Don’t get nailed by a home improvement scam

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Spring has sprung, the grass is green, just watch out for scammers selling home improvement dreams.

If you’re thinking about building a deck, getting new windows, redoing the kitchen (like me!), repaving the driveway, or adding a fresh coat of paint to your home’s interior, it might makes sense to hire a pro rather than take on the job yourself. Finding a good contractor is important — a home improvement project gone wrong can cost you big time. Choosing the wrong contractor can cost you more than money; it can lead to delays, subpar work, and even legal problems.

Before you hire a contractor, get several estimates and ask plenty of questions, including:

How many projects like mine have you completed in the last year? Will my project require a permit? What types of insurance do you carry? And be sure to get a written contract. Contract requirements vary by state. Even if your state doesn’t require a written agreement, ask for one. It should be clear and concise and include the who, what, where, when, and cost of your project.

How can you tell if a contractor might not be reputable? You may not want to do business with someone who: knocks on your door for business, just happens to have materials left over from a previous job, pressures you for an immediate decision, only accepts cash, asks you to pay everything up-front, or asks you to get the required building permits.

For more around-the-house tips, check out Home Improvement.

Now, back to planning my new kitchen!

Tagged with: home, home improvement, scam
Blog Topics: 
Homes & Mortgages


I like to know if I can make a home loans mortage or new home?

I took out an equity loan alright but he over appraised by home by hundreds so that she would be able to add on to home. This was a few year ago. nothing about this was legal but no one would listen to me The courts wrote up a dummy Deed for the new Owners ad Foreclosed

Very, very informative. We really appreciate these articles and we really appreciate you Colleen for writing them.
Of course, you know that one of the biggest challenges is encouraging others to apply all this great information have. A tremedous ironey is the fact that among residents who get ripped, some KNEW BETTER.
Most certainly our prayer is that more people will use all the great information available to us on the net to project ourselves, our families, our homes, and our finances.
Please, keep it up and keep it going, Collen!

My Mom received a call from a company for a free estimate to replace her deck. The company, Superb Builders located at 333 Hegenberger Road Oakland, CA called her from phone number: 888-403-6048
It turns out this company is no longer in business and they are ripping off seniors. BE CAREFUL!

My mother made an appointment for an estimate as well. The company also name of Oceanside Remoldeling. The business development people are Jasmine and Larry Harris, they call from phone number 650–262-1906. This phone number happens to be disconnected if you try to call back. The person who confirms your appointment is Larry Harris. All of these names are most likely fictitious. I found this website because I entered the 888 number into address bar after failing to find any information on either of the business names. I am glad I did , consumer beware. I agree that they are scanning seniors.

We received a call from a service claiming to be called "Home Center Remodeling". They said to reach them back at 1-888-403-6048. Most definitely a scam. Tried dialing *57 but call wouldn't go through.

Unsolicited phone call today.
Stated they were painting company.
Gave the same name and phone number.
On call back, find it came from "Conference Center",
could not reach a person.

"Find I Comments Google And Thanks You Slot"

This article is really interesting for me and I’m glad to find such great advices. I also suggest you to don't forget to put insulated cover over the house.

In certain states like southwest Virginia near Tri-Cities region specifically ..... There is a new trend. Rural dwellers that think they're out smarting you tell you they or their friend can do the work for you for very little cost. They are careful to pick one or two specialties: Typically carpentry or paint/drywall. Once inside your home (usually a female is involved and used as go between) they scout out your possessions and steal your goods by wrapping it up in a trash item as if it's all trash. Once outside out of your view they transport entire package + contents to their vehicle.

Meanwhile, they deliberately will mess up the job, or other areas inside/outside your home. Then they will tell you that it will cost more for them to fix it. If you cannot afford it then they just leave you with a damaged job and leave town. Police know of this but do nothing about it but say they're hands are tied, or they don't have the personnel to track guys down or whatever they see fit to tell you. One officer just simply said, "Your loss but we're not going to do nothing and that's all I got to tell you on that. But if you can find out where the couple went to then maybe we can contact their state police for you."

SO BEWARE because they will always have a sad story of I'll health or financial problems + theft to tell you (pack of lies) in order to convince you to hire them. And they always price their offer way less than the pro's.

If you have a vacant house and need it repaired avoid these 'rural mongrels' (usually couples or uncle/niece duos) who will only MOVE INTO your vacant home (squatting). Then audacity to try to say you said they could do that. Or try to convince you that they will fix up the entire house! (With your $$$, of course cause they're broke.) THEY ALWAYS TARGET OLDER WIDOWED SENIOR FEMALES and SICKLY,LESS MOBILE SENIOR MALES.

