POTTSTOWN PA – Hurricane Sandy may have left greater Pottstown area property owners with building damages, but members of the Building Industries Exchange (BIE) of Pottstown and Vicinity Inc., 801 N. Charlotte St., warn those damages could become worse if improperly handled.
The BIE, which is a chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, reports that con artists often show up at a property owner’s door after a storm like Tuesday’s (Oct. 30, 2012) blows through. They may offer a “great deal” for their services, based on using materials left from a neighbor’s job, but they also may demand a hefty down-payment up front.
That’s when homeowners should remember a “great deal” isn’t always as great as it seems, according to BIE Director of Operations Eileen Gilbert.
Fly-by-night operators frequently drive vehicles with out-of-state license plates, or set up temporary offices from which they can move quickly once authorities start looking for them. Before writing a check, and especially before allowing an unknown individual into your property, BIE suggests owners should:
- Get the name and address of the company that person allegedly represents;
- Get all details of an offer in writing and carefully review it. Understand everything in the contract, and ensure it includes any verbal promises made;
- Determine how long the company has been in business, and call organizations with which the contractor is affiliated to determine its legitimacy;
- Ask for references and contact each one; and
- Don’t fall prey to high-pressure tactics, such as “this is the only chance you have” or “by tomorrow the extra materials will be gone.”
The BIE is a non-profit trade association serving the construction industry and their allied businesses since 1952. Its members voluntarily subscribe to a strict code of ethics.
Photo from the BIE