, there are always a few willing to take advantage of unsuspecting homeowners in this way.
One of the most common techniques used by unscrupulous contractors to “get their foot in the door” is the unsolicited quote. A friendly worker knocks at your door, offering a bargain on his services or informing you that your roof appears to be damaged. Be suspicious – reputable contractors don’t need to advertise door-to-door to attract customers! Here are some additional key phrases that should tip you off to a possible scam.
1. “I’m working in your neighborhood.” This is a convenient way for the contractor to explain why he’s knocking at your door uninvited. Vet him by asking for the addresses of neighbors he’s been working for.
2. “I have materials left over from another job.” Experienced contractors will order the correct amount of material for each job, and likely won’t be selling off leftovers paid for by a previous customer.
3. “This offer is ends today.” Wise contractors present a detailed quote and allow you time to make weighty decisions related to home improvement without pressure. If he insists, ask for documentation of the offer, such as a flyer or a web advertisement.
4. “I need the cash up front.” This statement is a huge red flag: chances are good this contractor will take your money and disappear. Never pay in full before a job has been completed. Instead, establish a payment schedule that will keep the contractor motivated and allow you to see progress on your project.
Finally, it’s a good idea to get a few quotes on any home improvement project and compare prices and services. This will help you to choose the best contractor for your needs and budget. Up and Above Contractors has proudly served New Jersey’s Sussex, Warren & Morris counties since 1993, and would be pleased to offer you a FREE in-home consultation and estimate. Call Up and Above today at (973) 531-4225, and see what your neighbors are talking about!