But I could not make my stubborn Mother listen and:
1) original renters weren't paying rent & finally moved
2) couple w/kids started squatting in exchange for yard work & protecting place from possible vandals
3) original renters' adult children & 2 relatives vandalized & burglarized the same home while squatters were away
4) lawsuit against original renters children & relatives failed citing not enough proof which was absolutely not true. Our county attorney assigned us his rookie assistant who failed to question us properly and botched up our case while giving ammunition to the other side on silver platter. I am a 16yr paralegal so I know of what went purposefully wrong.

Superb Builders Misfortune:
Superb Builders is the worst contractor we have ever dealt with. History: Requested company rep “Steve” to evaluate and repair redwood deck. Paid #383 deposit. Deck was found to be beyond repair. 01/22/15 crew of two required most of a day demolishing up deck. O1/23 15 debris hauled way. 01/23/15 signed a continuation contract calling for installation of pavers. Paid an additional deposit for initial site work and purchase of pavers. 02/20/15 spoke by phone with Steve expressing dissatisfaction and asked that my deposit be returned. He agreed less the cost of the demo and haul away. No follow through. Last contact with Superb was with Ben Hunter who was angry, hostile, and belligerent and ended the call by abruptly hanging up. Attempts to communicate by mail have failed. Their “office” is an apartment in Foster City. In short, Superb took the money and ran. No site work, no plans, materials, referrals, or anything else except scamming.

Lessons learned. I may not fully recover deposits but every state and local consumer protection agency and professional organization will have a file on Steve and whoever Ben Hunter is not to mention Superb Builders.

Finding a good contractor with reputable long term relationship and responsible is the bottom line.

I think Superb Builders may be operating now as Monarch Builders, or at least there is some affiliation. Same So Cal and Foster City locations, same high pressure tactics...something smells funny and I don't mean ha-ha funny. A "Jeremy" almost had my 86 year old dad's signature on a contract, thank goodness he didn't do it.

Also I'm allowed to work in Southern California and Northern California at the same time there is many more companies out there that works all over the place by the low

Is Jeremy last name Medi? supposedly from France? thank you

I wonder if other persons are using the Superb Builders name, license no. , etc. without the owner's knowledge.

I've had visits recently from 2 reps sent out from two companies who phoned me soliciting remodeling/construction jobs--one from Monarch Builders, the other from Superb Builders (both of Foster City). I simply wanted a knowledgeable assessment of a basement project I had in mind, with a rough estimate of what it would cost. In both cases, the rep was a very smooth salesman, seemed very capable and knowledgeable, and was eager to get the job and tailor his pitch to whatever would suit me. In the case of Monarch, he asked several times about what budget I had and what I thought it might cost, and in the end simply assured me they could do the job for less than the "off-the-cuff" maximum I gave him. Both wanted to move ahead right away. Both were very vague about describing the company, or giving me anything in writing. In both cases, I refused to commit to anything on the spot, but said I'd get back to them. When I looked up Monarch's license, it didn't appear to be as well established a company as the rep led me to believe, and I decided everything seemed too fishy to be worth pursuing. In the case of Superb Builders, I asked for a business card, but he didn't have one. He did flash a glossy brochure for Superb Builders he had in his case, but didn't really let me see it. He could easily have just obtained it from Superb Builders and used it to pretend he was connected with them. He did finally produce a couple of photocopies and wrote his name, phone no. and email on one. But the first was a printout right off the CSLB license for Superb Builders, and the second a certificate of liability insurance from Victory Insurance Services from April 2015 naming Superb Builders, the insured, but giving an address at 333 hegerburger rd #315, Oakland. Again, just because he happened to have copy of this particular certificate isn't proof he's associated with the company. Although this rep told us he was a contractor with 30 years experience, currently overseeing a dozen substantial jobs both in Northern and Southern California, I could not find his name in the CSLB databases (i.e. he does not appear to be a licensed contractor), and there is really no evidence he has any connection whatsoever to Superb Builders Inc.

I had the same experience I can't find anything on this company Monach. Was the Guy name Justin with a have Romanian accent? He tried to get me to do loan papers on the spot. Really smooth talker.

The worker told me me Home Advisor sent him to do my Project & he needed money Up front. I had used Home Advisor for other projects & was very satisfied, it never dawned on me he was lying. They didn't send him or know him.

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