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Scams and Safety Around Home

These are cautionary tales told to us by experts who know them to be true stories. Their point is not to discredit any honorable industry, but to alert you to scams and life-threatening conditions so you can be even safer in your own home.

RE-ROOFING CAN CAUSE MORE THAN HEADACHES

When having your home re-roofed, be aware that during the re-roof process the old roof is usually removed, including all roof material, pipe flashings, valley metal, etc. The problem with the hot water heater and furnace vent pipes starts with the removal and reinstallation of the pipe flashings. The vent pipes may become disconnected at the unit inside the house. If the contractor doesn't see the problem from on top of the roof, and the homeowner doesn't know what to look for, the house may become filled with carbon monoxide. The key is to check the vent pipes from the unit through the roof during all phases of the re-roof project.

In the event the roof contractor is unable to correct any vent pipe problems, you may want to contact a qualified heating and air conditioning contractor to make the repairs.

TAKING CHARGE OF YOUR HOME REMODEL

For the homeowner who has chosen a contractor to remodel or add on to their home, be sure the contract is complete.

First, "up front money" to start the job is limited to $1,000 or 10% of the total contract, whichever is less. (A swimming pool project shall not exceed $200 or 2%) Then be sure the contract has a breakdown that includes: scope of work, itemized cost, progressive payment schedule, and completion schedule of work to be performed. Each payment should include labor and material releases for that portion of contract completed.

When the project is finished, final payment should be made after the following items have been completed: the scope of work per the contract has been completed to the homeowner's satisfacton; all labor and material releases, guarantees, and warranties have been obtained; all final City inspections have been obtained by the contractor.

If you decide to make any changes or additions to the project, be sure they are in writing. Keep in mind that the charges and additions will affect the final cost and completion date of the project.

Always communicate with your contractor and don't be afraid to ask questions. Remember, you are the homeowner, you're paying the bills, which makes you in charge.