The recent hail and wind storm has left many of us assessing damages and planning repairs. As we navigate this process, it’s crucial to act wisely to protect ourselves from potential pitfalls and scams. Here’s a clear and concise guide to help you move forward:
- In-depth Research: Before engaging with any repair company, validate their credibility. Reliable resources include the Better Business Bureau, MN Department of Commerce, and Angi.com. Also, local community forums can offer first-hand feedback along with google and online reviews.
- Credential Verification: Ensure workers are licensed in our area and possess a solid record of integrity and service.
- Prioritize Local Contractors: Local businesses have a deeper understanding of our community’s needs, and in case of any follow-ups, they’re readily available. Ask if local workers will be doing the work.
- Seek Multiple Estimates: Quotes that are exceptionally high or low can indicate discrepancies. Secure several bids to determine the market standard for your required repairs.
- Written Agreements are Essential: All job details, from materials to costs and completion dates, should be documented to prevent misunderstandings.
- Understand Your Contract: Familiarize yourself with all terms before signing. If any parts seem ambiguous, it’s wise to seek expert advice. You don’t need to sign anything to have a contractor do an inspection.
- Stay Informed of Your Rights: Contracts with terms that potentially waive your rights, like “assignment of benefit contracts,” should be approached with caution. When in doubt, consult with professionals.
- Credit Card Payments are Safer: If feasible, pay with a credit card to avail added protection against potential disputes. If not, always obtain and store detailed payment records.
- Close Out Permits: It’s essential to ensure all work permits related to the repairs are duly finalized to prevent future complications.
- Structured Payments: Avoid paying the entire amount upfront. Instead, establish a payment structure based on work milestones.
For a deeper dive and additional guidance:
- Butler & Associates Post-Hail Storm Guide
- MN Dept of Labor & Industry’s Handbook
- MN Attorney General’s Guide on Contractor Selection
In the aftermath of a storm, especially one with hail and wind damages, informed decisions are our best ally. Let’s rebuild and recover with vigilance and clarity.