Heavy rains pounded the Louisville area recently, bringing a multitude of issues for homeowners and local residents who suffered flooding and were left with water damage. If you are left in the wake of clean up and repair, chances are you are looking for a reputable professional to help.
In order to avoid the shady repairman who is not licensed and could possibly skip town before your repair work is done, the BBB offers the following tips for homeowners who may be facing major repairs.
- Make sure to verify that the contractor you select is licensed and insured. Verify the track record of any professional you are considering hiring. Ask for a list of references and call them.
- Find a contractor who is recommended by friends, relatives, neighbors, coworkers, insurance agents, or claims adjusters. Always check to see if any complaints have been lodged with the local Better Business Bureau (BBB) against the professional you are considering.
- Proceed carefully before signing a contract. Get a written estimate that includes any oral promises that were made, but remember to ask if there is a charge for estimates before allowing anyone into your home. Ask for explanations for price variations and don’t automatically choose the lowest bidder. Get a copy of the final, signed contract before the job begins.
- Resist dealing with any contractor who asks you to pay for the entire job up-front. A deposit of one-third of the total price is standard procedure. Pay only by check or credit card, and pay the final amount only after the work is completed to your satisfaction. Don’t pay cash.
- Be skeptical of contractors who encourage you to spend a lot of money on temporary repairs. Make sure there’s enough money for permanent repairs.
Although choosing a qualified contractor who will repair the damage is essential, you must know what portion of the bill you will be responsible for upfront. Unfortunately, many homeowners policies won’t cover water damage that comes from outside your home. Before you hire someone, review your home insurance policy and find out how much these repairs will cost you before you are flooded with bills you didn’t expect to pay.
For more tips, go to the Better Business Bureau website at https://www.bbb.org or call 1-800-388-2222.