You’ve made it past one of the most damaging weather seasons in recent years, but many homes that were buffeted by heavy rains and wind in storm after storm sustained some level of damage. Now that the weather is clearing, it’s common for contractors to spring up everywhere, offering deals on home repair—yet some of these so-called professionals are nothing but crooks just waiting to take you (and your home) for a ride. They know homeowners are anxious to have their homes returned to pristine condition, which makes them vulnerable to exploitation. Here’s how to make sure that you don’t get taken advantage of:
Work with a professional. Ensure you are working with a contractor that has a current license issued by the local or state regulatory agency. The contractor should also provide a copy of his or her general liability and workers compensation coverage, or you could end up having to rely on your own sea coast homeowners insurance policy in the event of an injury or property damage that occurs while someone is working on your property.
Check references. Contact the Better Business Bureau or trade associations such as the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) to find out whether any complaints have been filed against the contractor. Consider checking out the various online organizations that offer personal recommendations based upon users’ experience with local service providers.
Get multiple estimates. Obtain at least three written estimates from different contractors that itemize the scope of work in detail. The contract your decide on should offer a signed contract with a guarantee in writing, as a verbal agreement is worthless in the event of a problem.
Don’t pay for more than one third of the job’s cost up front. Professional contractors won’t expect more than that, understanding that your policy may pay for some or all of the repairs being made.
Another way to make sure you get what you pay for: talk to a professional agent about sea coast homeowners insurance to ensure that the policy features, benefits, and coverage amounts protecting your home are sufficient to restore your home to all its glory should stormy weather wreak havoc on your house.