When it comes to having home improvements done it is better to do your homework before hiring a contractor, a message New York State A State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said.
He urges consumers to watch for potentially "shady businesses" out to make a "quick buck."
Consumers can protect themselves by following these guidelines:
- Shop around and get at least three estimates from reputable contractors that include specific information about the job.
- Get it in writing. Insist on a written contract that includes the price and description of the work needed.
- Don't pay unreasonable advance sums. Never pay the full price up front.
- Get references. Check with he Better Business Bureau, suppliers, banks and neighbors.
- Know your rights. You have three days to cancel after signing a contract for home improvements.
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