Don’t Get Scammed By An Unreliable Contractor
When a storm strikes your property, it can be devastating. Not only must you worry about repairing the damages, but you have to worry about insurance, keeping your home safe during the process, and your finances. The last thing you need to worry about is getting scammed by an unreliable contractor looking to take advantage of an already vulnerable situation.
While the weather in Iowa can be unpredictable and may leave you unprepared for the damage a storm can cause, it doesn’t mean that you need to be unprepared to hire a contractor. In fact, being prepared, doing a little research and knowing what questions to ask can make a huge difference in the levels of stress these unfortunate situations can bring.
Where to look:
It can be overwhelming to get on the internet and search for a “roofing contractor” or something similar. Fortunately, there are many resources out there to help narrow down the initial list of who to call. The first place to start is the Better Business Bureau or local Chamber of Commerce.
Businesses who take the time to be a part of their community are typically businesses who care about running their operation with integrity. Pick a handful of them and then ask around. Word of mouth is the best way to find out what other people have experienced, and with community Facebook groups, Nextdoor.com and review websites, it’s easier than ever to hear others’ feedback.
Once a list has been prepared with contractors to touch base with, it’s time to start calling around. During the initial phone call, make sure to ask good questions. Ask for a copy of their license and insurance to make sure that they are in good standing and their certifications are all valid. It’s equally important to ask for references – both past customers and vendors.
If you are going to trust this company in your home, you deserve to know that they have a good reputation with past customers and that they are reliable and pay their bills on time with vendors. Any good contractor will have no problem offering a little extra information to help gain the trust of a potential customer.
Always get at least three to four estimates from different contractors. Once all the bids are back, compare the options. Make sure that everything is itemized, and remember the old saying “you get what you pay for.” If an estimate is drastically lower than all the rest, it’s a good indication that the contractor may be desperate to get the work – which can be a huge red flag for many reasons. At the same time, the most expensive price doesn’t always indicate the best work. Pay attention to the communication and response time throughout the entire process of these initial conversations.
Get it in writing:
Once you’ve chosen which contractor you want to use, ask for a written contract. Included should be the full cost of the work, the payment structure indicating when payment is due, and a timeline of when to expect the project to be completed. Contractors should never ask for payment upfront, and they should always be willing to put everything in writing ahead of time to protect both their customer and themselves.
When reviewing all the research you’ve done, it’s most important to trust your gut. At the end of the day, you must feel good about the decision you’re making. Communication, customer service, reliability, and reputation all need to be considered when it comes to trusting someone with your greatest assets.
Choosing the right contractor for the job can be a tedious process, but it will be less stressful if you choose a reputable company that you can trust.
Home Solutions of Iowa has been in business since 2003. We started as a one-man show and now have close to 50 employees, and have served over 20,000 happy customers. We stand behind the quality of our materials, our labor and our warranties, which sets us apart.