Tips and Tricks to Prepare Your House for Summer

5F7649370BWell, Summer is almost here!

The warm weather that we have all been waiting for is imminent and there are some simple techniques available to make sure your house is as energy efficient as possible.

We want to help you keep cool air inside and hot air where it’s supposed to be…outside!


What We Are All About
Grennan Construction can provide you with all your necessary home improvements that are needed to keep your house running at peak efficiency during the summer months.

We can also provide many options to make your house more energy efficient including siding, gutters, windows, roofing, and insulation. Also, if the worst should happen, Grennan Construction is ready to repair and replace whatever has been damaged, whether it be from regular wear and tear or from the weather.


Keeping Your House Efficient
The simplest way to save money and energy is to make sure your home is up to date on all energy efficiency matters. No matter if it is a new roof, or simply securing windows and doors, Grennan Construction is the best way to make sure your home is well prepared for the coming summer months!


Checking for Leaks
For optimum efficiency; windows, doors and air ducts of your home need to be leak-free. The caulking on the windows and doors is the first barrier to ensure energy efficiency by keeping the warm and cool air separated. The same principal for keeping heat inside in the winter applies to keeping the cool air inside in the summer.
Making sure the windows and doors are properly sealed will not only make your home more energy efficient but will also help with keeping out insects, which can also come along with warmer temperatures.


Check Your Foundation
By simply walking around your basement and the outside foundation of your house, you can save yourself thousands of dollars in potential damage. The biggest threat is water damage.

Leaks, cracks, and imperfections of your foundation can cause a lot of headaches when the rains come in the summer months. Grennan Construction has experts to inform you of potential leaks and can fix any structural foundation problems you might have, providing you with the proper assistance and best materials ensuring your home is protected from the summer elements.


Your Roof
The roof of your house is the most important defense against the forces of nature in the coming summer months.

Rain, hail, and sleet from summer storms can take a toll on any roof over the years. It is important to make sure there are no cracks, leaks or other imperfections in your roof in order to prevent flooding or other damage to the inside of your home. If you do find an imperfection in your roof,  you should repair it immediately in order to avoid costly indoor damage.

Replacing your roof is one of the most valuable ways to increase your home’s value and is the best way to prevent damage to the inside of your home. Grennan Construction has the most energy efficient roofs available, as well as being aesthetically pleasing. Whether you are looking for a Metal Roof or a Cedar Shake Roof, Grennan Construction has exactly what you desire!


Summer Time!

Summer time is a great time to relax and enjoy yourself, so take a moment ensure your home is secure from rain, hail, heat, and insects. Then call Grennan Construction for all your home efficiency needs, and then enjoy the summer!

Top 10 Roof Maintenance Tips For Your Home

Top 10 Roof Maintenance Tips For Your HomeHow often do you keep your roof care at the very top of your mind? With the constant chaos of daily life frequently piling up around us, it’s easy to lose sight of the essential aspects of your life that need regular maintenance to safeguard your interior space. We take roofs for granted, but they are a crucial part of our home – keeping the people we love safe and secure. Unforeseen or obvious, roof-based problems are undoubtedly expensive, and usually a pain to deal with.

Following are just some of the ways that you can ensure your house stays dry and protected throughout the years with excellent roof maintenance.

1. Regularly Examine Your Roof

Potential risks and threats change with the seasons – so while you might want to look for damage caused by ice damming during early spring, towards the end of the fall, you’ll need to search for debris and leaves cluttering up your roof. It’s also important to pay extra attention to your roof after you’ve been caught in storms with particularly heavy winds.

2. Clean Out The Gutters

Following on from the previous tip, it’s crucial to clean away the debris and leaves that gather in your gutters or downspouts after trees start shedding leaves all over your property. While you’re making the appropriate sweeps, look for gaps throughout the seams of your gutters or breaks, and ensure that any brackets you’re using to hold everything in place are still secure and sturdy.

