Iowa’s Attorney General cautions home owners about hiring home repair work. Home improvement is one of the most reported complaints.

These are common pitches by home repair scammers.

“I was in the neighborhood and saw you need work done.” This means they’ve driven around looking for a house needing minor repairs and will try to talk you into work that may not be necessary.

Never hire a contractor just because they knocked on your door. Ask for their card and references; then call the Better Business Bureau. Never sign a home repair contract before checking on the company. Check their vehicle license plate. If the company isn’t from Iowa, they may be hard to track down about any problems with their work.

“I need money up front.” This likely means they have outstanding bills from other jobs. Well established, legitimate businesses are able to purchase materials and then bill their customer.

“We have a lifetime warranty.” There are no lifetime warranties on materials, only for the lifetime of the company, which could go out of business. Check to see how long the contractor has been in business under his current trade name.

For more information, call the Attorney General at (515) 281-5926 or the Better Business Bureau at (515) 243-8137.