As fall approaches, The Houston BBB is warning homeowners to watch out for these home improvement scams circulating around local neighborhoods:
Heating Maintenance: Before doing business with a heating contractor, be familiar with the model you own and its maintenance history. Make sure to check that the contractor’s licensing required by the state of Texas at the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation’s website, www.tdlr.texas.gov.
Roofing Repairs: A roofing project requires a skilled and qualified contractor, so it’s important to thoroughly research roofing contractors. Be sure to get at least three estimates for the job and remember, the lowest offer may not always be the best. When getting an estimate, make sure the roofer does a thorough inspection rather than a quick estimate from the ground. Ask for proof of insurance and any necessary permits. Be wary of any roofing contractors that solicit work door to door or offer low prices because they have leftover materials from a previous job, which are both red flags. Never pay in full up front, and realize that you can cancel any sale made at your home, if you notify the company within three days.
Chimney Cleaning: If you often cozy up by your fireplace or wood stove, it’s important to have your chimney cleaned and inspected annually to ensure safety. A reputable chimney sweeper will be able to clean and detect any dangerous problems within the chimney. Request multiple estimates from different chimney sweepers to compare the cost of the job that is needed.
If we can offer some additional advice, we’d highly recommend that any time you hire a contractor, you ask friends and neighbors for recommendations, read online reviews on websites like Yelp and Facebook, and weigh your options by getting quotes from at least three contractors. A good roofer should offer a free estimate or roof inspection. If a company tries to charge you money for a quote, that’s a red flag. And always, if someone gives you a bad vibe, trust your instincts.