1549 South 300 West Salt Lake City, Utah 84115

Don’t Get Scammed by Contractors

July 11, 2023

Don’t Get Scammed by Contractors

Home improvement often comes with an element of stress, especially for larger, costly projects. Quality handiwork is always worth its weight in gold, but how do you know you’re getting a quality contractor to do the job? Here are some signs to watch out for to avoid getting scammed.

  1. You’ve never heard of the company, or they have bad reviews. Some start-ups may be high quality and reputable, but you still need to be careful before hiring them without vetting them first. If their business is nowhere online, be skeptical. And, if they have many poor reviews, that’s also a bad sign. But, it’s equally important to be wary of nothing but five-star reviews that sound scripted. You want genuine comments and some proof of their workmanship. Word of mouth is a great way to find out more about a company, so ask for referrals if you’re not finding what you want online.
  2. Their estimate is drastically lower (or higher) than others. For most work in your home, you will benefit from getting a few estimates from reputable companies. If you’re truly getting the same service quoted, they should not come back drastically different. (Naturally, if you’re bidding out custom wood cabinetry in the kitchen vs stock compressed wood, you’ll see a dramatic difference.) Make sure the estimate is thorough and includes everything you’re asking for.
  3. Someone knocks on your door saying they’re in the area working on another job and they’re offering deals for quick or immediate jobs. They may also say they have leftover product from a neighbor’s job, which is not a common procedure for a high-end contractor or woodworker. This is typically a red flag, and you should probably decline their “offer.”
  4. The person you’re considering hiring asks you to get the required building permits for the job. If you’re doing substantial work that requires a permit, your contractor should know what permits you need and how to access them. They won’t ask you to do this unless you’re collaborating on the project and you’ve had experience in this area as well.
  5. They’re not licensed and insured. Whoever is working on your house, no matter what the project is, should be licensed and insured. You can check with the state to confirm a contractor’s license, and you’ll want to ask the contractor to show you proof of insurance. If they don’t have this, it’s not a great idea to hire them to work in your home.
  6. The company asks for the entire payment up front. No reputable company will ask you to pay an entire construction job up front. They will likely require a deposit and some payments as the projects develops, but if a company you’re considering demands payment in full before they’ll start the project, that is a good reason to walk away. In fact, some states actually limit the amount a contactor can ask for as a downpayment as a way of protecting consumers.

When it comes to your home, it’s important to feel good about your investments. For high-quality, honest custom woodworking in Utah, contact Swirl Woodcraft.