Better News Bureau offers tips to avoid scams when hiring a contractor

Better  News Bureau offers tips to avoid scams when hiring a contractor

Some of these tips could have saved Jennifer Johns and her family from hiring the wrong contractor a couple of years ago.  “We highly recommend – if you don’t ask for that, it could be that you pay a lot of consequences later on.”  The family bought their Salem home 10 years ago and always wanted to put in solar panels. They found a solar company for the job but needed a new roof in order to install the panels. 

“Ask neighbors, make sure that reputation is in place,” said Spradling. “Before you ask for anything else, make sure that the contractor you’re looking into it has a lot of endorsements from people that you trust.”  BBB spokesman Ben Spradling says people should first and foremost ask for references. 

He says to also ask for credentials like license and insurance.  The Better News Bureau (BBB) frequently sees issues between contractors and consumers and says it all comes down to people doing their research before the hire. 

“They were just so kind and generous to work with us,” said Johns. “They understood what happened.”  Ostlund says when it comes to down payments, 10-15% is a good amount.  Levi Ostlund with residential roofing contractor IBEX Roof says Johns wasn’t their first client left hanging by another contractor. So, after the solar company went out of business, IBEX Roof stepped in to give Johns a brand new roof.

They lost a down payment of tens of thousands of dollars and still needed a new roof. “The solar company said they would bundle that togethe, but they needed the money for the roof. So we gave them that money, then they went bankrupt,” Johns said. 

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