3. Get Rid Of Overhanging Branches

Trees may be a pretty addition to just about any household exterior, but ones that grow too near your property can end up presenting a risk. Not only do you deal with the risk of broken pieces of wood falling onto the roof during storms, but if branches rest on or over the shingles – the protective coating on the stone may begin to abrade over time.

4. Watch Out For Damage From Wildlife

Detroit – just like any other area of America, can gather its own fair share of unwanted animal attention. Anything from wayward birds to squirrels, raccoons, and chipmunks can all settle in either under, or on your roof when they’re given ample chance.

5. Check The Flashing

The flashing of the roof can be a prime target for leaks and damage because it covers a hole in your roof. Take the time to examine any flashing around your exhaust pipes, vents, or chimneys to ensure that old sealant hasn’t dried out and become loose. Bear in mind that the flashing itself can also become punctured and bent over time.

6. Try Not To Walk On The Roof

There are some occasions when climbing up and accessing the roof personally is unavoidable – but you should try to avoid moving across the surface as much as possible. Your roofing can be damaged quite easily when you walk on it – regardless of the material it is made out of.

7. Use Professional Inspections

Although inspecting a roof yourself can be useful, don’t ignore the benefits of professional inspections. Getting a yearly examination by an expert can be a cheap and useful way to ensure that you stay ahead of any problems emerging.

8. Make Sure Your Roof Can Breathe

If your home doesn’t have the right ventilation, moisture, and heat can cause the rafting and sheathing to rot – meaning that roof materials begin to buckle and lose effectiveness. In the end, your entire roofing system may become ineffective.

9. Insulate!

Proper insulation is the ideal way to achieve good airflow and ventilation. Having open spaces that allow for air to pass freely through one area to the next with at least one inch between the roof sheathing and the insulation is ideal.

10. Check For Insects

If your location is prone to infestation from carpenter ants or termites, you’ll need to watch your roof for emerging signs of activity. Shredded wood, sawdust, rotten spots, and insect feces can all be signs of an insect problem.

Care For Your Roof

We often apply the term “out of sight out of mind” to our roofing maintenance – but remember that your roof works each day to keep your belongings, and your loved ones safe from the elements. Give your home the respect and care it deserves by conducting regular roof maintenance, and you’ll be sure to reap the benefits.

Image: Jonathan Oakley

Benefits of The Leaf Relief® Gutter System

benefits-of-leaf-relief-by-plygem-grennan-constructionIf you’ve ever owned your home, you know that maintaining gutters can become a hassle.  However, it doesn’t have to be.  With today’s technology, there are several products available to eliminate the trouble of clogging of gutters with leaves and debris.

The folks at Grennan Construction use and recommend Leaf Relief® by Ply Gem. Certified contractors of Leaf Relief®, here are just a few of the benefits of installing Leaf Relief®.

  • Leaf Relief® is backed by a ten-year “No-Clog, No Overflow” Warranty, which means that your gutters are guaranteed to be free of any leaves or debris and will not overflow.
  • Leaf Relief® gutter systems will withstand the damaging effects of the sun’s UV rays, winds up to 110 mph, snow and ice.
  • Leaf Relief® is made with resilient aluminum, which maintains its shape, withstands damage from bugs, birds, squirrels and other pests, and also helps protect against mildew and mold.
  • Leaf Relief® prevents the need for routine gutter cleaning, which means a lower cost to maintain and no hassles.
  • Leaf Relief® installation does not require the need to lift or disturb existing roof shingles or driving nails into the roof to install it.
  • Leaf Relief® is virtually seamless and is barely visible, which maintains the house’s exterior appearance.


Whether you are building a new home or adding on or replacing your current gutter systems, you will want to make sure that you install Leaf Relief® gutter system to ensure that you have the best gutters available!

Grennan Construction has been assisting the gutter needs of homeowners throughout Michigan since 1998 and are Certified Contractors for the Leaf Relief® by PlyGem system.  For those in Oakland County, Michigan, if you would like to receive a free gutter analysis, contact Grennan Construction today.

