Crummy contractors have a number of scare tactics they use to try to get you into their grasp, steal from you, and take off with your money. Here are a few of them:
After a natural disaster affects your dwelling, homeowners are especially keen to get landscape projects underway as quickly as possible, and we get more than our fair share of natural disasters in Northern California.
Unfortunately, that leaves you vulnerable to door-to-door contractors offering their services quickly if you put down a cash deposit or “sign a contract today!” No matter how sweet their talk may be or how much they promise, these contractors are scam artists with nothing in mind but taking your money and leaving you high and dry.
The fact of the matter is, honest contractors don’t have to hoof it door-to-door begging for work. They have plenty of it, and if they can take on your project as well you’ll find out when you call them. If you need landscaping work done after a natural disaster, you should be the one reaching out to the contractor, not the other way around.
- Offering to do the work you need at a discount using “leftover supplies” from a neighbor’s project.
This way, they say, you can get a great deal on a project you were already thinking about, and the landscaper can get rid of their “extra supplies”. It’s a win-win situation, right?
The problem is, landscaping supplies are expensive. Nobody reputable orders an extra ton of gravel or sod or mulch or lumber if they don’t need it. Moreover, reputable landscapers are able to accurately project their materials’ costs for the project, and get their clients’ approval on those materials before they purchase them. Well-executed landscaping projects simply don’t have “leftover supplies”.
Furthermore, reputable contractors don’t have time to scour neighborhoods with their trucks full of “leftover supplies” and go knocking on doors to ask if you need a new deck built or a hardscape or anything else. They’re busy. They have work to do. If you decide to employ a contractor using this scam, the best deal you’ll probably get is a bad job that you’re going to have to tear down and replace anyway due to the lousy craftsmanship.
- Pretty much anyone who comes to you.
Now if you’re at a drinks party and the person you’re conversing with happens to be a contractor and you happen to need some xeriscaping done and they present you with a business card and maybe an extremely rough idea of what that is going to possibly look like for you, that guy is probably an honest contractor and you met by happenstance.
Quality contractors, though, are busy. They have projects lined up. That doesn’t mean they’re averse to taking on more, but it does mean that they aren’t showing up in your Ring camera looking to give you a great deal on “extra supplies” or “disaster recovery” or “moving-in discounts” or whatever else they’re peddling. If a contractor is going door-to-door they have too much time on their hands because they don’t have enough work to do, and that is the sign of a contractor who is failing. Feel free to close the door or otherwise make it quite clear that you’re not interested in any way.