I’ve been scammed twice by seemingly “reputable” construction contractors. I won’t bore you with the details, but I’ve created a list of some of the best warning scamming signs you should look out for.
You Have a Bad Feeling
Have you ever gone through a do-or-die situation? Have you ever had a feeling from within your body that guides your actions and that literally shows you what is going to happen next if you choose each course of action even before you make your choice and the spontaneous consequence takes place the fraction of a second?
That, my friend, is a gut feeling. And, even if it usually defies all logic, it will save you.
No matter how experienced or qualified a contractor may be if he is not making eye contact while speaking to you or if he is avoiding your questions and if your gut feeling is telling you something is not right about this man, you should take your business elsewhere. Your brain will be arguing against your intuition but you should always trust your gut feeling. It may not always be correct, but it is your safeguard; it will protect you at all costs.
Most, if not all, experienced and reputable contractors are often very busy and hence they won’t be knocking on doors and looking around for potential customers. However, if one day you come across a contractor on the street or if the latter comes knocking at your door asking if you have any construction project, that person is most likely either a con artist or very inexperienced.
Using “Leftover” Materials
In some cases, honest contractors would ask their clients if they want the leftover materials. But, there are many who deliberately order too many materials and use them for their next job. This is clearly a sign of a shady contractor.
If a contractor suggests using leftover materials from his previous job, reject this suggestion immediately or choose another contractor. Although it might seem helpful at first, it might prove to be very costly later on.
He Doesn’t Give You a Cost Breakdown and a List of Materials
When you have a construction project on hand, there’ll be times when you need to make decisions by weighing certain choices against others; sometimes, the choice is between building an outdoor space with or without a pool, for example. And, a cost-benefit analysis is the simplest way of comparing your options to determine whether to go ahead with a project or not. The idea is to weigh up project costs against benefits and then identify the action that will give you the most bang for your buck. And, to make a cost-benefit analysis, you’ll need a list of materials along with the cost breakdown.
However, when a contractor refuses to give you a list of materials along with a cost breakdown, it means that he is planning on scamming you and taking more money than required for the construction project.
He Wants a Huge Upfront Payment
Many contractors today don’t ask for a down payment. And, even if the contractor you hired is asking you for money, it should not exceed the amount allowed by the state. When it comes to construction regulations such as down payments to construction contractors, each country has its own law. But, if you live in the United States, the amount should be around 10 %.
So, if your construction project has not yet been completed or if the materials have not yet arrived and still the contractor is asking you for more money than is allowed by the American state government, then beware.
Using Scare Tactics
When you are reviewing bids, if a contractor is constantly bothering you by calling you, sending you tons of messages or showing up unexpectedly at your door, it’s better to move on to the next guy.