With Hurricane Matthew behind us, residents of New Smyrna Beach and Florida are beginning to clean up and assess damage. While we are fortunate that no lives were lost in New Smyrna Beach during Hurricane Matthew, several homes sustained significant damage. Before you call the first contractor you find on Google, here are four things you should know to save you further stress.
- Check out their credentials
We know- your home was damaged and you want it repaired as soon as possible, so it is tempting to call up the first contractor you find on Google and get the process started. Take a moment to slow down and remember that the damage has already been done, and hiring the right contractor will save you future stress and money. According to money.usnews.com, you can check a contractor’s credentials on contractors-license.org to make sure that they are licensed and registered in your state. After verifying their license, stop by the Better Business Bureau’s website and make sure that they do not have any complaints against them.
2) Who are the subcontractors?
It’s not uncommon for general contractors to use subcontractors to complete a large job or for a specialty, such as electrical work. When you are talking to a potential contractor, make sure to ask if they plan to use subcontractors to complete your job and if so, get a list of the subcontractor’s names. Check out the list of subcontractors just like you would the contractor- make sure they are licensed and bonded, and look them up on websites such as Angie’s List, where you can read real reviews from people who have worked with them before.
3) Request an Itemized Bid
While it might be nice to meet with a contractor, get a price and move forward with the work, don’t rush past the important details. After your contractor gives you a price, ask them for an itemized bid. An itemized bid will break down the cost for each element of the job so that you can see exactly what you are paying for and exactly how much each element will cost. According to houselogic.com, requesting itemized bids is not an uncommon practice and if your contractor balks at providing one, consider it a major red flag.
4) Don’t always choose the lowest bid
It is tempting to save money and hire the contractor that gives the lowest bid, but home repair is not the place to cut corners. When repairing your home, you want to make sure the repair is up to standard and will last for the remainder of your home’s life. If you hire the contractor with the lowball bid, be aware that you may end up repairing the same issue in a few years when the work doesn’t hold up. Invest in your home and hire a quality contractor who will use quality materials and do the repair to standard.