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What should I know about using contractors to rebuild after a disaster?

Answer:

When considering using contractors to fix or rebuild your home you will want to get bids from several local, established contractors. Keep reading for more tips.

  • Avoid contractors who are working door to door, come from out of state, don’t provide an address and phone number, or refuse to show identification.
  • Ask if the contractor has the required licenses. Ask for the license number and use your state licensing agency’s website or hotline to make sure it’s valid.
  • Check with licensing agencies to see if the contractor has a history of complaints.
  • Never pay in advance.
  • Never pay in cash.
  • Never provide personal financial information, such as your checking account credit card or debit card numbers.  You might be told this will “speed up payment” to start the repair process. Don’t believe it.
  • If you have to borrow to pay for repairs, don’t let the contractor steer you toward a particular lender.
  • Never sign anything before carefully reading it.
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