The Cost of Home Improvement Fraud & Scams

Handyman Matters is here to help you love your home and with that comes protecting our customers and their homes. Fraud is a big deal in the home improvement industry. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission estimates that Americans lost more than $4.1 billion to fraud and scams in the last 5 years alone. Those numbers are terrifying for any homeowner.

The home improvement industry is a $200 billion industry each year and poor workmanship is the number one fear that homeowners have when hiring a contractor. We have put together some tips to help you make an informed decision the next time you’re looking to hire a contractor for home improvements.

  • How to not become a victim:
    • Thoroughly research any contractor or handyman company before doing business with them
    • Make sure they are bonded and insured
    • Check out any online reviews to ensure other customers have had good experiences. One can learn a lot from reviews, as well as how a company responds to reviews, good or bad!
    • It is also a good idea to take a look at the Better Business Bureau for any reviews and to make sure the company is in good standing.
  • When interviewing a contractor follow these guidelines:
    • Get the contractors full contact information
    • Make sure the contractor is appropriately insured, licensed and bonded in your state
    • Ask how much experience the contractor has
    • Ask for the contractor to break down the estimate by costs
    • Ask when the contractor will be able to start and how long the project will take to complete
    • Ask the contractor if they will be using sub-contractors. Make sure those workers are properly licensed, bonded and insured
    • Ask the contractor if they have a warranty on their work
  • Once you have selected a contractor:
    • Always get a written and signed quote for the job no matter how big or small it is. Collaborate directly with contractor for any possible change orders if it becomes necessary.
    • If a building permit is necessary, have the contractor secure it in their name
    • If you are dealing with an insurance claim, check with your insurance company to see if an inspection needs to be done prior to the start of the project.
    • Pay for the job with a credit card or check and get a receipt. Never pay in cash.
    • Do not pay for the job up front. Ask to be billed after it’s completed. Or if it’s a deposit for a larger job, just ensure to get a receipt.

It is important to research a contractor or company before having them work on your home. Handyman Matters can do it all, and we can back it up. We are trusted, licensed and guaranteed.