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Home Improvement Scams Hitting Maryland

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Although there are virtually no home improvements that provide a 100% return on investment, there are some that yield a pretty good ROI. According to HouseLogic, replacing a front door can provide an ROI of 98%, a minor kitchen remodel offers an ROI of 81.8%, and a bathroom remodel often nets an ROI of 77.1%. Some of the worst remodels by ROI, according to HouseLogic, are home office remodels, which have an ROI of 52.6%.

However, there are some certain home improvements that provide a 0% return on investment… because they’re actually scams.

It’s been recently reported that the warmer weather has brought con artists in Frederick County out and about.

“During the warmer months, people have a tendency to see more home improvement scams,” said Dep. Amanda Hatcher, a spokesperson for the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office.

Apparently, scammers are going door to door in neighborhoods around the county, promising homeowners that they can renovate their properties at miniscule prices.

“If a salesperson solicited or sold the home improvement, then the contract must also contain the name and license number of each salesperson,” offers the Maryland Home Improvement Commission (MHIC) in warning.

According to Hatcher, the key is to ask for the company’s business information.

“Make sure that they have a good business name, address, telephone number, they can provide references,” she said. “Somebody’s that legitimate will be able to provide all of that.”

Officials believe that the scammers are targeting the elderly and subdivisions of families, mainly.

The Sheriff’s Office has said that they’re being proactive, and taking the necessary steps to deal with the problem. Hatcher has said that the sheriff’s office has increased patrols in neighborhoods.

However, the deputies note that the best way to prevent being scammed is to simply turn any contractor who comes to the door away, and instead rely on the personal recommendations of friends and family.

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