Now that it is getting warmer, many of you are moving outside and tackling some home improvement projects you've been wanting to do. Be careful when hiring someone to do the work for you – exercise the "don't call us, we'll call you" rule.
It's happened to many – someone comes to your door offering a great deal on home improvement projects. But before you sign on the dotted line, do your homework.
"If someone comes knocking on your door instead of you contacting them, you are starting at square one," said Michele Mason of the Better Business Bureau. "You don't know anything about them."
In this situation, do not commit to hiring them right away. You want to get as much information about the company as possible before allowing them to do the work for you.
"If someone came by, you can either use your cell phone to check with the BBB, your iPad, or you can tell them to leave a card and you can check them out with the BBB and call them back if you are interested," Mason said.
Be leery of the "I just finished a job in your neighborhood" line.
"They just did a job down the road for a neighbor and they have leftover materials," explained Mason. "…and they can do a discounted job for you. Every time we hear of a paving scam, we hear that was said."
Bottom line – never enter into a contract with a company you have not checked out. Always read the contract carefully, and pay attention to the details.
"We have had people quoted a paving job in square feet instead of square yards," Mason said. "When they paved it, they may only have paved a third of the driveway and then demand thousands of dollars to complete it. It could be paved and never sealed, so the next time it rains, everything washes away."
Make sure you deal with a reputable company – check them out with the BBB and make sure everything is spelled out in a contract, including information specific to the job that is to be performed, what the job will cost, and a date of completion.
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