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How to Spot a Home Remodeling Imposter: 10 Signs To Avoid

October 27th, 2022 | 13 min. read

How to Spot a Home Remodeling Imposter: 10 Signs To Avoid

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Have you ever had certain expectations when you bought a product or invested in a service only to find it was not what you were promised? 

You feel tricked, taken advantage of, and sometimes question your sanity when you experience something like this. 

How could I let this happen? Why did I think this was the right choice? What did I miss?

We get it. Making the wrong choice is something nobody likes to admit. But, once it’s happened, there’s rarely anything you can do to turn back time and make things right. 

Buying an overly ripe avocado or a faulty, returnable item is a low-risk decision, meaning you aren’t really gambling much when you make this choice. 

However, when it comes to your home, the last thing you want to do is make the wrong decision and trust your home with a contractor that makes false promises. 

So, how do you avoid this? Knowing what to look for will tell you if this contractor is an imposter. 

As a home remodeling contractor for over three decades, Southwest Exteriors has become familiar with signs that make a “high-quality” contractor an imposter

We’ve helped hundreds of homeowners who have had an unfortunate experience with a faulty contractor and called us to help right their wrongs. Sadly, it happens more often than you think. 

We never want any homeowner to waste their time and money on a contractor who doesn’t know what they are doing. You need the right information to know not only what to look for in a high-quality contractor but also what to look for that tells you a contractor is a phony. 

This article will outline 10 signs of a home remodeling imposter, so you will know what exactly to spot that tells you a contractor is not trustworthy. We will also include how to spot these signs to help you better understand how they might pop up. 

After reading, you’ll know the most common tactics faulty contractors use to make you feel they are trustworthy. Then, you can spot the imposter among us and know who is the suspicious one…

 

10 Signs of A Home Remodeling Imposter Among Us

As you’re researching potential home remodeling contractors in your area, scouting what you think are the best, and meeting with a few, you want to have your guard up. 

Imposters feed off of vulnerable and uneducated victims. The less you know, the easier it is for them to take advantage of you. 

So, what are the red flags you should be aware of when searching for the right home remodeling contractor? Here are 10 signs of an imposter to keep an eye out for: 

  1. They do not have a brick-and-mortar business
  2. They have a low-functioning website
  3. They do not have a valid phone number or contact information
  4. They only talk about themselves and talk bad about their competitors 
  5. They cannot provide any real examples of their work
  6. They push you to one choice or another, rarely listening to what you want
  7. They pressure you into buying from them on the same day
  8. They do not provide a full, detailed project proposal
  9. They do not follow through with what they promise
  10. You cannot get a hold of them after you’ve tried to contact them

 

Let’s dive into each of these qualities of an imposter more so you can best understand why these are important to identify and how their suspicious behavior may pop up. 

 

1. They do not have a brick-and-mortar business

One of the first things you need to identify that exposes a home remodeling imposter is if they do not have a brick-and-mortar business. 

When a contractor has an actual building their business functions out of, it establishes credibility in the company. Having a brick-and-mortar business means they operate out of a work building and have an established team that makes the company function. 

If a contractor does not have a brick-and-mortar business, this could be a sign they just started their company, meaning they do not have the longevity and credibility of their work. 

 


How can you spot this imposter? 

One of the easiest ways to spot this imposter behavior is by looking up the contractor’s address on a map. If you look up the address and it shows a house in a neighborhood or an apartment complex, this is a red flag.

This means the contractor does not have an established business, and doing business with them will most likely leave you disappointed.


 

2. They have a low-functioning website

The second sign that exposes a “high-quality contractor” imposter is if they have a low-functioning website. 

If a contractor does not put effort into presenting their company, products, and services through their website, imagine the kind of effort they will put into your project. 

You want to work with a home remodeling contractor that wows you through every step of the process, from the moment you find them online to the finishing touches of your project.

 


How can you spot this imposter? 

A low-functioning website can be identified if it takes a long time to load, it’s hard to find the information you are looking for, you can’t find any basic information on the company, or if it overall just does not make you excited.


 

Think of looking at a contractor’s website like an online dating profile. Does it impress you? Does it make you more interested in them? Does it look promising?

 

3. They do not have a valid phone number or contact information

One of the easiest ways to spot a home remodeling imposter is by identifying if they have a valid way to contact them. 

The last thing you want is constantly trying to contact a potential contractor only to be left on delivered. 

 


How can you spot this imposter?

If you try to call a contractor or contact them via web form or email and never hear back, this is a sign of an imposter. 

Or, say, for example, a contractor comes knocking on your door trying to convince you that they notice damage to your exterior that needs fixing. They give you a business card with their information, and you decide to give them a call.


Then, you’re left with an answering machine or maybe a phone number that isn’t even in service. You can never get in contact with them again. 

If you cannot even get your calls answered or returned, this is a major red flag. Would you want to work with a company that you can never get a hold of?

 

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4. They only talk about themselves and talk bad about their competitors 

Another red flag that may not be as obvious to spot in a contractor imposter is if they constantly talk badly about their competitors to you. 

This not only shows the contractor’s character and what their business’s values are, but it also tells you they are most likely compensating for what they lack in their business. 

If a contractor can’t say one nice thing about any of their peers in the industry, imagine how they may talk about you as a client. 


How can you spot this imposter?

Spotting this red flag will most likely be during your meeting with a potential contractor. 

If you schedule a consultation with them and notice they are always comparing their products and services to their competitors while basing them, run. This imposter is most likely just trying to make themselves sound better to combat their true weaknesses.


