How to Spot a Scammy Contractor in Delray Beach, Florida
The importance of keeping your home safe and sound cannot be understated, especially when it comes to repairs and remodeling. The last thing you need during an expensive project is to have a contractor that overcharges you, scams you, or simply just doesn’t do a good job. Getting into remodeling can be scary, and the last thing you want to be worrying about is whether your contractor is legitimate or not.
Thankfully there are a few tell-tale signs that a contractor is shady, especially in Delray Beach:
Demanding Money Upfront
Never pay a contractor before they’ve completed their work to your satisfaction. If a company or person asks for money before they’ve even begun the job, that’s a major red flag. Scammers will try and make a series of excuses: that it’s for their security, that they need the money to purchase the materials, or that it’s standard procedure. Don’t believe them.
A genuine contractor will never ask for money at the start of the job. They’ll want you to be satisfied with their work and only afterward will payment be discussed. Now, if a contractor requires a deposit, that’s another story, especially for a really big job. However, never pay more than $1,000 or 10% of the job upfront.
Asking for Sensitive Personal Information
If a contractor approaches you and needs your bank account information or your social security number before you’ve drawn up a contract and begun work, or you find that old IDs or sensitive files have gone missing during your home remodel — you may become a victim of identity theft. Make sure that throughout the renovation process you’re monitoring your credit with all three bureaus, or you hire a credit monitoring service to do it for you.
Not Providing a Contract
Many contractors are self-employed and perhaps don’t have the money for lawyers to draw up serious contracts. However, if yours insists there doesn’t need to be a contract– or just a verbal one is fine by them, you may want to hire someone else. If they don’t complete the work, or refuse to complete work that was in the scope of your project you’ll need to take them to court. if you need to go to court, a verbal contract is difficult to prove. Anything in writing, even the bare minimum of writing down the work being provided for a certain sum is legally binding. If they won’t draw up a contract, you can write your own. If they won’t sign it, that will tell you all you need to know about them as a businessman. Shop elsewhere!
No License, No Permit
All contractors need to be licensed in the state of Florida in order to perform work. Anyone who says they’re working on getting their license or doesn’t have one yet is not someone you want working on your home. To become a licensed contractor in Florida, contractors are required to pass two examinations, one in business and finance and one focused on their trade.
Likewise, permits are highly regulated. It’s the contractor’s responsibility to make sure they have all the necessary permits to perform their work on your property. This may involve applying for and paying for multiple permits depending on the project. If they say a permit isn’t needed, but you feel it is, make sure to look it up or inquire with your local office.
Unforeseen Problems Mean More Money
Anyone who has watched any home renovation show knows unexpected issues and costs happen. It’s sometimes an inevitability. Should this occur, make sure your contractor tells you every single detail and gives multiple options. If you feel that something is off or not right, trust your gut. Seek a second or third opinion and think about it logically. Sometimes an unsavory contractor will low ball you initially for the whole job because they know they can up-charge you later on once they “discover” a sudden never-before-seen issue that they definitely knew about.
Most contractors are legitimate and want to help you complete your project. However, with these tips on how to spot the bad ones, you’ll be able to avoid a scammer in Delray Beach when you decide to remodel your home.
Let us do your next renovation project. David Shoultz, and his team at Beachfront Builders located in Delray Beach, do all kinds of construction from remodels, flips, renovations, and new construction. Furthermore, his wife Ivana Shoultz and her company Beachfront Properties handle all of the design and real estate portions for each project. They work together to help you find any home, and make it your very own. This is our passion, we live here locally and would love to help you. So, Contact us if you’re interested in finding that perfect #beachfront winter getaway and we’ll help make that dream a reality.
Beachfront Builders. We are local, Licensed and Insured Contractors that offer a unique style of building. Uniquely, we do this by focusing on luxury, sustainability and using the latest technology to build your dream home. Not to mention, we work with the best Architects and Interior Designers to design your dream home and build them exactly the way you want. Therefore, we pride ourselves on all of the various small details and try our hardest to make this process, an enjoyable and great experience for everybody.