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It might be a remodeling scam if ...

There are warning signs, say experts, that your remodeling contractor may be a scam artist -- or may simply be shoddy at what they do.

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Here are some signs.

You may be a scam target if your would-be contractor:

  • solicits door-to-door
  • offers you a deal on materials from another job
  • only accepts cash
  • needs a commitment today
  • trys to push to sign a contract
  • offers a special low rate because the job is a "demo" or will be used in advertising
  • isn't listed in the telephone book
  • phone calls only lead to voice mail or answering machine
  • fails to provide references and credentials or can't verify references and credentials
  • unverifiable business license and insurance
  • offers to cut his price if you find him other customers
  • wants you to pay for the entire job upfront
  • wants you to pay a salesperson instead of the company
  • offers an unusually long guarantee
  • wants you to get the building permits

If you've noticed any of these red flags and are seeking a reputable contractor, check out How to hire a contractor.

-- Updated: June 21, 2002

See Also
Home remodeling scam busters
Remodeling projects that pay off
Time to tap your home's equity?
More home equity stories

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