Home & Garden

The 9 Biggest Home Repair Scams

Most of us have had unsolicited visits from claimed “professionals” in one line of home repair realm or another. They always offer services (for a fee) to check out the condition of a particular type of issue in your home. Strangely enough, they find one, or at least the beginnings of one. Praying on homeowner concerns, some of these door salesmen will then try to upsell you on a problem you may not have, or certainly do not have to the degree that they would have you believe.

So what are these areas that businesses will try to make money off of you?


Roof “professionals” make their way around neighborhoods, especially after a natural disaster, seeking nervous and vulnerable homeowners willing to take on the massively expensive roof replacement project. In reality, all that might need to be replaced, is the flashing. A lot of these shysters will “thoroughly” analyze your roof while standing on the ground the whole time. They might tell you that you need to replace the roof deck (the wood base under the shingles) which is a repair that is hardly ever needed and is outrageously pricey.


If you have a damp basement, as many homes located in an area with a high water table tend to have, you may be prayed upon by overreaching contractors who will tell you that you need to dig up your entire foundation and waterproof it, a task that typically runs in excess of $20,000. But spending all of this money will almost always be unnecessary as the underlying issues may not even be resolved by this procedure. In fact, checking for a faulty sprinkler system, bad land-sloping, or even clogged gutters can do the trick. Sometimes, it is a matter of putting in a mold-resistant underfloor and running a couple of dehumidifiers in warmer weather.

Heating And Air Conditioning

Some repairmen can work with dubious tactics to upcharge you for more minor repairs. Some methods include replacing working parts with new ones or replacing bad parts with refurbished ones. You can reduce the chances of being thrown by these rip-off artists by verifying the packing of the “new” parts before their installed and asking to see the bad ones.


Be wary of contractors who come to you looking to seal your driveway for a very low price. It is likely that they recently sealed a driveway in the neighborhood and have some sealant left over, so they feel they could make more money off the otherwise discardable material. They might apply cheap imitation material which might do a poor job sealing and wash away with the next big storm.


The CDC recommends not testing for mold because in most cases small amounts are harmless and can be cleaned using everyday cleaning products. Some vendors will insist that you use expensive mold identification testing services they offer, and then send you to a remediation company that works alongside them to swindle you out of your money. Mold does not tolerate bleach, so using that in tandem with water can clear out your mold problem.


Termite treatments are needed only if there is physical evidence of termites in the house or near the foundation. A woodpile in the back yard or a dead tree that shows signs of termite activity is not an issue that needs money to address. You should always do your research on what termites look like and how they can travel between locations. A lot of bug “experts” will tell you that flying ants are termites to get you to worry-spend your hard-earned cash.


Do your due diligence with plumbing matters before buying into some problematic plumbing assessments. Some plumbers will try to propose expensive plumbing solutions to problems that can be addressed by a rooter service. They may also use subpar materials for piping, or pipes that are insufficiently sized. Look into getting multiple estimates before having a plumber begin the job to make the most informed decision.


Painters will sometimes cut corners by using little to no prep work (cleaning, sanding) or using low-grade paint housed in premium brand cans. There are some exceptions to the rule, but you could really help yourself out if you verify that before the job begins that the paint cans have not been reopened or unsealed

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