Home Improvement Scam Warning
It's Spring time... and while it's the season of warmer weather and flowers in bloom, it's also the time of year home owners start thinking of remodeling, painting and renovation projects.
According to the BBB, it's also the time of year for home improvement scams.
Kennewick home owner, Ruth fidino was considering an outside paint job on her home near Badger Mountain.
Coincidentally, a man knocked on her door last week, and said he was looking for contract work. He wrote up a proposal on the spot -- but Fidino says she sensed something was fishy about the proposal.
So, she decided to take a closer look before signing on the dotted line...
"It was a proposal form you would get at the office supply store. Nobody's business name on it or anything. He wrote his personal name and then he wrote Enlow's Handy Dandy construction," said Fidino.
Robert Enlow is the owner of Enlow's Handy Dandy Construction. He has more than four decades of experience and is considered a reputable contractor in the area.
"The people that called me - they called because it didn't seem right. He came out on a Sunday afternoon. Okay, who comes out on a Sunday afternoon to solicit work? I don't," said Enlow.
Fidino says she asked Enlow if he considered the man who knocked on her door to be a good guy.
"I asked if he would trust him and he said, 'there's no way'," said Fidino.
Enlow says he's known the man for nine years. He claims the man has fraudulently used the company name many times before.
"He is trying to do business with you. If i'm not there to sign it, it's not legit," said Enlow.
Enlow says he knows people don't do their due-diligence, but they should.
"People say, well the last guy took money and then didn't show back up. That happens a lot. And unfortunately it gives the rest of us a bad name. This is what I would say: Customer beware," said Enlow.
Fidino is happy that she double checked, and says she feels doing your homework is the best way to save yourself grief later.
"To listen to someone like that and to accept their bid -- to me it's like when you get those crazy scam kinda emails, and you just hit delete? For me this was the same thing - I just hit delete," said Fidino.
If you're planning a home improvement project, the Better Business Bureau advises you do your research before hiring anybody. Call them, and also call Labor and Industries to make sure the company or contractor is licensed, bonded, and insured.
And don't forget to ask for references and a written contract.