FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida. In the wake of Hurricane Irma, many homeowners were left searching for a contractor to make repairs on their homes. It can be tough enough to look for a reputable contractor under the best of circumstances—for example, when making a home renovation. But when it comes to looking for a contractor to repair damage to your home due to flooding, water, or fire damage, the stress can be even greater. Not only might you be facing the stress of having survived a natural disaster, but you may also struggle to find a reliable contractor, as many people might be searching for the same after a storm. Contractors may be overbooked or have long wait lists. So, what can you do to avoid the worst home repair mistakes?
First of all, whether you are renovating or repairing, the New York Times notes that it is important to hire a licensed contractor. If you don’t use a licensed contractor, you might not be able to pursue legal remedies if anything goes wrong. Before you hire a contractor, you may want to search local databases to see if the contractor has any listed complaints or issues.
Consider also how you’ll pay for the work. Your insurance company sometimes may not offer you the full value of the work up front and some homeowners may find themselves footing the whole bill if the cost of repairs is lower than the deductible. Sometimes the cost of work can increase if more damage is found. In some cases, homeowners might ask that their deposit for contracting work be put in an escrow account and this money won’t be paid out until all work is completed. This way, if the costs of the repair go up, homeowners can negotiate with their insurance adjusters for added recoveries if the cost of repairs increases.
So, what should you look for when hiring a storm damage contractor? The Star Tribune recommends that you do your research. Some contractors travel from state to state repairing damage caused by storms. However, experts say that this isn’t always the best way to go about making repairs. Hiring local means that you’ll likely have a contractor who better understands local codes and workmanship. If you hire a traveling contractor, it is likely that his or her business is located in another state and the contractor will be likely to move on once the heavy demand for repairs goes down. Local contractors have a reputation to maintain, after all.
At the end of the day, you should approach hiring a repair contractor the same way you’d approach a home remodeling job. Ask for references, call them, and research the company to make sure there are no major complaints. If you find yourself having difficulty receiving the insurance payment you believe you deserve or are facing challenges with a contractor you have hired, consider reaching out to Leader & Leader, Fort Lauderdale, Florida homeowner’s insurance lawyer. Visit us at https://leader-law.com/ to learn more about how we can help you with your claim and navigate the insurance process.
Leader & Leader, P.A.
633 South Andrews Ave.
Fort Lauderdale, FL33301