 

You may also notice this imposter through their social media or website. Small posts or language that directly calls out their competitors in a negative way tells you all you need to know about the values of this contractor.

 

5. They cannot provide any real examples of their work

Before working with any company, you want to see proof that they know what they are doing and can provide what they promised. This is why when vetting a potential contractor, you want to see real photos of their work to know if they will meet your expectations or not. 

You can see these photos either through the contractor's website, during their presentation in a consultation, on their social media, online business profile, or in client reviews. 

 


How can you spot this imposter? 

You can easily spot this imposter by asking yourself this simple question: Did you see any pictures from the company, or not?

If you do see photos on their website or during their presentation, but they look incredibly staged, you cannot trust this company. You want to see real, raw photos of the company’s work before, during, and after construction.


 

You would also want to see pictures of their installation process, including their installers doing the work, so you can see who will be working on your home and further trust a contractor with your home. 

 

6. They push you to one choice or another, rarely listening to what you want

The last thing you want in a home remodeling project is to have all your choices taken away from you. 

If a contractor tries to push you to only one choice and pressure you to spend more money on the higher-cost option, they only care about making the sale and getting the most money out of you. This contractor does not care about your wants or needs. 

 


How can you spot this imposter?

You can identify this imposter most likely when you meet with them for a consultation, though you may start to wave the red flag if you speak with them over the phone or through email. 

This contractor will not listen to what your needs are and will make you feel very pressured into the decision they want you to make. Overall, you just won’t feel heard when meeting with this company.


 

7. They pressure you into buying from them on the same day

Along with not listening to your wants and pushing you into one decision, an imposter contractor will also pressure you to purchase from them the same day you meet with them. 

This company, again, only cares about taking your money and making a sale. They don’t actually care about what is best for you and your home and are only thinking about themselves. 

 


How can you spot this imposter?

If you’ve already scheduled a consultation with a contractor, meeting with them at your home or in their place of business, and they make it seem like signing a contract that day is your only option, this is a red flag. 

The contractor is an imposter if they only offer you one quote for your project that is only good for that day or even only for the next few hours.


 

A trustworthy contractor should allow you ample time to think about your project with them. They will want you to make an informed decision based on trust, not on pressure. 

 

8. They do not provide a full, detailed project proposal

The last thing you want is to sign a contract without knowing what to expect from a contractor. A part of this is having your entire project outlined in full detail in a project proposal. 

If you do not receive a highly detailed proposal, including things like a cost breakdown of your project, what to expect for installation, warranty information, and contact information, how do you know what you are truly getting from your project? 

A high-quality contractor will ensure all aspects of your project are outlined in the proposal so that when you sign that contract, you know exactly what to expect. 

 


How can you spot this imposter? 

This quality is fairly easy to spot the imposter. If they provide you with a project proposal that leaves you confused, doesn’t specify the products you chose, or just has a price attached to it, this is a red flag. 

A next-level imposter may write the cost of your project and a phone number on the back of a napkin or business card.


 

9. They do not follow through with what they promise

One of the final signs to spot an imposter contractor is if they do not follow through with what they promised you when you talked with them. This could occur at any point of contact in your process with this company. 

If a contractor promised you they would send you an email, call you back, or respond to your text ASAP, and then they don't, how can you trust they will follow through with what they promised on your project? 

 


How can you spot this imposter? 

This imposter can show itself during many stages of your experience with them. 

Maybe you gave them a call, and they promised to set you up to meet with a consultant, but then you never heard anything after that. Maybe you met with a consultant, and they promised to send you a proposal the next day, but they don’t until two weeks later.


 

These are just a couple of common examples that this imposter contractor may show itself. Overall, you want to work with a company that can keep its promises and provide you with an exceptional experience, not leave you questioning what’s happening next. 

 

10. You cannot get a hold of them after you’ve tried to contact them

The last way to spot an imposter contractor is if you can never get a hold of them. This can occur before or after you even meet with a consultant. 

Similarly to a contractor not following through with their promises, do you really want to work with a company you can’t even get in contact with? 

 


How can you spot this imposter? 

If you’ve already had contact with a company, then suddenly cannot get a hold of them, this is a sign to run. 

Even if you’ve already met with the company, they promised to contact you but haven’t, and you can’t get a hold of them, you don’t want to work with this company.


 

Finding a trustworthy home remodeling contractor among the imposters

Now that you know 10 common signs that indicate a home remodeling company is an imposter, you can confidently spot a faulty home remodeling company. 

As you’re searching for the right home remodeling contractor for your project, it’s important to know the right qualities to look for and the red flags to identify. 

If a contractor does not listen to your needs, makes you feel pressured into making a choice you aren’t comfortable with, and doesn't follow through with their promises, they are not the right company for you. 

A high-quality home remodeling contractor will ensure you are heard, provide helpful recommendations for your project, and not pressure you into a sale. 

After learning what to identify that makes a faulty home remodeling contractor, you want to take it a step further and know what mistakes to avoid to ensure you choose the right contractor for you. 

This article will outline five common mistakes to avoid when hiring a home remodeling contractor. Then, you will have the right information to know what makes a low-quality contractor and know what mistakes to avoid to find the right company for you. 

 

 

Are you looking for a trustworthy home remodeling contractor for your project? 

Southwest Exteriors provides high-quality exterior remodeling services in San Antonio, including window, siding, and door replacements, concrete coatings, exterior painting, and window coverings. 

From the moment you contact us to the final touches on your project, we’ll keep you constantly updated on your project, listen to your needs, and help provide the best solution for you, whether that includes us or not. 

Are you ready to work with a contractor that cares about you? Schedule your commitment-free consultation with an expert design consultant today!