The Better Business Bureau is reminding people to do their research before starting any home improvement projects this spring. (Black Press Media file photo)

The Better Business Bureau is reminding people to do their research before starting any home improvement projects this spring. (Black Press Media file photo)

Don’t get scammed on home improvements, warns Better Business Bureau

Scams typically involve paying cash upfront for jobs that never get done, says BBB

‘Tis the season for spring cleaning and home renovations, but the Better Businesses Bureau (BBB) is warning Vancouver Island residents to do their research before starting any projects.

Right around this time every year, the BBB gets an influx of reports from people who have been scammed by contractors. Typically, the victims pay the contractor cash upfront for jobs that are never completed. People also report having completed, but poorly done jobs, for more than they expected to pay.

The BBB recommends getting multiple quotes and references from contractors before deciding who to go with. And, people should look out for “home improvement specialists” who don’t put things in writing, demand payment upfront, make unexpected price changes, use high-pressure sales tactics, offer unsolicited free inspections and take cash-only deals.

READ ALSO: Wood products pricing surge expected to persist, raising 2021 house, renovation costs

There are other things homeowners should consider before taking on new projects, too, such as whether they can do it themselves, how to up the value of their home and what to prioritize first. DIYs can be great if you know what you’re doing and are willing to commit the time, the BBB says, but for larger plumbing, tiling, tree removal and exterior painting jobs it may be better to hire a professional.

For people looking to add value to their homes, a bathroom or kitchen remodel is best, the BBB says. Overall, priority should be given to projects that keep people’s homes clean and safe.

The BBB also suggests improving energy efficiency by checking and replacing window and duct seals and looking into green energy options like solar panels.

READ ALSO: North Saanich school plants a seed in the fight against climate change

More tips can be found at bbb.org.


 

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