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Let Joe Know: Avoiding contractor ripoffs

Posted at 7:48 PM, Apr 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-27 22:48:01-04

A good contractor can make your renovation dreams come true.

But if you don't know where to find one, it could end up being a costly nightmare.

Take Terrance in Chandler who writes in an email that a contractor was hired to remodel two bathrooms in his home.

He says the guy said he was licensed with a valley company. After "cosmetic issues, poorly plumbed shower and sloped floors," Terrance found  he didn't have a license. And more than $8,000 later he says he's stuck "with two unusable bathrooms."

Sabina in Gilbert says the contractor she hired from Facebook marketplace "seemed very nice, personable and trustworthy." Repainting her cabinets was supposed to take four days. But weeks later she's been left with "completely destroyed cabinets" and it only cost her $6,200.

Good prices and great personality aren't the way to choose a contractor. But there is a way to lessen the risk of hiring the wrong person.

Start by checking with the Arizona Registrar Contractors (ROC). It licenses contractors, and has a listing of complaints and disciplinary action against them. It requires insurance and bonding to pay you in case they screw up or run off with your money.  

Hiring a licensed contractor could also make you eligible for restitution through the ROC's recovery fund.  Before you hire anyone, get three written estimates, check for reviews with the Better Business Bureau and