BBB warning homeowners to be aware of home improvement scams this spring

Renovation season may see financial hits via scams
Posted at 8:19 AM, Apr 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-29 10:37:44-04

BOISE, Ida. — Spring is in full swing and that means renovation season is here. The Better Business Bureau is warning homeowners who are looking to freshen up their space this season to watch out for potential scammers.

In 2018, there were nearly 450 home improvement scams across the United States reported to the BBB Scam Tracker. The scams led to almost $2,000,000 lost by homeowners. While these scams typically target homeowners, contractors who hire subcontractors to help with their work can be just as vulnerable.

In the Northwest and Pacific region, there have been more than 221 complaints made to BBB regarding general contractors. These complains ranged from contract issues to repair problems.

If you are doing major renovations, there's a chance you'll need a permit for the work. It's your contractors job to get the permit so it's a huge red flag if they tell you they don't need it. If you come across a contractor who is going door-to-door offering work, be skeptical. If you think you want to work with them, ask for their card and then shut the door. You can always research them later to see if it's a legitimate business.

There are simple things you can do to make sure you're hiring a trustworthy business. Start by making sure the company is properly licensed and insured. If you aren't sure your contractor is operating legally, visit the BBB website to see if their licensing and insurance is up to date. You should also ask for two to three references and call them to see what their customers have to say. Finally, get multiple estimates in writing so you can take time to review them.

For more information on avoiding scams and other tips, click here.