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Beware of unscrupulous contractors for winter home repairs

Written by Tim Lambert and Radio Pennsylvania | Jan 9, 2015 7:00 AM
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(Harrisburg) -- With frigid temperatures blanketing the midstate, homeowners may find themselves facing things like broken water pipes or malfunctioning furnaces.

But if repairs to plumbing or heating systems are needed, the state Attorney General's Office warns to be on the look out for scams from potential contractors.

The office's J.J. Abbott offers a few tips for people to protect themselves.

"Customers should always get a written contract for any project that costs more than $500," he says. "They need to know they have a three-day right to cancel any contract for home improvement."

He says make sure to have everything in writing before work begins.

"They want to get all the details up front -- the total sales price and any costs for materials and laborers on the project," he says. "They want to get a time frame from the contractor -- both a start date and an end date."

Abott says the AG's office does register contractors and the list is available at attorneygeneral.gov.

Consumers should also get multiple estimates for any major project and check references for recent work before committing to any repairs.

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