Contractor fraud continues to be a problem in our community; but if you do your homework you can prevent fraud. The District Attorney's Office advises consumers to take the time to thoroughly check out contractors and use this checklist to ensure a safer contracting experience.
Be wary of contractors contacting you door-to-door or by telephone, especially those offering bargains, scare tactics, or immediate service.
Get at least three bids and don't necessarily choose the lowest bid – you'll probably get just what you paid for, and you may not be happy.
Don't do business with an unlicensed contractor. Check the contractor's license with the California State License Board at CSLB or (800) 321-2752.
Insist on a written contract that details the work to be done and materials used, the start and completion dates.
Pay nothing upfront, or the cost of materials as stated in the contract.
Get and check at least three customer references.
Pay in full only when 1) the job is complete, 2) you're satisfied, 3) you've received a "lien waiver" showing the contractor has paid sub-contractors and suppliers, and 4) an inspector has signed off on the job (if required.)