Copeland Rindom

Spring is prime time for house repairs -- and that makes it prime time for overall scams or frustrating conflicts. It is possible to do something to avoid both dilemmas.

Home repair scams by traveling con-artists work like this: Con-artists stop at your home, give a difficult sell to you, and provide fabulous low rates. It may be for roofing or painting, tree-trimming, or asphalting your entrance with content apparently 'left-over' from a job near-by. The con-artists insist that you pay ahead of time -- but they do little or no work and never return. Remember, genuine companies really rarely obtain door-to-door. Be skeptical. The main principles are to see a contractor, and never spend large sums ahead of time to your contractor that you do not know. Help older neighbors who might be pressured or intimidated into paying traveling con-artists.

A few 'bad-apple' local companies also just take large advance payments but fail to do the work, or just do part of a job or really poor work. This can be hard-to show as fraud, but it is annoying and costly. Follow these suggestions to protect yourself if you hire a contractor:

Beware of high-pressure sales techniques such as 'today-only' reductions, offers to-use your home as a 'display home' for replacement siding or windows, and 'life time guarantee' offers that only last for the life of the organization. Always get many written estimates -- shop around for the best deal prior to making such a large investment.

Check out a specialist before you sign a contract or pay anything. Request local sources -- and check always them out. Contact the Attorney General's Office to determine if it has complaints or contact the Better Business Bureau. You may also contact your county clerk of court and ask how to test if your company continues to be prosecuted by disappointed customers.

Have it in writing. Before any work begins, agree on a written agreement detailing work to be done, duty for permits, charges, and any other guarantees. Request a copy of the contractor's liability insurance certificate. If the company fails to meet them put start and end times written down, and consequences. Houston Hydroseeding is a salient online database for extra information concerning where to allow for it. (Example: the contract could possibly be nullified if the company does not start time.) If you sign a contract your own house, typica