Countless Texas homeowners and businesses have been affected by the havoc wreaked by Harvey. Not surprisingly, the demand is high for contractor services to repair and renovate water-damaged homes and commercial spaces after the floodwaters recede. As it happens in such situations, there’s a rise in the number of shady storm chaser remodeling contractors who visit door to door, offering to rebuild houses quickly or on the cheap. But a major cause for concern is how trusted are these services that claim to rebuild what is possibly your biggest investment.
If you’re a victim of the storm and are looking for a remodeling contractor to start to fix your damaged property, you need to be careful about who you hire to get the job done. Contractors looking to make fast money off rebuilding homes promise to restore your home and business space but will either delay the process interminably or even completely fail to perform work they were paid to do. Here are some ways you can take necessary precautions and avoid being scammed by such contractors while remodeling your flood ravaged home.
Tips to Safeguard Yourself from Shady Remodeling Contractors
- Ask for references
Always ask the contractor for references. And get a background check done. If possible do this prior to making a decision.Because it is also a good idea to check licenses. Know more about the necessary permits to avoid relying exclusively on a single contractor.
- Ask for a printed contract
Ask for a contract where the details of the work and the subsequent cleanup are clearly specified. Your contract should make provisions for payments after the completion of different stages of work. The major portion of payments must be kept on hold till the successful completion of the entire job. The contract must contain lawful terms and conditions to safeguard you, the consumer, from corrupt contractors.
- Be Precise About the Repair Work You Want to Get Done
Before hiring a Houston home remodeling contractor, you must discuss the proposed dates for starting and completion of the repair work and these details must be clearly spelled out in the contract. You should also inquire about the materials included within the repair work.
Try not to make any sudden decisions and do your homework before appointing a contractor. Genuine home repair contractors are aware that you need to check them out prior to signing a contract.
Said No To Storm Chaser Remodeling Contractors – Now What?
So how do you know if you’ve hired the right person for the job? Let’s look at some factors and considerations to keep in mind when you select a remodeling contractor to restore your flood-damaged home.
- Check The Previous Work Record of the Contractor You Want To Hire
If you wish to employ genuine and well-known professionals within your community, you need to do your research. Enquire about the contractor’s proof of liability and ask for references of previous clients. A good contractor should be able to give you the references of at least three clients with projects like yours.
- Contact the Local Contractor License Board Prior To Giving Hefty Payments For Work
Investigate if the licensed contractor you wish to employ has run into any credit problems in the past. Try to get a few written estimates for the job.
Do not spend a hefty sum on temporary repairs or you will not have enough left over for permanent repairs. At times, deceitful ‘contractors’ convince the homeowner that a huge deposit is necessary prior to initiating the repair work. Such fraudsters start but do not end up finishing the work and it is impossible to trace them afterwards.
- See What is, & What Isn’t, Included in Your Insurance Policy
Homeowners’ policies usually include hail, wind and post-storm rain damage. It is better not to file a claim if the damage is less than your deductible. Keep the receipts for reimbursement later on by your insurer.
Storm chaser remodeling contractors have been known to not abide by these conditions. Unscrupulous contractors are more than willing to make a living out of disaster victims. Do not give out personal information to anyone posing as a contractor. And, always remember — honest and genuine contractors seldom solicit door to door services.