Is cheapest the best? When it comes to home improvements, price shouldn't be your only consideration. When choosing a contractor, credentials, workmanship, reliability and references should be equally important.
When it's time for a home fix-up, there are plenty of reputable contractors, repairmen and handymen from which to choose. However, the fly-by-night, here-today-gone-tomorrow, door-to-door types usually aren't trustworthy. Unfortunately, each year many people find this out the hard way, according to a national survey conducted jointly by the National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators and the Consumer Federation of America. Based on a survey of consumer agencies across the nation, complaints about home improvements was listed as the top concern.
In fact, 59 percent of the consumer agencies that responded to the survey listed home improvements as a major complaint category. Some of the complains included door-to-door paving scams, faulty workmanship, unfinished jobs and inflated bills. In one of the more common scams, door-to-door salesmen offer low-cost improvements such as driveway coating and roof repairs because they claim to have leftover material from other jobs. In many cases, the salesperson pressures the victim to pay in advance, and then never returns to do the work. Other times, the work is shoddy and the material is inferior. Still other times, the swindler claims to have used more material than originally anticipated and the final cost greatly exceeds the original price quote. There even have been reports of con artists
driving their victims to the bank and pressuring them to withdraw money to pay for the job.
Another problem uncovered by the survey: Respondents ranked home repair contractors as the most likely of all companies to go out of business. This poses a major problem because companies that go out of business often leave customers with no recourse after they have made a
deposit for a good or service.
Getting the word out about scams will help curb deceptive practices and steer money to legitimate businesses. Here are a list of tips that will help you choose a reputable contractor and avoid becoming a victim:
Administrative offices: West Volusia 386-736-5961 Daytona Beach 386-254-4689 New Smyrna Beach 386-423-3352
Non-emergency dispatch numbers: DeLand 386-943-8276 Daytona Beach 386-239-8276 New Smyrna Beach 386-409-8276 Osteen 407-323-0151