When you are planning a renovation, time is on your side. You can carefully select and vet contractors. When a natural disaster occurs, immediate repairs are sometimes unavoidable. Stress from the storm may make it difficult for you to make decisions clearly. Six months from now, you don’t want to be thinking “Why, oh why did I hire that guy?”
- File a damage report with FEMA- FEMA Assistance
- Contact your homeowners insurance or renters insurance company to check on your coverage.
NOTE: If you rent your home, your rights are protected, and your landlord is required to make repairs in a timely manner. Visit Texas Attorney General Office – Tenant Rights for more information.
- Assess the damage; document everything with pictures.
- Flood waters may have included sewage or chemicals. It’s important to remove wet items from the home to avoid mold and respiratory issues. If you are able, remove damaged sheetrock from your walls and remove carpeting.
- Select a Contractor:
- Select contractors that are licensed, insured and reputable. Many times after a disaster, contractors will travel from other states to work on homes. Make sure you know who you are dealing with by contacting their licensing agency to confirm they are legitimate.
- Ask for insurance information. Certificates of Insurance for General Liability and Workers Compensation should be issued, upon your request, to ensure your home and family are protected from liability.
- Do not provide payment to a contractor or service provider without a written, detailed proposal for the services they will be providing, including materials, a timeline for completing the repairs, and a payment schedule.
TIP! Rather than paying your contractor for the materials, make payment directly to the retail or wholesale outlet they use, over the phone or in person. This will give you more security of your funds, and give you additional time to pay if cash is tight.
- Use third party resources to vet contractors. Both of these sites are free to join, and include reviews of local contractors.