Mother nature can cause a lot of damage with heavy rains, lightning, hail, heavy winds, and all the other weather she likes to throw at us. When storms hit, there are some contractors that follow – ready to jump in and take advantage of the disaster situation and those individuals that are suffering from the aftermath.
Before you put your money and trust in the hands of a complete stranger, you need to be aware of what to watch for and how to select the right contractor for your needs.
What’s The Worst That Could Happen?
Well… a lot, actually. You’re counting on the contractor you’ve hired to help you repair your home after the storm damage. You need someone that is skilled, but more importantly insured and licensed. And also someone that isn’t going to cost you an arm and a leg to complete these repairs!
All contractors are not created equal. Some contractors make a living from charging more than what they’re worth, and taking advantage of consumers when they’re at their most vulnerable.
What To Watch For In After Storm Contractors
While we all tend to think “that will never happen to me!”, the fact is bad contractors don’t have a neon sign identifying themselves as scammers. Here are some of the red flags to be aware of that can save you time, sanity, and money
The contractor is not local: When a storm hits, contracts that come in from out of town are not uncommon. Storm restoration companies travel where the work is, but if the company you’re working with cannot produce a legitimate business address and are only operating from a PO box or hotel address, it’s definitely a cause for pause. If you do decide to move forward with a contractor from out of state, make sure you have in writing how they will handle any warranty issues should repairs or replacements be necessary.
Something seems too good to be true: The saying “if something seems too good to be true, it probably is” definitely applies to contractors in disaster situations. Let’s pretend your insurance company determines the damage to your roof will cost you $10,000. As you look for a contractor, this price rings true, aside from one contractor who says the roof will be $8,000 and use the extra $2,000 to repair windows. This offer sounds great, but why is one contractor able to make that offer with others can’t? This could be considered insurance fraud, which could legally put you at risk, but also, the quality of work may be sub-par – costing you more in the long run.
Only accepts cash: Be on alert. If the contractor requests cash only as payment, or demands cash up front, this is a big red flag. Typically you will be out your payment with no real work done on your home.
No contracts or estimates: When working with any service provider, you can expect to have a contract drawn up with the terms of the work. A paper trail will cover any issues that may arise and how they will be resolved at a future date. If you are denied a contract, move on to a different contractor.
Missing essential documents: All contractors should have the following: Referrals, Insurance, and Proper Licensing. If they cannot provide any of these documents it’s time to try a different contractor. You can always do your leg work online as well!
The contractor doesn’t follow protocol: If you find that your contractor is cutting corners, such as not getting proper permits, using left over supplies from another job instead of purchasing new supplies for your home, etc. there’s a problem that needs to be addressed.
If you feel that something is off with the contractor, trust your gut. Go with your instinct and begin by doing your homework and researching the company online. If you find that others have had issues, it’s time to find another contractor.
The restoration services at McMahon’s will include:
- Timely Inspection and Evaluation of your water or sewage loss
- Emergency Water Extraction
- Providing Water Damage Estimate
- Water Damage Cleanup and Restoration
- Repairs, Rebuild, or Construction Services