While thankfully many Floridians were unharmed by Hurricane Irma, many are faced with the reality that they must rebuild parts of their homes due to damage sustained during the storm. As our friends and neighbors work to regain normalcy, we urge you to stay vigilant for increased home repair scams and the presence of fraudulent contractors.
Those desperately seeking repairs are at risk to lose thousands of dollars, if not more, by falling for contractor fraud schemes. Even if projects are completed, unskilled labor and poor workmanship can put residents in danger for future disasters and end up costing them more money in the long run. Tony Leopardi Sr., the owner of Cornerstone Builders of Southwest Florida and a 50-year home remodeling expert, knows that being aware of red flags can save time and money.
Are you at risk?
Home remodeling scams are popular in hurricane-impacted areas where residents need immediate help. With the magnitude of the hurricane and the wide need for repair, homeowners may accept fraudulent offers as desperation sets in.
You should not work with contractors who:
- Go door-to-door soliciting work
- Offer “too good to be true” pricing or sales tactics
- Demand cash up front
- Do not formalize a contract
- Refuse to provide copies of their insurance
- Work remotely without a storefront, website, permanent phone number, etc.
You can avoid scams by:
- Reviewing local contractors and bids, and asking about their projects and references.
- Asking for their state or local licenses. You can check for any complaints filed at MyFloridaLicense.com.
- Requesting a completed contract before any work begins. Do not forget to read the fine print.
- Paying a limited deposit and never pay in full before the project begins.
- Paying with check or credit card. Do not pay in cash.
- Trusting your intuition. If something sounds too good to be true, it likely is.
If you come across a fraudulent company, please report it to local authorities. You may help others avoid these contractors. You can also file a consumer complaint with the Better Business Bureau, the State Attorney General, and MyFloridaLicense.com.
As we all work through these difficult times together, Cornerstone Builders of Southwest Florida is proud to serve our neighbors affected by the recent hurricane. We are dedicated to leading the restoration of our beloved communities. If your home needs repair, please contact us at (239) 332-3020 for a free consultation with one of our designers. With no deposit required and financing available, we are standing by, ready to help you move forward with your home remodel and your life.