Disaster can strike unexpectedly, as well as your home isn’t exempt from damage that such an event can bring. Whether your house is damaged by a sudden fire or flooded due to a burst pipe, your premises will be in need of serious repair.
As a homeowner, you could be used to fixing minor issues and maintaining elements of your home. However, doing a restoration job by yourself can lead to accidents and injuries if you have no idea how it is properly done. More technical issues such as those caused by natural disasters and technical and structural problems should only be solved through the knowledge and expertise of a professional disaster restoration contractor.
That said, it is important to note that not all restoration contractors are equal. Just selecting the contractor you get on a random internet list is not really a guarantee that your home will be restored to its former peak condition. Selecting the right restoration contractor for the work shouldn’t be a sudden decision based on availability and convenience. Rather, it should be a process that takes different factors into consideration. Furthermore, all homeowners will have second thoughts about letting an entire stranger to their homes and work on the property.
So, for your peace of mind and make sure that you get the job done, here are some of the ways you can vet future restoration contractors.
1. Verify that the contractors’ licenses are valid
Always consider hiring a licensed restoration contractor
Licensing and permits are important in the construction and restoration industry. For home restoration jobs such as structural repairs and plumbing work, most states require that the work be done only by certified contractors. While you can still choose to work with restoration contractors who do not have a license, there will be no guarantees that the work that they will provide will be top quality. In addition, hiring an unlicensed contractor will also cause you to the de facto general contractor of the project. This makes you responsible for defective work, property damage, and injuries which may happen even though the restoration job is being done.
Save yourself from the potential headache and hassle of any botched restoration job by hiring only a accredited contractor. Having a license is an excellent indication that the restoration contractor you are employing has the necessary knowledge and skills to do the job given that they need to pass an examination mandated by their state before they can practice the profession. Most states have their own websites which you can use to verify in case a license is valid and updated. Simply require the contractors’ license numbers and check them with the said website to ensure they are simply registered to work within their state.
2. Ask if the contractors are certified
Having a valid license is just one of the many factors that you desire to consider when hiring a restoration contractor. Restoration contractors usually hold an over-all contractor’s license because there is no specific license on their behalf. A lot of what restoration contractors do is specialized, such as damage assessment and reconstruction, compared to an over-all contractor, who usually targets on new construction and remodeling.
So aside from licenses, you should also look into the contractors’ certifications. Contractors who focus on restoration are usually certified by the Inspection Institute of Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). The IICRC can be an educational program providing you with contractors with the proper techniques for cleaning, removal, and restoration of damaged building materials.
3. Ask if their businesses are properly insured
Restoration contractors often are part of the insurance process. As such, they should know about the ins and outs of insurance claims plus they themselves should be protected. Accidents could happen in any construction project like a restoration job. Naturally, damage from fire, flooding, and other disasters can severely weaken the structural integrity of your home. To guard yourself from any potential liability, ask potential restoration contractors if indeed they have evidence of insurance.
There are usually two types of insurance that restoration contractors need to have-general liability insurance and workers’ compensation. General liability insurance provides legal and financial protection in instances where someone is hurt, or something is damaged in the restoration work. Workers’ compensation provides medical assistance and wage alternative to employees who are injured throughout the job.
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4. Look at the contractors’ past work
Contact a professional cleanup service.
Any professional restoration contractor will provide you with a list of previous clients when you request them
One of the best proofs of a restoration contractor’s professional capability is their work history with previous clients. Any restoration contractor worth their salt will provide you with a list of previous clients when you request them. While this may be a handpicked list of some of the best work they did, you should check some of the more recent ones and judge for yourself. If you can have their contact details, talk to these customers and inquire about their experience working with the restoration contractor. Here are some of the questions that you should ask:
Did the restoration contractor provide an accurate estimate?
Were you satisfied with the restoration work?
Was the restoration project finished promptly and within budget?
Were there any mistakes? How did the contractor handle them?
Do you recommend the contractor?
5. Inquire if part of the work will be done by a subcontractor
When getting any construction work job done, many homeowners just leave the work to the contractor without asking any questions. This certainly will not be the situation. Usually do not hesitate to ask questions about the project itself, especially about individuals who will focus on your home.
There are cases in which a restoration contractor will hire a subcontractor to do part of the job. Knowing this information is important, especially if you will be damaged should there certainly be a payment dispute between the restoration contractor and the hired subcontractor. In case the restoration contractor struggles to pay the subcontractor, the latter may file a mechanics lien to recuperate payment.
Looking for a restoration contractor can be considered a challenging task, especially when currently facing a damaged and unlivable home. Hopefully, the steps we outlined above can help you select the right disaster restoration contractor that can guide you through the process.