Each summer, professional home improvement scammers roam the U.S. in search of victims. Scams include everything from offering unbelievable deals that end up with hidden fees to using low-quality materials and not doing quality work. If you’re in the market for making big repairs to your home, here’s 5 ways to avoid home improvement scams according to Consumer Reports, Inc.

1.) Get recommendations. Avoid contractors that contact you unsolicited. Don’t hire a contractor based solely on an ad in a local newspaper, even if you’re offered a big discount or another incentive. Get recommendations from friends, neighbors, or relatives.

2.) See what others are saying. Before hiring a contractor, check his or her work history with your state consumer protection agency and the Better Business Bureau. Search the Web using the company or individual’s name and such words as “reviews” and “complaints.”

3.) Check credentials. Verify with your state that the contractor has the required license or registration. Some states have funds that reimburse consumers who obtain judgments against licensed contractors.

4.) Know your rights. Some states give consumers three days or so to cancel home-improvement contracts. Under federal law you have three days to cancel most contracts that are signed in your home or outside the contractor’s regular place of business.

5.) Get everything in writing. Don’t rely on spoken promises. Demand a written contract, and get all warranties in writing, too.

Older adults are especially at risk of home improvement fraud so please be on the alert and share with friends and family. For more tips on how to avoid home improvement scams or if you’re looking for a home in one of the many luxury Arizona retirement communities, please contact Sharon Mason today!