Hurricane Harvey aftermath Tips for Home owners
As residents of the Houston area, and as native Texans, the attorneys of Pipkin Ferguson PLLC understand the stress associated with the aftermath of major hurricanes such as Harvey. Typically, one of the major concerns for those affected is getting their homes repaired as quickly as possible. While the vast majority of contractors are honest, trustworthy, and conscientious, some are not. When disaster strikes, it is not uncommon for unscrupulous actors to prey upon homeowner’s anxieties and desires to repair their home quickly. Fortunately, there are many ways for a homeowner to minimize the risk of hiring a dishonest contractor for repairs. In this article, Pipkin Ferguson PLLC offers basic and simple strategies for selecting, hiring, and completing your home repair project successfully.
- 1) Shop Around – while it is understandable for homeowners to be eager to start the repairs process, patience and planning pays off. Try to get detailed written bids or estimates from at least three different contractors so that you can be certain that you are getting a fair and reasonable price for your repair. Requesting this information is normal and any contractor refusing to provide this information is not a contractor you want to do business with.
- 2) Google It – before you decide to hire a contractor, be sure to do your research. If they have a social media presence, read their reviews to see what other customers have experienced with the contractor. You should also get the contractor’s full name, address, phone number, and email address if available. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for references and to contact those references directly.
- 3) Write it Down – once you have selected the best contractor for your repairs project, you must get a written contract to specify the price and scope of work. A contract can be a simple document where you specify what you want the contractor to do, when you want the work completed, and how much you will compensate the contractor for it. While it may seem like a formality, having a written contract will let the parties know what to expect from each other and will minimize the risk of disputes down the line.
- 4) Pay in Installments – one of the most effective ways to control the outcome of a construction project is to keep tight control over the payments made to contractors. Do not pay the entire job up front, instead, retain a portion of the total price and do not make the final payment until you have inspected the work and are completely satisfied with the repairs. It is not uncommon to retain a percentage of the total payment until you are completely satisfied with the work.
We hope that these tips are helpful to homeowners during this stressful process. If you need more detailed advice or have encountered an issue, contact Pipkin Ferguson PLLC to discuss your legal rights.