The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (www.nari.org) is offering tips for homeowners affected by Hurricane Sandy to avoid home repair scams.
Before paying a worker or allowing one into your home NARI suggests that a homeowner: • Get the name and address of the company that person allegedly represents;• Get all details of the offer in writing and carefully review it. Be sure you understand everything in the contract and that any verbal promises made are included in the contract;• Determine how long the company has been in business and call organizations with which the contractor is affiliated, such as NARI or other trade associations, to determine the firm's legitimacy;• Ask for references and contact each one; and• Remember that any legitimate company that wants your business will be more than willing to allow you the time to do your homework. Don't fall prey to high-pressure tactics such as "this is the only chance you have" or "by tomorrow the extra materials will be gone."
Homeowners should be especially skeptical if a worker:• Comes to your door unsolicited;• Uses high-pressure sales tactics;• Requests full payment before completing the work;• Gives a post office box without a street address or phone number;• Promises to begin and complete the work more quickly and cheaply than any other company; or• Says they just finished work on your neighbor's house and have just enough materials to do repair work on yours.
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