Columbia, SC – Although there is still a slight chill in the air, and spring seems like a long time away, March 20th will be here before we know it. And as the weather gets warmer, consumers will be turning their focus to home maintenance, remodeling and repair projects.
Spring is the high season for home improvement projects, and, it is also the high season for home improvement scams. BBB advises homeowners to be wary of contractors who promise work at cut-rate prices or who show up at your door claiming that they are doing work in your neighborhood.
“You need to do your homework before you hire any business,” said BBB President Chris Hadley, “especially when you are hiring someone to work in your home.”
According to the BBB, consumers should hire a local contractor with a good track record of doing business locally. “There are hundreds of reputable contractors in our area who will deliver quality work, on time and within budget,” added Hadley.
BBB offers these 10 Tips to help you make a good buying decision when it’s time for you to start that next home improvement project:
1. Track record – Check out a company’s BBB rating and complaint history. You can search by company name, telephone number, or website.
2. Cost comparisons – Get at least three bids in writing. With BBB’s Request a Quote Program, you can instantly get free quotes from BBB Accredited Businesses
3. Licensing – Check to see if the company you plan to hire has the proper licensing with the S.C. Contractors Licensing Board
4. Insurance – Verify the company’s liability insurance to protect you against damage. S.C. Dept. of Insurance – 803-737-6180 or 1-800- 768-3467 toll free from S.C.
5. References – Ask for references from the company’s last three jobs and check them out.
6. Written contract – Do not sign a contract until you have read the terms and conditions, warranty and payment schedule carefully.
7. Deposit and payment – Final payment should not be made until the work is completed. Do not pay in cash; pay by check or credit card.
8. Warranty – Get warranty information in writing on products and installation.
9. Bonding – Be sure all workers are bonded to protect you against theft or damage.
10. Criminal history – Check out anyone you allow into your home to see if they have a criminal history.
BBB Serving Central SC and Charleston serves 15 counties that includes the midlands of South Carolina and Charleston. BBB is committed to being a leader in advancing marketplace trust and helping people find businesses, brands, and charities they can trust in South Carolina’s Midlands and Lowcountry regions. Please visit our website at bbb.org or call us at (803) 254-2525