Check out contractors before you make a deal
May 28, 2014
Warm weather signals the season for salespeople trying to drum up business by knocking on the doors of unsuspecting homeowners. Too many offer dirt-cheap deals to pave your driveway, suggest it's time to replace your roof before the next monsoon, or tell you they have leftover materials from a nearby job they can use to help repair your fence.
First, keep in mind that many communities have ordinances that prohibit door-to-door selling, while others permit such sales if the business first registers with the municipality.
Secondly, keep in mind that door-to-door solicitors may say they're giving you the deal of the century, but you won't know that unless you take time to research the business and others because to get the deal you have to sign the contract right then, right now.
Third, many door-to-door solicitors are from out of town with no physical business address, no local phone number, no desire to return to repair new roofs that leak or fences that collapse after the first windstorm.
And fourth, if you pay for the job up front (the contractor might claim he needs the money to purchase materials) or make a sizable down payment, there's no guarantee that the out-of-area contractor who you've not checked out is going to return with supplies, equipment or manpower. It happens to unsuspecting homeowners all the time.
If you need a new driveway, a new roof or a new fence (or any other job around the house), Better Business Bureau Serving Northern Colorado and Wyoming advises that you take your time finding the right contractor. Start by asking friends, neighbors and colleagues for recommendations of contractors with whom they have worked whom they would hire again. You can also find a list of BBB Accredited Businesses at bbb.org as well as check out BBB Business Reviews and customer reviews for both BBB Accredited and non-accredited businesses.