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Grennan Construction, a family owned and operated company since 1998.  We specialize in roofing, siding, windows, insulation, gutters and chimney repairs. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter.

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Energy Saving Tips for Your Home

Whether you’re looking to save money, go green and reduce your carbon footprint—or both!—there are a lot of subtle things that you can do around your home to save energy.  As the weather starts to cool down and we head into Fall and Winter weather, there are a handful of simple things that you can do to help save energy.

Energy Saving Tip #1: Weatherproof Your Home

Heating (and cooling) the home accounts for over 50% of the average American’s annual energy consumption.  Simply looking at the insulation in any areas that could have leaks or insufficient insulation, like an attic, basement, crawl space and walls, can help you identify areas where there may be leaks in (and out of) the home.  This means that the cold outdoor air may be getting into the house and any heat you may be generating inside the home to make it more comfortable, may be leaking outside.  Air leaks around pipes, windows and doors can be easily eliminated with weather stripping and expanding foam spray.

Energy Saving Tip #2: Use the Sun

The sun may or may not be out very much during the fall or winter seasons, but during cold months, you can take advantage of the sun’s natural heat-producing effects by leaving blinds or drapes drawn on windows that face the sun throughout the day.

Energy Saving Tip #3: Be Thermostat Smart!

One of the easiest ways that people can save on energy is simply by being smarter with the thermostat.  Everyone has a different room temperature that they may find comfortable, but if you can reduce the thermostat minimum temperature while you are away from the home during the colder months, you can potentially save 10% on your energy bill.  Then, when you are home, you can raise the minimum to a level that is comfortable.  Also, if you can still keep that thermostat at a bearable temperature and then find other sources of heat (such as blankets, fireplaces, and bundling up), you can significantly reduce your energy consumption.

Energy Saving Tip #4: Use Energy-Saving Materials

From insulation to windows to siding, there are numerous materials available now that help reduce energy and keep the temperature of the home comfortable and at its desired level.  Of course knowing what materials are available and finding a company that uses these materials is important!

For those in Oakland County, Michigan, if you would like to receive a free analysis of your home’s insulation and saving energy, contact Grennan Construction today.

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Grennan Construction, a family owned and operated company since 1998.  We specialize in roofing, siding, windows, insulation, gutters and chimney repairs. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter.

Important Fall Furnace Maintenance Reminder

fall-furnace-maintenance-reminder-grennan-constructionAutumn is here, which means that it is time to schedule your annual furnace maintenance appointment.  It is important to make sure that you regularly get your furnace cleaned and inspected each year, just before the cold months set in.  This service will help ensure that your furnace is not worn out and that the furnace works when you need it to.

During your annual maintenance appointment, the inspector should not only make sure that your system itself is working properly, but he or she should also verify that the dangerous exhaust is vented properly out of a flu or chimney. This step in the service appointment can prove to be life-saving as there are thousands of tragic stories each year about families unknowingly falling victim to the deadly effects of carbon monoxide gas.

Additionally, you should also have your fireplace serviced, which should include checking the flue and chimney for any blockages or damage.

These service appointments are not only helpful for the safety of you and your family, but they can also help you save money from having to replace or fix any damage caused by improperly functioning furnaces and fireplaces.  Last, but not least, it’s also a great time to check the batteries and function of your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Grennan Construction, a family owned and operated company since 1998.  We specialize in roofing, siding, windows, insulation, gutters and chimney repairs. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter.


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Tips for Detecting and Preventing Mold Growth in Your Insulation

Home improvement - handyman cut wood with jigsawMold can be found pretty much anywhere in the home—including wood, paper, carpet, foods and insulation.  As long as moisture and oxygen are present, mold growth is possible.

Detecting mold in your home is different for every household.  Some people have a higher tolerance for mold and don’t have any kind of allergic reactions, while others can have life-threatening allergic reactions to mold.  Sign #1 that you have a mold problem can be simply from feeling better when you’re not inside the house.  Another sign is if you smell a distinct musty odor in the house, there’s a good chance that there’s mold growing somewhere.  If you cannot fold mold growing in obvious places, like the shower, sinks or any other area of the home where there may appear to be water damage, then you might need to check if there may be mold growing in the insulation of your home.

