How To Protect Yourself Against Fraudulent Home Improvement Contractors

stock-photo-17128627-unfinished-basementHaving to hire a contractor to come and repair a leak in your basement can be a headache. There are many companies or sole contractors that will not only do shoddy work in your home, but will give you an estimate that may get you thinking whether you need the repair or not.

We, at Pioneer Basement Solutions, are a company that has been in business since 1979 with an outstanding customer service background. We are an accredited member with an A+ rating of the BBB. We offer references for you to check, and offer you a free estimate to provide you with the peace of mind you need when making a decision of this kind.

Regardless of which company you choose, there are many things you have to do to guard against being the victim of those disreputable or fraudulent home improvement contractors. Read more about this topic by following the links below.

How do you take the con out of a home improvement contract

To guard against hiring a disreputable or fraudulent home improvement contractor, you should:

  • Never enter into a repair or improvement project without a written contract that includes a start and finish date and a three-day-right to cancel notice.
  • Never sign a blank contract, or one that does not include all the costs and supplies.
  • Never hire a contractor who does not have a business card or local phone number and address. The business should have an actual physical address, not just a P.O. Box.
  • Never hire a contractor who refuses to give you names and phone numbers of references.
  • Never make final payment until you are completely satisfied with the work.
  • Never feel pressured by contractors who make special or limited price offers.

What should be in my contract before work is performed on my home?

  • A written contract that includes the type, quality and warranty of materials to be used and outlines all the financial terms and payment schedules. Do not pay for the entire job up front. Include a penalty clause in the contract for failure to complete work on time.
  • A complete description of the work to be done and a guarantee that old materials and debris will be removed. Insist that the workplace remains clean and safe for the duration of the project
  • That all necessary permits are secured by the contractor and that they have proper liability and compensation insurance. Contact your local building codes officer if you have questions or if you have concerns regarding the quality of work performed.
  • I always encourage consumers to shop around and get at least three written estimates for the same work before selecting a contractor. A small amount of research can eliminate big problems when hiring a contractor to perform home improvement projects.


If you want a new roof, porch, kitchen cabinets or other home improvements, what

should you do?

1.Get written estimates from at least two different contractors whom you call. It is worth the work! Do not respond to mail or telephone solicitors. If all you want is a new gate, do not get talked into roofing and stucco just because the salesman is pushy.

2.If you get a loan to do the remodeling, do not let the contractor finance the job. Talk to different lenders. Be sure to pin them down at the start in writing on the Annual Percentage Interest Rate, points, fees, monthly payments and if there is a balloon payment at the  end. You are not required to get credit insurance. Have an

attorney review the papers before you sign. The Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles can usually review documents, free of charge, within 3 days.

3.Call the Contractor’s License Board at (800) 321-2752 to see if the contractor is licensed. Never hire unlicensed contractors.

4.Make sure everything you want the contractor to do is in the written contract. Use extra paper. We can provide examples of good contracts.

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