The construction of today’s houses is good, considering the use of technology and new materials that are very stable and durable. However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t prone to damage, especially when it comes to natural disasters that no one can predict or stop.
As seen below, you can do something to further protect your home from natural disasters:
If your home has suffered an earthquake, hurricane, storm, or other similar disaster, the first step is to contact your insurer. The damage assessment is of great importance to know how much the insurance can cover and which costs will go out of your pocket. Only after that can you hire a contractor and start restoring your home.
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Don’t Make Hasty Decisions
You’re under a lot of stress after your house was damaged. You just want to fix it as soon as possible and make it livable again. That’s a situation when most people are vulnerable, so unscrupulous contractors try to take advantage of that. Don’t be surprised if you find them nearby or right at your door offering their services.
The fact that contractors are looking for work instead of clients looking for them is nothing new. But that’s not how legit and reputable companies work. Still, some shoddy contractors won’t hesitate to come to your door and offer their services at high prices, which is very unethical.
In order not to fall into this trap and pay more for the restoration than you should, hold your horses and don’t hire the first contractors who show up at your door. Do your research on local restoration companies and find the legitimate and reputable one that offers the services you need at a reasonable price.
Find Legitimate Restoration Companies in Your Area
Natural disasters are a trigger for fly-by-night companies to turn a profit. They take advantage of the situation when desperate people need help to fix their houses as soon as possible. The only way to avoid fraudsters is to put some effort into researching local contractors and checking their reputation and track record.
You can start by getting some recommendations from friends and neighbors. Then there’s the Internet for further search, and you can look for companies that offer specialized services or general home remodeling. Then shortlist local undertakers and check their websites.
See whether these contractors are state license holders and association members. Working with unlicensed companies is risky, as you can see here. Also, having some certificates is a plus because they show that companies put extra effort into training and education.
Get Multiple Bids
Don’t be surprised if some contractors require payment of a certain fee to give you a project cost estimate. In areas hit by a disaster, there’s a shortage of restoration companies, so finding an available contractor can be tricky. They would rather work with homeowners who need a sure bid than those who just shop around.
Of course, that shouldn’t stop you from looking for the most favorable restoration solution. You have an absolute right to shop around. But when you come across serious restoration contractors with an excellent reputation, it pays off to put in some extra dollars for their bids. After that, they come on the spot to give you the most accurate quote.
If you don’t want to pay, get several cost estimates over the phone and compare them. After that, it’s good to single out at least three companies and ask for interviews. Meeting face-to-face and communicating in person will give you more information that can be crucial for the final selection.
Meet in Person
Prepare for the interview and determine the questions whose answers can help you with the decision. Also, be very detailed in presenting your problem, which will help the contractor get a better picture of your property and possible issues they may encounter during the restoration.
After checking the details of licenses and certificates, be sure to ask contractors if they are insured. Licensed restoration companies usually carry general or extended liability insurance, so you’ll be covered in case of some unforeseen situations. Also, ask about their portfolio with particular attention to projects similar to yours.
Then, ask about the project, how long it will take, what needs to be done, materials, etc. Find a way for a contractor to work with your budget by asking about their payment methods and schedule. Experts from CRUSA agree you shouldn’t pay the whole sum in advance. Get everything in writing before you sign anything.
Do your homework and schedule a meeting. It’ll help you assess the seriousness and professionalism of the restoration company. If they asked you questions and showed interest in your case, while offering a fair price that fits your budget, you find yourself a restoration contractor.