Just like the bugs, the swimming suits, and the leaves, warm weather also brings out the scam artists. Because more people are out and about, mowing their lawns, planting gardens, and painting their homes, they are easy targets for shady characters looking to make a fast buck.
"Springtime always brings out the phonies, the con-artists," said David Lupberger, ServiceMagic.com's Home Improvement Expert. "These people target our most vulnerable citizens, looking to steal as much as they can get away with. It's very easy to fall prey to a smooth-talker who just happens to have the perfect (and cheaper) solution to your problem."
Home Improvement Scams
Home Improvement scams wear many faces, but most of them emulate, in some form, the "traveling handyman". A person knocks on a door, saying they're doing other work in the neighborhood or that they have leftover supplies from a different job. They offer to do some work, take the money in advance, and are never seen again. Of course, there are many variations on this theme, but they all have the same goal: to separate trusting homeowners from their money.
"Don't ever hire someone unless you know, without question, their permanent business address," Lupberger said. "And that's only the first question you should ask. Reputable business people will have no problem answering your questions and supplying proof of who they are and their expertise."
Tips for Avoiding Home Improvement Scams