Tips to Avoid Home Repair Fraud
- Get more than one estimate and get them in writing.
- Watch out for high pressure sales tactics and prices that seem "too
good to be true."
- Know your contractor, check references and the Better Business Bureau.
- Look at completed job (workmanship) and ask for proof of insurance.
- Inspect your contract carefully. Make sure it includes:
- the contractor's full name, address and telephone number
- a detailed description of the work to be performed
- starting and estimated completion dates
- total cost of work including charges for estimates or changes
- schedule and method of payment including down payment, subsequent payments and final payment
- who is responsible for obtaining required permits
- DO NOT sign a contract that has blank spaces or anything that you do not understand.
- Find out whether the contractor guarantees his or her work and products.
- Get lien waivers. This protects you or your property in the event a general contractor fails to pay subcontractors or materials suppliers.
- Don't make final payment until you are satisfied and all required inspections have passed.
- Remember, you have three business days to cancel any contract if the sale is made and signed at your home. The contractor cannot take this right away from you by initiating work, selling your contract to a lender, or any other tactic.
More information can be found at the
Illinois States Attorney Web Site.