To detect mold growth in the insulation of your home, you will need to dig a bit deeper.  You can purchase at-home test kits that can help detect the presence of mold in your home.  These test kits typically involve testing the air for the presence of mold; however, these tests will not be able to determine the source of the mold.  If you use the at-home test and you confirm there’s a presence of mold in your home, then your next step is to hire a professional mold inspector who can help you determine the source of the mold.  Once the source has been discovered, then you can take the necessary steps to rectify the situation.

Mold growth can occur in the insulation of your home, which makes it much harder to detect.  However, there are ways to prevent mold development in the insulation of your home.  Here are some steps for helping prevent mold development in the insulation of your home.

The first step to mold preventing is moisture control.  Mold is caused by the presence of too much moisture or water.  Controlling the moisture in or around insulation will prevent the growth of mold.  You can do this by trying to keep humidity levels inside the home below 40 percent.  At this level, mold growth is slowed down and can be prevented.

The second step is to understand the most common sources of moisture or water in the home and then knowing how these sources may impact the insulation of your home.  The sources for the moisture include ground water (such as rain or melting snow), humidity from outside entering the home or condensing on a cooler surface and interior moisture (most commonly from the bathroom and kitchen).  Making sure that your roof is properly maintained to drive water into gutters and off the house, your gutters are properly maintained to drive ground water away from the home, your home is properly insulated from the outside with your windows and siding, plus making sure that the exterior of your home is properly designed and built to also keep water away from the home and avoid pooling into the foundation of the home are great ways to prevent moisture from building in and around the house.  Also, making sure that your kitchen and bathrooms have the proper ventilation that they need to drive any moisture out and to properly dry are equally as important.

The third step to mold prevention is to act fast if there’s any kind of water leak in the home.  Mold growth is most common when people don’t quickly or properly respond to any kind of water leak or water damage to the house.  When you properly clean up water damage, part of the process is determining whether or not enough damage was caused to grow mold.  Usually, following water leaks, it is best to replace insulation and other damaged areas of the home to ensure the safety of you and your family from potential mold growth and the deterioration of building materials.

The fourth and final step to mold prevention in the insulation of your home is to upgrade to materials that are non-corrosive to nature, such as fiber glass insulation.  Fiber glass insulation will not settle or lose its energy-saving abilities over time and does not require the addition of fire retardant chemicals.  The best advantage to fiber glass insulation is that it will not rot and it does not support the growth of fungi or mold.

Mold doesn’t have to be a problem for you or your household.  If you think that you might have mold in your home, particularly in the insulation of your house, contact Grennan Construction today for a free consultation.  Grennan Construction are the leaders in insulation installation in Oakland County, Michigan area and use PINK FIBERGLAS® Loosefill Insulation which help prevent mold growth.

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Grennan Construction, a family owned and operated company since 1998.  We specialize in roofing, siding, windows, insulation, gutters and chimney repairs. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Credit: Grennan Construction

5 Tips to Prepare Your Fireplace for the Winter

tips-for-preparing-your-fireplace-for-the-winter-grennan-michiganWith summertime winding down and coming to an end, it’s time to prepare your home for the fall and winter.  One way to do this is to make sure that your fireplace is ready to go when it comes time to use it.

Thanks to the good folks at Grennan Construction, here are five tips for properly preparing your fireplace for whatever weather this winter brings you.

Tip #1: Clear any ash. Before the cold winter weather arrives, make sure that your fireplace is clear of any ash.  This can usually be done through the cleanout door, which is usually located on the outside of the house or in the basement.  It can be an extremely dirty job, depending on the last time you used your fireplace and how often you use it.


