Storm Chasing Contractors 101
When big storms hit, it is common for there to be an influx of contractors knocking on doors the following weeks. Storms are destructive and we all want a good deal on repairs and to get our homes and lives back to normal as soon as possible. However, when you get the knock on the door from a nice person who says they are there to help, please make sure you ask enough questions and do your research. Many of these contractors leave as quickly as they came. Who do you call if you have questions about warranty? Will they come back to fix something unfinished or not up to your standards? These are just a few of the issues with not using local, trusted, companies in your area.
How Do You Know if They Are Storm Chasers?
One of the easiest ways to know if you are dealing with a storm chasing contractors is that they often have out-of-state license plates. Another thing to look for is 30-day tags on their vehicles. When you ask for references from your potential contractor, are they local to your area or are they out of state references? You may also be able to tell if you look up their website, or the Better Business Bureau. If you have never heard of the company before, make sure you ask a lot of questions and do your due diligence to make sure they are 100% who they say they are.
Make Sure They are Have a Operating License in Your State and are Insured
Do they carry insurance /worker’s compensation in your state? This is a big red flag for anyone hiring a contractor for any reason. No matter who you choose to work with, hiring a contractor that has a license and insured in your state should be at the top of your list of requirements. Yes, sometimes a company you haven’t checked with will do good work, but what if they don’t? Will they be there to make repairs if you have a problem? What if they get hurt working at your house without insurance? Could they sue you?
Too Pushy, or Offer Deep Discounts or Savings
The storm chasing contractor will offer you a deal and then make it sweeter if you sign on the dotted line without having time to check references is a big red flag. This is a sure sign that something is fishy. There are many companies that will offer to pay your insurance deductible or offer deep discounts if you Pushing for signature on contract. Not all of these are ethical method of “saving” you money, it is also always suspect that they are able to give you “such a good deal.”
In the state of Ohio you can actually research if a business has had previous complaints on file or has been involved in a court case/litigation for a transaction. It is worth the small amount of time it takes to ensure you are dealing with someone who ethical.
Here is the link: https://ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/site/residents/resources/research-a-business
Do they know local building codes?
Every state and municipality has their own set of building codes. Many contractors who are not from your area could be unfamiliar with local or regional regulations. It is important to know that the work your contractor does, will pass inspections and meet local building requirements.
One quick tip is to call your city building department and ask if they are familiar with the contractor you are investigating. Ask them how long they have been registered in your area. You can also ask the building department if they know of any complaints about the company you are looking at.
Do they guarantee their workmanship and materials?
Reputable companies will offer warranties to cover their workmanship and most suppliers have some sort of warranty on the materials they produce. Every contractor you speak with should have a clear warranty and offer information about warranties on the materials that they are using to finish your job.
If they do not guarantee their work, that should be a big red flag. Again, this is where calling their references may offer some insight on what it is like to work with a contractor even after a job is complete.
No matter who you choose to do work on your home we hope you always follow these tips. There are a lot of great companies out there and we hope you will consider Aapex Construction and Restoration as one of your options. Learn about our customer Advocacy Difference here. We understand that we will not always be the contractor you select, but we want to make sure that everyone gets a qualified, reputable, and reliable contractor.
Always do your due diligence. Don’t let your emotions play a roll in jumping the gun. If it’s too good to be true then it usually is. No reputable contractor expects you to sign on the dotted line before you can do your due diligence.
This is an investment in your home and your family’s future security. You want someone that will stand behind their work and be around if problems arise. You don’t want to be a number.
Fly by companies come through and under cut costs and make their money from quantity not quality. Don’t be a statistic be proactive in your search for home repairs. If they are willing to undercut to get a signed contract and take away from a local company, they wouldn’t care to do the same to you!
If a company has a price that is too good to be true the odds are they have to cut their costs in some way. They are either not hiring qualified labor or buying less than quality materials. It reflects in their materials & workmanship.