This is the time of the year they come out of the woodwork. Scammers knocking door to door with promises of quality work for exceptionally low prices. The scams often include driveway repaving, chimney repairs, ductwork cleaning, and roofing scams. Toss a criminal handy man in there and you end up missing a jewelry box or wallet.
It doesn’t take much for a contractor to appear legitimate. A simple uniform, business card, truck lettering and a 4 color brochure will easily give the impression of legitimacy. And they may be legitimate, but that doesn’t mean you should just fork over a down payment.
Always do business with someone you know, like, and trust based on a referral. Consider well known brands that often vet out contractors/employees and have zero tolerance policies for shoddy work.
The Better Business Bureau is a great resource for consumers looking to deal with reputable companies. This is your best resource. Look them up on the local BBB website and search the internet to see if there are complaints
Get at least 3 bids to see who has the right price, and that may not be the cheapest either.
Confirm they are properly licensed and insured. In Boston, the Boston Herald reports “state Division of Professional Licensure said it conducted a sting in which it contacted electricians who advertised on Craigslist but did not include a license number, and asked them to come to a home to install a light fixture or socket. When the contractors arrived, officials say they were asked by state investigators posing as the homeowners to produce license information. Officials said some of the unlicensed electricians did not use their last names or demanded cash for payment.”
Get and check references.
Never provide a deposit of more than 25% and never give that deposit until the day they show to do the job.
Find out what kind of warranty they have and get it in writing.