SkillSET Blog
Advice For Pros · August 09, 2023 · AUTHOR: Stanley Bawalan

5 Tips to Avoid Home Improvement Scams


Home improvement projects can be an exciting and rewarding endeavor, but unfortunately, there are unscrupulous individuals out there looking to scam unsuspecting homeowners. By being aware and following these tips, you can protect yourself from falling victim to home improvement scams. 

Seek Referrals

When looking for a contractor, start by seeking referrals from trusted sources, such as family, friends, or neighbors. These individuals can provide valuable firsthand experiences with contractors they've worked with in the past. Additionally, consider checking online reviews and ratings on reputable platforms like Angie's List or HomeAdvisor.

Read Contracts Meticulously

Before signing any contracts, it's essential to read them thoroughly and understand every detail. Pay attention to the terms of payment, project timeline, materials, and warranties. If you have any doubts or concerns, never hesitate to consult a legal professional or seek clarification from the contractor.

Ensure the Contractor is Licensed and Insured

Verify that the contractor you're considering hiring is licensed and insured. This information can protect you from scams and ensure that the contractor meets industry standards and regulations. Check with your state's licensing board and ask the contractor for proof of insurance. You can also look up their license status on websites like Contractor's License Reference Site.

Ask for References

Don't hesitate to ask contractors for references. A reputable contractor will gladly provide you with a list of satisfied clients who can vouch for their work. Reach out to these references and ask about the quality of the work, timeliness, communication, and overall experience. If a contractor is hesitant or refuses to provide references, consider it a red flag.

Be Wary of Upfront Payments

Be cautious when dealing with contractors who demand large upfront payments or require cash-only payments. Legitimate contractors typically expect payment upon completion of specific project milestones. Never pay the full amount upfront, as it gives scammers an opportunity to disappear without completing the work. It's advisable to make payments using secure methods like credit cards or checks that provide a paper trail.


By following these five tips, you can greatly reduce the risk of falling prey to home improvement scams. Protect yourself and your investment by being vigilant and taking the necessary precautions.

Remember, if something seems too good to be true or if you feel pressured into making quick decisions, take a step back and conduct thorough research. Trust your instincts and work with reputable contractors who prioritize your satisfaction and the quality of their work.

Stay informed and stay safe!

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