Three Tips for Choosing the Right Contractor After a Disaster

carpenter with tape measure on 1x4 board

When a fire, storm, or act of vandalism damages your home, you want to get it fixed as soon as possible. Home insurance may provide you with the financial means to pay for these types of repairs. However, you shouldn’t rush into choosing a contractor for the job. Doing so could cause you financial loss in the long term. Instead, follow these tips for choosing a contractor to help you with the process.

Who You Hire Matters

Before looking into how to choose a contractor, consider what could go wrong. If you hire a contractor that lacks insurance coverage for its employees, and an accident occurs, you could be on the line for those injuries. More so, your home insurance company is not going to pay out more than once for the work. In other words, you need a team capable of doing an excellent job the first time, every time. How do you know who to hire, then?

#1: Insured Professionals Are Essential

Your insurance agent may require you to verify the insurance coverage for the individual before hiring them. As noted, if you hire a contractor without insurance, and he or she suffers a loss on your property, they could file a liability claim against your home’s policy. That only increases your potential costs. Be sure to verify this by seeing the company’s documentation.

#2: Licensed in Your Community

There are two things to verify here. First, if you are hiring a professional to handle the plumbing or electrical work, they must have a certification by industry standards. If you are hiring a building contractor or anyone handling structural work, they also need a certification.

Also, ensure the company has a license in your community to provide service. It’s not uncommon for an area to see an influx of out-of-state and unlicensed professionals providing service in a community after a natural disaster occurs. Always hire a local company. They will know how to meet all local standards.

#3: Sign a Contract with a Guarantee

Any time you have a professional provide you with work, you need to be sure they can offer quality work. They should provide a warranty for any parts and materials. Those should come from the manufacturer. They should also offer a guarantee on the workmanship. Sign a contract documenting this.

You can also verify the company’s reputation online. Talk to neighbors, too. Your home insurance agent can often offer recommendations for contractors they trust. This may be the best way to ensure you get a pro you can depend on.

FAQ’s About Three Tips for Choosing the Right Contractor After a Disaster

What should I look for when choosing a contractor after a disaster?

Look for a contractor who is licensed, insured, experienced in disaster recovery, and has positive reviews from previous clients.

How can I verify a contractor’s license and insurance?

You can check a contractor’s license and insurance by contacting your state’s licensing board and insurance department.

Should I choose a contractor based solely on price?

No, you should not choose a contractor solely based on price. It’s important to consider the contractor’s qualifications and experience as well.

How can I ensure that the contractor I choose will do a good job?

You can ensure that the contractor you choose will do a good job by checking their references, reviewing their portfolio of past work, and asking for a detailed contract that outlines the scope of work and payment terms.

What should I do if a contractor asks for payment upfront?

Be cautious if a contractor asks for payment upfront. It’s common for contractors to require a deposit or partial payment, but you should never pay the full amount upfront.

How can I protect myself from contractor fraud?

You can protect yourself from contractor fraud by doing your research, checking references, verifying licenses and insurance, and never paying the full amount upfront.

Should I sign a contract with a contractor before work begins?

Yes, you should always sign a contract with a contractor before work begins. The contract should outline the scope of work, payment terms, and any warranties or guarantees.

What should I do if I’m not satisfied with the work a contractor has done?

If you’re not satisfied with the work a contractor has done, you should first try to work out a solution with the contractor. If that doesn’t work, you may need to take legal action.

What should I do if a contractor doesn’t show up for work?

If a contractor doesn’t show up for work, you should try to contact them to find out why. If you can’t reach them, you may need to find a new contractor.

How can I ensure that the contractor I choose is reliable and trustworthy?

You can ensure that the contractor you choose is reliable and trustworthy by doing your research, checking references, verifying licenses and

What inquiries should I make before hiring a contractor?

When considering hiring a contractor, we should ask:

  1. Are you licensed and insured?
  2. How many years of experience do you have in the industry?
  3. Can you provide references from previous clients?
  4. Do you offer a written contract detailing the scope, timeline, and costs of the project?
  5. Will you provide an itemized estimate of the project cost?
  6. Who will be responsible for obtaining necessary permits and inspections?
  7. How will you handle any changes or modifications to the project after construction begins?
  8. How will you communicate updates and progress throughout the construction process?
  9. What is your policy regarding warranty or guarantees on workmanship and materials used?

How can I maintain clear communication with my contractor?

To ensure effective communication with our contractor, we should:

  • Establish a preferred method of communication, such as phone calls, emails, or text messages.
  • Set expectations for frequency and responsiveness of communication.
  • Appoint a single point of contact for communication with the contractor.
  • Write down important project decisions and changes for reference.
  • Hold regular progress meetings or site visits to discuss the project.
  • Address any concerns or misunderstandings promptly and professionally.

What are the indications of an untrustworthy contractor?

Keep an eye out for the following warning signs that may indicate an unreliable contractor:

    • Lack of proper licensing, certification, or insurance.
    • Providing an unusually low estimate or requesting a large upfront payment.
    • Pressuring you to make a quick decision or sign a contract without sufficient details.
    • Unwillingness to provide references or an incomplete portfolio of past work.
    • Inability to provide a clear timeline or consistent communication throughout the project.
    • Frequent changes in the project scope, cost, or timeline without valid explanation.

Health Quote Request

Fill out the following form as completely as possible. Once you have completed the form, click the Submit button to send your information. Your request will be handled promptly.
Skip to content