Living here on the Crystal Coast is an amazing experience, but the paradise of island living also comes along with the yearly apprehension about hurricane season. If your home sustains damage during a storm, where do you turn? How do you select an honest and professional contractor who has the ability to repair any damage, leaving your home better than before the storm hit? Here are some tips on how to hire a trustworthy contractor after sustaining storm damage on your property.
Avoid Out of State Companies
Because of supply and demand after natural disasters, some companies with less-than-legitimate business practices may try to take advantage of distressed homeowners. One way to avoid scam artists, is to stick with a local contractor. They have nothing to gain by ruining their reputation on their home turf. An out of state company may have less motivation to honor any warranties, as they do not have a permanent presence in your area to make additional repairs if necessary.
Even if an out of state company is legitimate, they will not have access to the same level of local resources and vendors that a local contractor, who has taken years to build these relationships, should have.
Shopping for the Best Price May Be Out, But Due Diligence is Non-Negotiable
Realistically, you may not be able to shop based on lowest cost. Contractors will be slammed with requests for work, and you may even have to pay for an estimate. This does not mean you should abandon due diligence. Check the liability insurance of the company you are going to hire. Look at online reviews and check the Better Business Bureau for complaints. Ask to speak with past customers. Get at least three recent, local, references and contact them with questions.
Be wary of any company wanting payment for work up front, or in large installments. Be sure that you can reach a comfortable agreement, and always wait until you are satisfied that your project is complete before making final payment.
Have it Done Correctly the First Time
Be sure that the contractor you hire has restoration experience. When there is water damage to a home, it is crucial that the contractor knows the proper methods of restoration and repair! Experience with storm repair is particularly important if your home’s roof or siding have been damaged, or any structural damages have occurred. You do not want to be faced with unsafe living conditions from improperly executed repairs.
Do You Click with Your Contractor?
Do you feel comfortable asking your contractor questions? Communication is key, and you want someone renovating your home that you can develop a rapport with. If you have extensive remodels, the crew may be spending a lot of time at your house.
Do They Have Experience Working with Insurance Claims?
After a storm, contact your homeowner’s insurance company. Be sure to take photos of the damage and avoid making any permanent fixes that can impact your insurance claim. Ask your potential contractor how many insurance claims they have handled in the past year. If they have not handled any insurance claims, do they really have storm repair experience? Making sure that the contractor you hire has experience working with insurance companies should help you avoid anything that could have a negative impact on your insurance settlement.
Additionally, for information on hiring a dependable crew for your next painting project, check out our blog post on hiring a professional painting company. C.O.D. Home Services LLC is here for all of your building and painting needs. Contact us today!