6/27/2014 7:47:00 AM Ask the contractor: Do a thorough vetting of 'too good to be true' offers
Sandy Griffis Yavapai County Contractors Association
It seems as if almost every day we receive offers that sound too good to be true. Offers come through the mail, by telephone or knocks on our front doors. Most offers have one objective, and that is to separate you from your money. Our area has certainly not been exempt from such predators.
Last week I received a call from a gentlemen inquiring about a company that wanted to seal his duct work for "free." In the past, there have been offers such as this that were not on the up and up and created major construction and mold issues with homes in our area. These contractors have since had their licenses revoked.
I reached out to Matt Meierbachtol, Manager Northwest Communication of APS. The soliciting contractor is a participating contractor in the APS Duct Test and Repair program, exclusively working on mobile homes. This is not a free full system duct seal, but rather what is known in the industry as a "boot seal" - a hand seal reaching into the floor supply returns and seal and areas only as far as the hand can reach. This contractor has recently deployed into the Prescott area to work on mobile homes. Although this offer seems "too good to be true," it truly is free to the customer for a boot seal only at the rebate price of $200, which is only a partial amount of the total $400 available. This contractor seals the limited number of floor registers and essentially the customer signs the rebate of $400 over to the contractor, which is allowed, ultimately providing no out-of-pocket cost to the homeowner. Keep in mind that this is not a full system seal, which would include supply, return and equipment sealing. The contractor uses this "no out of pocket cost" as a marketing tool and if customers have any questions or concerns about this they should call APS to confirm that they are a valid contractor and that the work being performed is in the accepted range of approved and authorized rebates from APS.
APS has strict requirements for every participating contractor coming on any of their energy programs one of which being the contractor must be licensed without any complaints from the Arizona Registrar of Contractors and the BBB. In order to ensure the job is done correctly, APS performs a 100 percent desk Q&A on every job as well as a high percentage of random onsite job inspections.
If you are truly interested in a full duct seal and how this process can save you dollars, there are other local companies that perform the full test in and test out for leakage, set up pressure tests on the duct work which gives a measurement of air loss and the full service test offers a rebate of $400 to the customer. It is important to know that once you apply and receive a rebate for duct testing, you are not allowed to go back and have a full duct seal performed and apply for additional rebates. What sounds like a wonderful "free" offer does have its issues, if there are problems discovered down the road.
There are several area contractors participating in the APS programs. As the consumer, you have the option in a number of the APS programs to sign the rebate over to the contactor for an instant discount. For example, if your project is $1,000 and you qualify for $500 in rebates, you can sign the rebate over to the contractor so you would only pay $500 out of pocket.
APS is truly a partner and is offering in home energy programs to save the consumer money and ensure they have cost-effective energy systems in place. (This is the APS "Duct Seal and Repair Program" for all homes, not just manufactured homes. It is being sold/marketed as a "manufactured home deal, though it is not. APS does not have a program for specifically manufactured homes). For additional programs offered by APS visit their web site www.aps.com.
This reminder sounds too good to be true, but it is TRUE! June 28 is the last day for all City of Prescott residents, to take advantage of the Free Residential Slash Drop-Off. The City of Prescott and the Wildland Fire Division are sponsoring Free Residential Slash Drop-off to assist with fire prevention measures. From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 28, at the City Transfer Station drop off your yard debris. All loads must be contained and covered. No bagged brush or no trash will be accepted in the brush area. No commercial brush loads will be accepted. Please weigh in at the fee booth. Should you have any questions or need directions, call 777-1116.
Remember to tune in to YCCA's Hammer Time every Saturday and Sunday morning 7 a.m. on KQNA Talk of The Quad Cities 1130 am/99.9 fm or the web kqna.com. Listen to Sandy to Mike talk about the construction industry and meet your local community partners.