Every home owner loves the concept of home improvement. He wants his home to look great, and just like that home they depict in Hollywood movies and advertisements.
Unfortunately, in their quest for this holy grail, many home owners get gypped out of their hard earned cash by home improvement scammers who prey on the home owner’s psychology.
Here’s What To Watch Out For
No, they’re not going to get an entry to your home through the chimney. Many chimney home improvement scammers are chimney sweeps who make all kinds of exaggerated claims – they will spook you into buying a new chimney liner, or scare you into replacing your chimney because your current chimney has cracks that can fill your home with carbon monoxide.
You can fight chimney scams by hiring a certified chimney sweep. Certified sweeps use a videoscope and show you what the problem is with your chimney. If the chimney sweep tries to scare you, ask for another opinion.
There’s a bunch of contractors out there that can scare the wits out of you by claiming that your home is likely built on soil that emits Radon into your home. For the uninitiated, Radon is a gas that is linked to lung cancer.
What you must know is that there are Radon detecting kits available in the market for as little as $20 and that these kits can easily tell you if there’s Radon inside your home or in your basement. So, if you are approached by a contractor to spend 100s of dollars on eliminating Radon from your home, do not believe him without performing a Radon audit yourself.
If you do detect Radon, then work with a licensed contractor. Here’s a link that may help: http://www.epa.gov/radon/radontest.html
Termites are wreckers and often worm into homes in warm and wet climates. They are not found in the winters, so you don’t have to worry about them then. You need to weed termites out, but you must do it carefully.
Many termite eliminators bring “proof” in their bags, which they plant in your home. Such unscrupulous contractors bring termite wings or droppings, which they then magically produce from any part of your home.
You must ask these terminators whether the infestation is recent or dated, and whether they are aware of the difference between ants and termites. If the termite exterminator convinces you of infestation, then there can be hell to pay when no problem may exist. So, work with a licensed and trusted contractor and always take a second opinion before awarding the contract.
These are the home improvement scams you must be aware of.