The Truth behind Renovation Scams and How to Avoid Them
Real estate is a booming industry in the 21st century. The population count has been rising globally and so has the demand to invest in properties. Modern trends show that buying land is just where things begin as the investment pool for the likes of home building and home renovation goes even higher.
This is one of the reasons why the titles of renovators and home contractor workers fall in the trending list of top-earning businesses. Subsequently, the home renovation businesses also fall in the category of top 10 high complaint receiving industries. While a lot of quality and service type complaints come in to contribute such an enlisting, it is observed that most of the complaints report of scams in terms of service delivery. The scale has risen to a concerning level and hence deserves special attention, especially for the people looking to go for home renovation in the near future.
Why do such scams exist?
There’s one simple answer to this: greed. People gather information about the pool behind the building and renovation projects and learn the basic tactics to fool the customers by forging the process with real-like documentations and providing alluring offers to attract a large number of potential customers. Such kind of acts have been polluting the reputation of the interior design industry and affecting people’s lives for a couple of decades.
Types of Renovation Scams
A lot of bad and non-trustworthy interior design companies exist in pools at various levels. Hence, it becomes almost impossible to evaluate them on the basis of initial conversations. These types of unfavorable contacts always have some kind of trick up their sleeve and can be often recognized by actions like bad track record on previous assignments and disappearance and/or failing to offer compelling services on getting the payments.
Such behavior can further be recognized by the type of scams practiced by such fake interior designers on a large scale:
1. Unreasonable base deposits:
Such kind of home renovation scam revolves around asking a high base investment for the renovation project. An interior design company involved behind such a scam usually asks for excessively high deposits. Such kind of deposits crosses over more than half the cost involved behind the project. Such kinds of behaviors usually end up leading nowhere in terms of actual renovation, leaving the home renovation project to a standstill.
Once a base deposit is received, this behavior is repeated to receive the remaining deposit. At this point, the works come to a halt until the full deposit is received.
2. Extremely cheap projections:
If it’s too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true. Such kinds of scams are specially planned to target the likes of middle-class families by touting excessively cheap rates. If an interior design company markets cheap services and offers estimates like half costs for the same project evaluation as opposed to costs by different interior designers, it’s too good to be true.
Such cheap proposals are usually followed by unfinished works and fake claims of operational difficulties. This is regarded to be one of the easiest tricks to forge money from people in the name of cheap services. Such kinds of scams are highlighted by minimal works and discontinued operations.
3. Bad and defective services:
This is one of those scams that comes out as a home interior design project is carried out. It relies on the application of cheap cost projections scam that is further leveraged by practices like poor unskilled laborers and improper work schedules. This is further noticed by improper works and warnings to revert the work done by the firm upon rejection to make further payment.
4. Excessive charges:
If a renovation cost skyrockets upon a minimal change to the plan, it’s probably a form of leeching extra money through the scam. Such kinds of scams are usually followed by inhumane acts like breaking down renovated works and stopping the interior design project. Sometimes, even house thefts are associated with such kind of malpractices.
5. Firm disappears:
Unreasonable deposit scam may be followed by this scam. This is regarded to be one of the worst scams in the history of interior design. Interior design firms associated with these kinds of scams usually leave the projects unfinished and disappear into the unknown once they have received the desired amount. Such kinds of scams are often verified by acts like unreachability of contacts, closed offices, and vanishing from the locality.
How to avoid such scams?
Scammers are omnipresent and here to stay. However, such types of scams can be avoided with a little bit of precaution and a present state of mind. The tips shall help anyone lookout for fake firms and search for the genuine interior design companies they are looking for:
Things to do:
- In-person visits:
One of the easiest ways to verify an authentic interior design company is to visit their office. This helps in verifying their genuineness by physical existence. This proof can be further strengthened by randomly visiting one of their active sites. These steps help eliminate fake interior design firms who might just be representing themselves in a fair as a way to get away with a lot of money in the process.
- Accreditation check:
If one still happens to be unsure about the interior designers he/she is about to invest in, they can go ahead and look for an accredited firm. An accredited firm is verified by respectable authorities as a part of their background checks. One can be rest assured even if he/she invests some amount of base deposit since such verifications also help reclaim compensations in case of a scenario where the interior design company refuses to do the same.
- Regular check-ins:
If one has happened to hire an interior design company for a project, one can easily assure their works by time to time ensure. This not only helps a person to analyze the quality of work done by the staff but also ensure they are not breaking work ethics in a place they are not supposed to. Such kind of periodic inspections has greatly helped to avert house thefts that are known to occur during house renovation projects.
- Avoid paying before reading documents:
It can be easy to fall for an interior design company offering its services at unbelievable prices. One might eventually end up losing thousands after such tricked investments which can be more fatal if the renovation contract has been signed without carefully going through the document. One must carefully understand the complications of payment procedures, material costs, terminations, work hours, and package exclusions. Reading all relative information can literally help one save thousands by not falling for something they don’t approve of.
Things not to do:
- Take face-recommended quotations:
Just because an interior designer advises to go for their recommendations, doesn’t mean one has to go for it. Always back suggestions with meaningful proof to verify the authenticity of the suggestions. Such suggestions can be always supported by retail billings and renovation guides.
- Believe too good to be true quotations:
This is one of the easiest ways of falling into a trapped scam. If a certain interior design company promises you a full house renovation for just a couple of thousand dollars, it’s a peculiar sign of it being too good to be true. Such malpractices can be easily caught by comparing the quotations offered by various interior design firms and finding out an average value based on their research. Wise actions can account for one smart decision.
- Pay completely without checks:
A person who is smart enough to understand the importance of money will already be aware of this. Any design firm that demands a full payment at the starting point of commencing a project is likely to be a scam. Every homeowner has the right to see the progress made by the interior designers regularly and offer payments in small deposits accordingly.
- Intermediate money transfer:
A person deciding to handover a home renovation project to an interior design company should prefer one on one money transfer. No intermediary person or organization should be involved in such a crucial process. A signed contract may fall against a person’s favor if some troubles occur due to an intermediary transaction. Hence, one must always prefer to opt for direct money transfers.
These are some of the do’s and don’ts that shall help arise customer awareness among the people who are presently renovating their homes or are willing to do so soon. Hence, in this way, some knowledge and a couple of wise decisions can truly help the customers such type of widespread scams and truly bring their dream of homes come true.