Whether you are preparing your house to put on the market, or making repairs/renovations to stay longer in your home, hiring a contractor can be a stressful experience. If you don't know anyone, how do you find someone who won't scam you? Here are some things to do to protect yourself.
• Ask friends/family for referrals. They can give you an honest opinion of their work ethic.
• Don't hire someone who comes to you door because they were "in the neighborhood," especially after a storm. They will probably overcharge you for shoddy work.
• Don't let anyone into your home who was "just driving past and noticed…" These people usually work in pairs. One will distract you while the other one robs you.
• Always ask for references. Make sure they include the address of the person so you can drive by and check their work.
• Never trust anyone who needs a large cash deposit up front. They will probably take the money and run.
• Don't fall for the "only for today" discount. A legitimate company will give you several weeks for the offer and for you to make a decision.