Tip #2: Inspect the chimney flue.  The flue is the duct that allows the smoke, gas and other waste to exit the home.  It is important to make sure that you inspect the chimney flue for any blockage to prevent harmful gas and smoke from flowing back into the home.  Also, creosote can build up in the flue and create a fire hazard, along with bird nests.  If you look up through the flue and cannot see light from above your house, it may be a sign that your flue is blocked and you may need to hire a professional to clear the blockage in the flue.  If you can see light, you will want to simply clean the flue using a chimney brush or hiring professionals to clean your chimney.


Tip #3: Check the gas connection.  If you have a gas-burning fireplace, it is important that you have the local gas company come out and inspect your gas connection to your fireplace (along with other gas connections inside your home).  Have them inspect it for any leaks and proper flow of gas.


Tip #4: Replace broken or deteriorated brick lining. You will want to check for any broken or deteriorating brick lining.  Cracks in the lining are not a major concern, but if the brick lining is starting to deteriorate to the point that the steel body is exposed, you may permanently damage the structure due to the heat from the flames.

Tip #5: Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.  Last, but not least, another important part of fire and fireplace safety is making sure to check that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home are working.  Replace the batteries and be sure to test that they’re working properly to ensure the safety of you and your loved ones.

Fireplaces are a beautiful addition to any home, as they provide both warmth and ambiance for you and your guests over the cold months.  However, it is important that your fireplace is working efficiently and safely.  Following the above tips to prepare your fireplace for this winter will help ensure that your fireplace will be a continue to be a safe source of warmth and enjoyment this winter.  If you are currently looking to install a new chimney, fireplace, roof, siding for your house, windows, drywall, gutters, or insulation in the Oakland County, Michigan area, contact Grennan Construction today for a free consultation.  Also, to find out more about why you should consider Grennan Construction, click here.

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Grennan Construction, a family owned and operated company since 1998.  We specialize in roofing, siding, windows, insulation, gutters and chimney repairs. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Credit: adamr via

Five Causes of Roof Damage

top-five-causes-of-roof-damage-grennan-constructionThe roof on your house is probably one of the most important components of your house, next to its foundation (of course).  Knowing the top five causes of damage to the roof will hopefully help you take better care of your roof to help preserve it longer, therefore protecting the life and value of your home.

Here are the top five causes of roof damage to most homes.

Roof Damage Cause #1: Tree Limbs & Debris.  Tree limbs and branches are a common cause of roof damage, but can be easily avoided if you trim away any large tree branches that could snap due to wind, heavy ice or snow or even disease and decay.  Additionally, any debris that may fall from nearby trees can also create a problem on rooftops, including leaves, pine needles and pine cones.  The more you can trim away and keep your roof free from being underneath any large trees, the better.


Roof Damage Cause #2: Weather.  Weather could really fall into a bunch of sub-categories, but as a whole, weather is one of the leading causes of roof damage.  Weather damage to rooftops include wind, hail, snow, ice and even sunshine.  They all have very harmful effects on the longevity and life of your rooftop.  Anything from drying out and deteriorating shingles to softening and weakening the roof, potentially causing a leak or cave-in.


Roof Damage Cause #3: Birds and Animals.  Animals can also cause a lot of damage to a roof.  Depending on where you’re located and the wildlife nearby, this can include woodpeckers, squirrels, raccoons, mice, rats, bats, nesting birds and even some house cats.  Make sure that you inspect and keep an eye out for any wildlife that may be frequently visiting your rooftops.  They may be tearing away shingles and vent covers, trying to find food or a way to enter the home.


Roof Damage Cause #4: Faulty Gutters.  Gutters are responsible for directing water away from the roof and foundation.  However, when gutters are not properly installed, are clogged or damaged, or aren’t working properly, they can potentially become faulty which leads to water buildup on the roof, rotting parts of the roof and causing significant damage.  Depending on the style and construction of your roof, faulty gutters can even cause water buildup that may soften and weaken roofing material and potentially cause leaks and severe water damage.  This brings us to the last and final cause.


