Can you feel the chill in the air? Autumn is finally here! It’s the time of year again when we can have the most nostalgic and relaxing time. Most of the homeowners are already preparing for this home renovation season and one of the tasks being done in this project in landscaping. Yes, that’s right.
Autumn is not only a season for staying at home, unwinding vacations, and family gatherings, but it is also a time for homes to get a little makeover. For some, it is one of the best ways to embrace and welcome the said season. This is why long before fall comes, most of them have already started planning for it which includes the budget. How about you? Have your started your plan? If not yet, better start now so that soon enough you’ll be ready for your landscaping project.
Indeed, landscaping projects are exciting yet it is also terrifying at the same time, why? It is because of contractor scams that are common nowadays. When we hear or see the word “scam”, our mind tells us that it is something illegal. Given this, it is important that you should be aware of it so that you can avoid such things from happening. You don’t want to waste your investment on something that is not within the law, right? So, be careful in hiring your contractors and take the time to choose wisely. To shed some light on this issue, here are five alarming landscaping contractor scams you should avoid.
1. Cash before Work
Normally, contractors would ask for a reasonable down payment, which is about one-third of the total cost in order for them to start the project. However, if a contractor asks to be paid in full even before the landscaping project starts, then you should already be alarmed. To protect yourself, never pay more than ten percent of the job total. Also, hire landscape contractors who are highly recommended by friends or family to ensure credentials. Take time to visit local offices in your area so that they can endorse trusted and credible landscape experts.
2. Model Design
You should be aware of those contractors who offer to fix up your home, especially the landscaping project you’re planning to be used as model design to other potential clients. Avoiding these contractors will help you keep more money in your wallet, because whenever you agree to their terms, they’ll use up your money without even getting the job done. Remember, reputable contractors don’t do such terms just to showcase their work.
3. I Don’t Need to Pull a Permit
For every construction project including landscaping, there should always be a building permit for legal purposes. This way, officials would be given the right to visit the site periodically to confirm that the work meets safety codes. So if your contractor says that he doesn’t need to pull a permit because authorities won’t notice, then better think twice. To protect yourself, always demand that the contractor gets a building permit. Having said this, unlicensed contractors will be weeded out and it will give you added protection.
In your project, you’ll be needing materials. In connection to this, if your contractor says that he’s got extra materials that he offers cheap, don’t grab it. One of the most important rules in landscaping is prioritizing quality over quantity, meaning, DON’T cheap out. Not all cheap are good, that’s why don’t bite the bait. Or else, they will just pull out on your driveway using an unmarked truck with out-of-state plates and unload leftover product and quotes a great price to resurface your driveway on the spot. To protect yourself, never hire a contractor on the spot and take your time in choosing the right one.
5. One-Time Special
Have you heard about landscape contractors offering a one-time special deal? Probably, if you have heard something like it, then turn the offer down. There is a great possibility that it is just a scam because it is very rare. Reliable landscape contractors don’t offer one time special, what they offer is a well-made quote. To protect yourself, if a contractor offers you this deal, you should ask for a concrete evidence and don’t get pressured of hiring him because of that. You can still look for bids and references to make your investment worth it.
Indeed, scams can turn your landscaping project dream into a terrible nightmare. In connection to this, you can prevent it to happen by following tips from experts such as: checking the contractor’s license, note the license number so that you can easily track them down and their activities through the years and ensure a contract agreement . You can always do your part by following necessary ways to prevent scams and cooperating with the authorities if you find something suspicious. Don’t let these cheats get in you and your dream landscaping project’s way. It always pays to be alert and aware, so make sure to be one!