Be cautious if you get an unsolicited door-to-door offer. Organized groups known as “travelers” move from state to state posing as contractors. They often distribute flyers and knock on doors.
They may demand cash up front or may take a check and cash it right away, never returning to do the work. If they perform work, it is usually substandard.
- Roof repair: They may slide a few new shingles under old ones, then spray the roof with useless oil.
- Sealant: They use a watery liquid or oil as a fake sealant on driveways, fencing, or roofing.
- Paving: Their workmanship is substandard, usually only laying down a thin layer of paving that soon breaks part.
- Leftover materials: They say they will save you money by using leftover materials from another house in the area.
- Diversion: One person distracts you while the other slips into the house to steal valuables.
- Unmarked vehicles with out-of-state plates.
- Business card doesn’t list a CCB license number (or lists a fake one). It may also give an 800 phone number and a PO box as an address.
- The people seem friendly but talk fast to confuse you and use scare tactics, saying your repairs must be done immediately or your home will be unsafe.
- An offer to use your home as a display home for a discounted price.
- An offer for a discount if you find them more customers in the area.
- Resistance to a written estimate and contract.
- A very low estimate. A price that is too good to be true often turns into a construction nightmare.
- Check with the CCB to make sure anyone you might hire is licensed. Call 503-378-4621 to verify information and ask about any complaint history.
- Never agree to buy services on the spot. Always get a few more bids from other contractors before making a decision.
- Always get a written contract that includes a detailed description of the work, materials, costs, start and end dates.
- Never pay the full amount up front and don't pay in cash. Write your check to the business name that you have contracted with to do the repair or project.