Roof Damage Cause #5: Water Damage.  All of the above causes of roof damage have one major thing in common and that’s these problems can deteriorate the roof and then let moisture into the home, causing all kinds of water damage to the roof, to the insulation and inside of the home, etc.  This moisture buildup can then develop mold growth, which can be harmful (and even fatal) to you and your family.

All of these problems can be resolved with the proper maintenance routine and care of your roof.  If you have a damaged roof or are in need of roof maintenance or an upgrade, contact Grennan Construction today.  Grennan Construction is one of the leading roofing construction companies of Oakland County, Michigan and can help protect you and your home from further roof damage.

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Grennan Construction, a family owned and operated company since 1998.  We specialize in roofing, siding, windows, insulation, gutters and chimney repairs. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Credit: Grennan Construction

Top Six Home Maintenance Mistakes People Make

top-six-home-maintenance-mistakes-people-make-grennan-constructionA home is probably the biggest asset people will own in their lifetime, next to their vehicle.  Like a car, your home requires a certain amount of maintenance over the years to ensure that it will proper withstand weather conditions, general living wear and tear and to keep up its value.  Without proper care, it is easy to see how a house can simply fall apart and not properly function like it is supposed to.  Again, just like a car.

Here are the top six common home maintenance mistakes that people make.

Home Maintenance Mistake #1: Forgetting to Unclog Gutters.
Gutter maintenance is a really common overlooked maintenance task for many homeowners.  It’s out of sight and out of mind for many homeowners.  Gutters channel water away from your home’s roof and foundation.  If you neglect to properly maintain your gutters, it can lead to roof leaks and problems with the foundation.  It’s important to clean out your gutters for any clogs or backups at least twice a year.  If you don’t want to do this on your own, you can hire a professional to help you unclog your gutters and check for any leaks or deterioration of your gutters.


Home Maintenance Mistake #2: Neglecting Dusting Duty.
Another common home maintenance mistake that people make is neglecting the battle with dirt and dust.  Many people will take care of the obvious dirt or dust that they see visibly on a table or counter, but what about the dirt you can’t see?  It’s important to change your air conditioning and heater filters regularly as they can build up dirt and dust, preventing proper air flow and energy efficiency.  Additionally, cleaning the coils on the refrigerator is also advised to prevent premature breakdown and help keep down energy costs to keep your food cool.  Dirt and dust also breaks down carpet fibers, causing increased wear and tear.  You can help the battle with the dirt by placing doormats outside all doors and vacuuming carpet once or twice a week, especially if you have any pets.


Home Maintenance Mistake #3: Ignoring Leaks.
Plumbing leaks are probably the most costly of all of the mistakes, because ignoring even the seemingly smallest and “most harmless” water leak can eventually compound over time and result in a very expensive repair (or replacement) cost.  From damage to laminate flooring, carpet, roofing, drywall, cabinets, insulation and unseen structural supports (such as wall studs or floor joists)—water leaks and damage caused by water need to be addressed right away.  Ignoring these leaks can also prove deadly if mold and mildew start to develop.


Home Maintenance Mistake #4: Filling Grout Gaps.
The purpose of grout isn’t aesthetic.  The purpose of grout is to seal gaps between floor tiles.  If you have a gap in grout, you shouldn’t ignore them or simply fill them.  Gaps in grout mean that moisture is already starting to get through the grout and mold or mildew growth, plus potential water damage, is already a risk.  The best way to handle any gaps in grout is to clean out and remove any old grout and seal the gap with brand new grout.


Home Maintenance Mistake #5: Let Paint Chip and Peel Off.
Neglecting paint that is chipping or peeling is never a good idea.  Cracks in the paint expose drywall or exterior wood surfaces.  This means that water is penetrating the surfaces underneath the paint, which will cause further damage and only worsen the cracking and peeling paint.  If you spot any paint peeling or chipping off, remove any loose paint from the surface, repair any damage, prime with a coat of primer and then repaint.


