According to the Census Bureau, 30% of remodeling activity was major additions and alterations, 40% was for minor additions and alterations, and 30% was for maintenance and repairs. Homeowners will always need professional assistance. Unfortunately, there are all kinds of property issues that come up and unless the owner is well versed in all of these skilled aspects, they will likely need help from experienced contractors. Whether it’s driveway repair, plumbing care, or landscaping help, professional contractors should be a homeowner’s first call when anything is wrong with the property.
These contractors don’t always offer the best quality work, however. Approximately 69% of homeowners have stated that poor contractor performance is the single biggest reason for project underperformance. When criminal scammers come into play, on the other hand, underperformance isn’t the issue, it’s paying for no performance.
There have been numerous household improvement and landscaping contractors scams across the United States in recent months — here are a few that have caused the most financial and personal distress:
Colorado roofing contractor scams
According to KDVR, since Colorado is currently ranked number two in the country for the number of insurance claims filed due to property damage from hailstorms, there are all kinds of roofing scams occurring across the state. An Aurora homeowner lost out on $4,500 after cutting a check to a roofing contractor that ended up never repairing a damaged roof. Due to the seriousness of scams like this, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and other companies and nonprofit organizations are even working together to fight roofing contractor scams with a new public education campaign called “No Roof Scams.”
Indiana water heater repair scam
The Courier and Press reports that Dolores Bryant of Evansville is just one of many victims involved in a string of contractor scams. An insurance adjuster gave Bryant a list of approved providers to repair the water heater in her basement after it flooded her home.
She selected one contractor and provided $16,500 cash (half the amount of the total job cost) to Remodeling Services and Complete Restoration (RSCR). Several weeks later she added even more work to the contract, which involved painting the walls and installing new kitchen flooring and updating the bathrooms. She gave RSCR another payment of $8,500.
After almost a year, none of that work has been handled and she is out all that money.
“I guess I’m just lucky that I haven’t lost more than I did,” Bryant said. “I’m going to let my insurance company know about this.”
Arizona landscaping scam
Landscaping projects can increase a property’s resale value by 14%, so homeowners are always looking for ways to improve the look of their outdoor properties. According to Tucson News Now, a public landscaping scam is impacting neighborhoods across the city. Oro Valley Police are investigating four reports of landscaping scams across the Copper Creek neighborhood and more neighborhoods in Pima County.
Lt. Hicks of the Oro Valley Police state that a man is going door to door offering to do landscaping work for an upfront price. One victim paid the man $200 to simply clean up weeds, but the suspect took the cash and then immediately left.
“I feel violated, like I’m a victim. It’s horrible,” said Stephen Williams.
No matter what kind of property repair or improvement job you’re in need of, make sure that you’re working with a credible and experienced group of contractors. Don’t let these scammers cause any personal or financial stress in your life.