MILWAUKEE -- Now that the snow is melting and we are venturing outdoors, we may find that it is time to hire a contractor to repair the damage left by old man winter. Before you pay money or agree to any work, there are a few things that you may want to do to avoid getting taken advantage of.
Watch out for contractors who show up unannounced, trying to convince you of a problem that they can fix on the spot at a cheap price.
Many of these “drive by” contractors have been known to scam consumers by performing shoddy work and then leaving town. If possible, try to get referrals from others who have used contractors in your area.
Before getting estimates, check out reputations with consumer agencies, online reviews and court records.
Get more than one estimate and opinion. When you are ready to move forward, get a written contract with specific details of the work to be done, materials to be used, and the cost.
Before work begins, make sure that your contractor provides proof of insurance, licensing, and that all necessary permits have been pulled. And do not pay in full until the job is done to your complete satisfaction, and that you have obtained lien waivers.
If you run into a problem that you are unable to resolve within a reasonable period of time, contact our Call For Action office for help.