Finding the Right Contractor after a Hurricane
After a hurricane, many homeowners will need costly repairs to fix wind damage or flooding. Although some minor repairs might be something that homeowners can do themselves, many will need to hire a contractor.
But this can be difficult, especially after a hurricane. When a storm lands, thousands of homes are usually damaged. This means that contractors will be in high demand, and there might not be enough of them to go around.
What should a homeowner do? Below are some great tips from MarketWatch about finding a contractor to come work on your home.
Check with Your Insurer
You need to report any damage to your insurer promptly. Your insurance agent might also have ideas about contractors who could work on the home.
Be Prepared to Pay a Fee to Get a Contractor to Visit
In most situations, a person needing to hire a contractor contacts several of them, and they come out to look at the property before submitting a formal bid. After a storm, however, most contractors will be too busy. If you want to get a contractor to come out, then you should be prepared to pay a fee for his time. If you ultimately hire the contractor, then you should be refunded the fee, or it can be applied to your bill.
Research Any Contractors
There are many scammers who pop up after a hurricane. They often try to get people to pay upfront and then disappear with the money, performing no work in the process.
Before hiring someone, you need to research their reputation, no matter how desperate you are to find someone. You can look at websites like Angie’s List or the Better Business Bureau. You can also do an online search.
Be wary of references. A seasoned scammer will have several people they know pose as previous “clients,” who will give a glowing recommendation. If possible, ask to speak to business clients, since they are harder to fake.
Check for Hurricane Related Experience
Repairing homes damaged by hurricanes is not the same as working on other buildings. For example, if your home was flooded, it must be properly dried before any repair work can commence. If someone puts up sheetrock in a wet home, then mold will grow, and you can become sick. Try to find a contractor who has repaired storm-damaged homes before.
Ask for License & Insurance Information
A general contractor should be properly licensed by the state. Ask for the license information and check to see that they are really licensed. A contractor should also have general liability insurance. Ask for details about the policy.
Don’t Pay Upfront
This is the classic scam technique. Some contractors might even promise to offer a discount if you pay upfront. Instead, you should tie payment to the completion of certain projects. For example, if the basement is dried out, you might pay 10%. You can pay another 10% when the drywall has been installed. Come up with a payment schedule that does not commit you to huge installments before any work has been finished.
Contact Bundza & Rodriguez Today
Our Daytona Beach residential & commercial property damage attorneys in Volusia County can help when you have a dispute with a residential insurance company or a business insurer. Call 386-252-5170 to schedule a free initial consultation.