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Storm Damage? BBB Has 10 Tips for Hiring A Repair Contractor

8.9.2013

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Storms are continuing to cause problems with water damage, flooding and downed trees in the Southern Piedmont area. 

Unfortunately, flooding can lead to an even bigger problem with mold. If you have storm damage, the BBBhas a checklist with ten tips for hiring a home repair contractor, roofing company or tree removal service. 

“When your home or business is damaged, it’s important to get it repaired quickly,” said BBB President Tom Bartholomy. 

“Although you have an emergency situation after a storm, you should take a few minutes to do your homework to find a local contractor with a good track record.” 

“There are hundreds of local contractors who specialize in hail damage, water damage, mold remediation and tree removal that will deliver quality work, on time and within budget,” Bartholomy added. 

“One of the worst mistakes is to hire a storm chaser, a contractor who is working out of his pick-up truck and going door-to-door soliciting business in storm-damaged areas.”

BBB Checklist: 10 tips for hiring a home repair contractor, a roofing company or tree removal service: 

1. Track record
 – Check out a company’s BBB rating and complaint history at www.bbb.org. It’s fast, easy and free. You can also call the BBB at (704) 927-8611 or 1-877-317-7236, toll-free in N.C. and S.C. Customer service operators are available, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (excluding 12-1 p.m. for lunch). 

2. Cost comparisons - Get at least three bids in writing and be sure you compare the bids based on the same warranty, specifications, labor and time. 

3. Licensing - Check to see if the company you plan to hire has the proper licensing. 

· N.C. General Contractors Licensing Board, click on Licensee Search 
· S.C. Contractors Licensing Board, click on Licensee Lookup

4. Insurance
 - Verify the company’s liability insurance to protect you against damage. You can also check with the department of insurance in your state.

· N.C. Dept. of Insurance - 1-800-546-5664 toll-free from N.C.
· S.C. Dept. of Insurance - 803-737-6180 or 1-800-768-3467 toll free from S.C. 

5. References – Ask for references from the company’slast three jobs and check them out before you sign a contract. 

6. Written contract - Do not permit work to start without a signed, written contract that includes start and completion dates, exact costs, specific work to be done, and warranty information. Be sure to read the fine print carefully.

7. Deposit required and payment – Do not pay more than 25 to 33 percent of the total job cost as a deposit. Final payment should not be due until the job is completed. Do not pay in cash; pay by check or credit card.

8. Warranty – Get warranty information in writing on products and installation. Be sure to read the fine print carefully.

9. Bonding
 – Be sure all workers are bonded to protect you against theft or additional damage.

10. Criminal history – Check out anyone you allow into your home to see if they have a criminal history.

· N.C. online offender search – online offender directory search

· S.C. Dept. of Corrections - instructions to obtain information on offenders 

For more information, please visit BBB.