- Research local, established contractors familiar with your area. After a disaster, there will surely be “fly-by-night” contractors trying to take advantage of vulnerable homeowners by charging exorbitant amounts for poor work or, sometimes, no work at all. Research local contractors who are established in your community and familiar with the building, repair, and permit restrictions for your area. Research contractors on Better Business Bureau at http://www.bbb.org to be sure they don’t have a record of consumer complaints.
- Get multiple estimates. You may not know if the first contractor you consult with gives you an accurate and fair estimate for the necessary repair work to your home. It’s smart to get a second or third opinion so you can compare before deciding on which contractor is best for the job.
- Request customer referrals. Reputable professional contractors should have references to provide you from current or past satisfied customers. Reach out to these references and speak to previous customers regarding their experience.
- Confirm contractor’s license and insurance. A professional contractor will always hold the necessary credentials to legally operate in the community for the type of work they are performing (plumbing, electrical, HVAC, etc.). The contractor should be insured and be able to show proof of that insurance.
- Beware of suspicious payment arrangements. Beware of “cash only” contractors. No reputable contractor will require full payment upfront in cash. A reasonable deposit for materials is common, but be sure you have a signed contract before making any payment. Beware of the common scam in which a contractor will offer you a limited time low price claiming he has left over materials after completing another job in your neighborhood. Never feel forced to make a decision quickly when it comes to choosing a contractor to repair your home.
- Verify the contractor’s contact information. A contractor that only has a P.O. Box and no physical address may be a red flag. Get the contractor’s address, phone number(s), and email address, and verify that the information is correct and functioning before signing a contract.
As attorneys representing home and business owners, we have seen the damage, devastation, and disruptions that hurricanes and storms can cause. We have represented thousands of clients against insurance companies that have tried to avoid and delay payment for legitimate losses our clients have incurred.
Do you have property damage related to Hurricane Harvey? We focus on representing the policyholder and making sure you are treated fairly. Contact us today to discuss your claim or if you have any questions. Please use our Free Case Evaluation Form below or call us at 713-714-0000.
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