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Homeowners with storm damage must proceed cautiously when hiring a contractor

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Earlier this week, we discussed how virtually no part of the country has been left unscathed by recent outbreaks of severe weather, including normally sunny California, which has seen unprecedented levels of snow and rain.

We also discussed how those homeowners who suffered some level of damage owing to this inclement weather might not know where to turn or what to do. To that end, we provided some basic tips on what homeowners can do in the immediate aftermath of a severe weather outbreak resulting in considerable destruction.

In today's post, we'll take things one step further by examining some basic tips offered by experts for retaining the services of a contractor to repair storm damage.

While some homeowners might question the need for such an exercise, it's important to understand that failing to hire the right contractor can cost them already precious time and money.

When looking for a contractor to help with storm damage, experts advise avoiding the following:

  • Individuals going door-to-door, especially those doing so shortly after a storm
  • Individuals traveling in unmarked vans and trucks
  • Individuals using high-pressure sales tactics, perhaps offering services for a brief window
  • Individuals requiring more than 50 percent of the project cost upfront

Once a homeowner has found what they believe to be viable options for the project, experts recommend the following steps:

  • Secure bids from at least three different contractors
  • Make sure that all candidates are licensed and insured for the work to be performed, and check references
  • Before signing a written contract, ensure that it does not call for a down payment of more than one-third of the project cost, outlines anticipated start and finish dates, and provides the contractor's vital information (company name, address, phone number, etc.)
  • Refrain from letting payments get ahead of the work completed

Here's hoping the foregoing information provides some much-need insight and peace of mind to those homeowners who find themselves in the unfortunate position of having suffered some manner of storm damage.

Source: Clarksville Now, "Tips for consumers filing claims, hiring contractors after storm damage," March 2, 2017

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