Home repair workshop teaches locals how to avoid scams

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COLUMBIA - Homeworks Home Maintenance Training took place in City Hall on Saturday morning.

The workshop was a part of the city's Owner Occupied Rehab Program and was open to the public.

The main goal of the class was to help homeowners maintain their homes on their own and avoid costly services. 

Discussions were based around topics like preventative home maintenance, basic home repairs, and do-it-yourself improvement projects. 

KOMU talked with the City of Columbia's Housing Specialist Eric Hempel about the best tips for staying away from scams.

Hempel advised, "Whenever anybody contracts with somebody to do work, either on their home or anywhere else, they need to be very cautious and avoid giving any money upfront." He continued, "Sometimes it is required but you definitely don't want to pay for the entire job upfront."

He also added that checking references is the first step in finding a contractor for a handyman job. He admitted, "There have been some instances in the City of Columbia contractors that have not preformed according to contract."