Home Maintenance Mistake #6: Disregard Foggy Windows.
If you ever notice foggy windows, it’s a potential sign that the seal of the window is broken and may need replacing. Disregarding foggy windows may result in added heating and cooling expenses, so be sure to replace the seal as soon as possible.

Owning a home is a big responsibility and it doesn’t make sense to neglect your home.  Some neglect their home to save money, but as you can see, some of these home maintenance mistakes result in added expense (and headaches!).  If you properly maintain your home, you will help save on a lot of unnecessary repairs and expenses, including additional energy costs to run an improperly maintained home.

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Grennan Construction, a family owned and operated company since 1998.  We specialize in roofing, siding, windows, insulation, gutters and chimney repairs. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Credit: renjith krishnan via

Five Tips to Avoid Being Scammed

tips-to-avoid-being-scammed-grennan-constructionAs the weather continues to warm up and we prepare to head into the midst of summer months, more and more people begin to look into a variety of summer remodeling projects for their home.  Anything from remodeling, upgrades, maintenance and add-ons.  Whatever your next home construction job may entail, it is important that you’re aware of potential scams out there.  In particular, with the potential money involved in remodeling and construction, many homeowners have been scammed out of tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars and left with homes unsuitable for living.

Here are some helpful tips to help you avoid being the next victim of a remodeling scam.

  1. Avoid One-Time Offers or “Today Only” Sales.  Many scam artists utilize enticing one-time offers or “today only” sales as a gimmick to get people to agree to move forward with them.  It’s not to say that those in the construction industry can’t offer sales, but most companies have the flexibility to work with you on their pricing regardless of the timing.
  1. Do Your Research.  As a consumer, you have the power and the right to do your own research about a contractor.  A good source is the local Better Business Bureau.  While it doesn’t necessarily guarantee your results, most people turn to the BBB to complain about people or companies.  Also, look to see if the contractor is a legit legal entity filed with your state and has its own website.  Look at the quality of its website and whether there’s a physical address for that company that can be verified. If possible, ask for references and verify any references of prior customers.  Most customers should be happy to tell you about their experience with their remodel and the contractors that completed their remodel.
  1. Cash or Payment Upfront. Beware of companies or contractors that require payment for their work upfront, especially in cash.  While most companies will require some kind of deposit down to begin work, particularly because there are usually parts, materials and permits that need to be purchased prior to completion, you should be skeptical for any contractors requiring some kind of cash payment for a discount.  In fact, you’re better off paying with a credit card, because this way if there’s any dispute about the charges, most credit card companies will dispute the charges for you and even reverse the charges if the merchant is non-responsive or does not validate the charges.
  1. Beware of the Fly-By-Night Contractors.  There are plenty of contractors that drive in unmarked vans or cars, but company vehicles with marked vans, visible phone numbers and website address or other kinds of visible marketing can be a safer bet than the unmarked vehicle.  Sometimes the private or lone handyman contractor can provide you lower estimates for the work, because they don’t have the same kind of overhead of a company that is maintaining a website, office staff, and other expenses, but saving some money today may end up costing you more in the end.  You are paying for expertise, experience, establishment and peace of mind that you’re hiring contractors to complete the remodeling project—more than just completing the job, hopefully leaving you with your dream bathroom, kitchen, bedroom or home.
  1. Avoid Direct Solicitors.  Scam artists seek out victims and while it’s not necessarily a scam to be solicited for business, beware of the contractor that comes knocking on your door to tell you what things you need done on your house and claiming the ability to get it done inexpensively or quickly.  Unsolicited advice about remodeling and construction work on your home should immediately raise red flags for you.

Construction scams happen every day and it is heartbreaking to see so many people open up their home and wallets to these crooks.  Don’t be the next victim and be on guard whenever you are searching for your next construction company.  Most professional construction companies are going to be understanding of any hesitation you may have and would be happy to provide you all of the necessary information you need to make the decision to move forward or not.  If they don’t, then keep looking!

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Grennan Construction, a family owned and operated company since 1998.  We specialize in roofing, siding, windows, insulation, gutters and chimney repairs. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter.

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