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We have all heard the horror stories of projects gone bad. The company takes a deposit and the customer never hears from that them again. The customer finds out that the proper permits were not pulled, but only after the job is done and paid for. This is the wrong time to discover your job was not installed to code. Products and/or service do not perform up to expectations as the salesman so eloquently promised. The contractor walks off job before completing the project.
As you can see, the negative stories are prevalent, and the cost of not doing your homework can be great. The home improvement business has one of the worse reputations in the nation for hiring unscrupulous individuals. Many customers are surprised to discover that the home improvement industry is the No. 1 employer of ex-felons. While the state does require companies to do background checks on potential employees, it does not require a company to do anything with those results.
How can homeowners protect themselves?
- Disreputable companies tend to:Solicit door to door
- Demand payment in advance or more than 10% down
- Give quotes on back of business cards or slips of paper
- Don’t just ask for a reference – CALL their references
- Check the company rating at the BBB or Angies List
Things to ask for when you meet the salesman:
- Proof of liability insurance (must cover all workers on property)
- References in neighborhood (why do you care what they did in Ohio?)
- Verify professional affiliations (how do they support or give back to YOUR community?)
- Verbal promises must be in contract or it is not valid
- All workers drive lettered trucks? (con-artists DO NOT advertise)
One of the biggest mistakes we all make is failing to trust our gut instincts. Why would you buy from a company advertising a low introductory price that can’t sell at that price? What about the company that has a ridiculously high starting price, but all of a sudden produces a huge savings coupon from his/her pocket if you sign tonight?
Remember, your builder installed the cheapest window he could. Don’t replace it with the low-price leader AGAIN – just like your builder. If you are willing to ask questions and spend a few extra dollars you will save more money and reduce your risk of buyer’s remorse. Remember … you do get what you pay for.
For more ideas you can visit me at www.lanhamwindow.com or like me on Facebook.