Home Improvements

Home improvement projects are often exciting ventures for homeowners, promising the enhancement of living spaces and an increase in property value. In pursuit of funding their renovation dreams, homeowners may consider remortgaging their properties to release funds.

However, amidst the allure of a dream renovation lies the lurking danger of home improvement scams. With the increasing prevalence of these scams, individuals are falling victim to deceptive practices, losing hard-earned money, and facing devastating consequences.

What Tactics Do Home Improvement Scammers Use?

There are a number of ways that homeowners could suffer from scammers when they carry out home improvements on a home. For instance, they may damage the home, do shoddy work or just take money without doing any work at all. Here are a few warning signs:

  • Knock on your door and say that there are tiles missing from your roof or you have a leaking drainpipe that could cause serious damp issues.
  • Say that they are working “in the area” and have materials left over from a previous job and may offer to tarmac your driveway at a bargain price.
  • Put pressure on you to make a quick decision because the offer is only available for a short time period.
  • Ask you for all the money upfront or will only accept cash before any work is carried out.
  • Suggest that you remortgage for more than is necessary or try to convince you to borrow the money from a lender that they know.
  • Try to catch you out by being overly polite or friendly.

How to Avoid Home Improvement Scams

For all these reasons, it’s important for homeowners to be protected by finding a trustworthy contractor who has a good reputation. Here are a few pointers to ensure that trustworthy builders are being recommended to homeowners:

  • Reading reviews with a critical eye, so that you can see what other people are saying about the contractor’s standard of work and reliability to turn up on time and finish a job without disappearing for days on end.
  • Getting several written estimates, which should include a description of the work to be done, materials to be used, the completion date and the full price of the job.
  • Not paying the full amount up front until you are fully satisfied that the work has been completed to a high standard.
  • Asking for ID if someone “cold calls” and turns up on the doorstep.
  • Checking the local council website for “approved traders” and making sure that they have relevant qualifications and accreditations.

If someone has been sold a service by a rogue trader or a scammer, it’s important to remember that they can be reported to National Trading Standards who will use the information that you give them to investigate any unfair trading and illegal building activity.

Financing Home Improvements

If you are looking to make home improvements to your property, follow our tips on choosing a reliable builder or developer. Financing home improvements through remortgaging can be a viable option for homeowners with sufficient equity and the ability to manage repayments. Before remortgaging for home improvements, you should seek advice from financial advisors or mortgage specialists and ensure that you understand the implications, terms, and risks associated with borrowing against your property.

The process involves determining the specific home improvements you want to undertake, such as fitting a new bathroom or kitchen, building an extension, or renovating multiple rooms. Once you have a clear vision and estimated cost for your project, you can assess whether remortgaging to release equity aligns with your financial goals.

BHW Solicitors is the leading residential property law firm in Leicestershire and is ranked in the top ten real estate firms in the East Midlands by the Legal 500 guide. We pride ourselves on giving our clients a seamless and efficient end-to-end conveyancing service and adhere to high-quality industry standards. We work with many estate agents and financial advisors as their preferred conveyancing partner. Due to our proactive approach to progressing our clients’ property transactions, we are constantly being referred time and time again.

Whether you are a property professional, seller, or buyer, we can help with your residential conveyancing queries. To request a personal conveyancing quotation, or to discuss setting up a professional referral relationship with your business, please call us on +44 (0)116 289 7000 or send us an email at conveyancing@bhwsolicitors.com.