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Choosing a Contractor

Having a disaster take place in your home or your place of business can be very stressful. After a disaster, there are many decisions to be made and one of them is choosing the right contractor. Finding a good contractor can take some work, but there can be huge risks from picking the wrong contractor. Therefore, it’s really important to set aside time to do your homework.

Here are some tips to make sure you make the best decision regarding your disaster renovation and cleanup.

Get Recommendations

First, start asking your friends and family for a business that they would recommended. Word-of-mouth is one of the best ways to find a quality company.

Assemble a List

Don’t go with the first company that is recommended. You need to shop around to make sure you are getting the best value for? your dollar and to make sure they are the right contractor for the job. So, make a list of at least 6 contractors to start with.

Do Phone Interviews

Once the list is complete, call them for an interview.? Here are some helpful questions.

? Are they willing to provide financial references, from suppliers or banks?

? Can they give you a list of previous clients?

? How many other projects would they have going at the same time?

? How long have they been in business?

? Are they certified and trained to work in their industry?

Meet Face to Face

Once you vet the contractors via phone, pick three or four contractors to meet in person. A contractor should be able to answer your questions satisfactorily and in a manner that puts you at ease.

Investigate the Facts

Check in with your state’s consumer protection agency and your local Better Business Bureau to make sure contractors don’t have a history of disputes with clients or subcontractors. You can also visit a current job site and see for yourself how the contractor works. Is the job site neat and safe? Are workers courteous and careful with the homeowner’s property? Also, make sure the contractor has all the required licenses and certifications.

Get Bids

Once you determine who are good?candidates, you can determine who fits the bill. You can start to move forward with the bid. In order to compare the bids, ask each contractor to break down the cost of materials, labor, profit margins and other expenses. Keep in mind, a general rule of thumb is that materials account for 40 percent of the total cost.

In some cases, your insurer may suggest a vendor they use on a regular basis. However, keep in mind that just because an insurance company recommends a contractor,? it does not mean that they are the best company for the job.

Benefits of Hiring a Preferred Contractor

  • Contractor has some accountability to the insurance company.
  • Some preferred contractor programs may offer extended warranties.
  • The contractor may be able to handle the entire scope of the restoration.
  • Some preferred contractor programs require their vendors to work with estimating guidelines and approved price lists.
  • Longevity in working as a vendor with the insurance company may prove that the contractor is stable and does good work.

Negatives of Hiring a Preferred Contractor

  • Some contractors may be reluctant to oppose the opinion of the adjuster, even if it means opposing would be in the best interest of the property owner.
  • There can be a false sense of security with the quality of work concerning the contractor because they were recommended by the insurance adjuster.
  • The scope and cost of the repairs may be written by the adjuster to expedite the claim. Oftentimes, the adjusters do not have the knowledge or hands on experience and it may not be an accurate estimate. The vendor may feel pressured to agree with the adjuster’s estimates.
  • If the contractor fails to perform, you may have no recourse with the adjuster or the insurance company that recommended them.

Alert Disaster Restoration is here for all your restoration needs. Alert is a full restoration service provider. Our goal is to provide the most hassle-free service available to you. We even act as liaison between you and the insurance company to ensure a swift, quality restoration. Give us a call at 1 (877) 435-8117.