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Steps to find a reputable contractor to make repairs to your home

After a bad storm hits, it's not all that uncommon that different contractors will rush into the area to try to take advantage of the uptick in work. While many, who may be canvassing the area, are licensed and insured, most likely just as many are not.

Even though there is a strong chance that a builder without credentials will do a good job, they also might do a shoddy one, costing you thousands of dollars in repairs to ultimately fix. There are a number of criteria your builder should meet if you want to ensure you make the least painful (and potentially costly) decision possible.

One of the first steps you should take to protect yourself from making a poor choice is to verify that the contractor you're looking to hire is in good standing with the state licensing board, local builder's association and the even the Better Business Bureau. This is important because storms have a tendency to attract builders from outside the state.

In many cases, even if licensed in their home state, a builder's warranty may essentially be invalid in your own. Unless that company has a reciprocal agreement in place to have a local builder do repairs in their absence, then most likely a valid warranty will not exist.

You'll also want to make sure to ask the company for references. This will not only allow you to verify the quality of the work they perform, but it will help you in learning more about their work ethic. A contractor must be able to show that they carry valid worker's compensation insurance, too.

A builder that has a local office in the area that you can visit can be important if issues arise. An experienced contractor should have experience filing homeowner's insurance claims on behalf of their customers as well. Also, you should be weary of any builder that does not want to buy materials and store them on the build site. Any reputable builder would see this as a completely normal expectation.

You are much more likely to see your job get completed as agreed to if your builder meets the aforementioned criteria. However, if you've contracted a builder that has not followed through with the terms of the agreed-to contract, then a Melbourne, Florida, construction litigation attorney may be able to help in your legal matter.

Source: National Storm Damage Center, "Hiring the right contractor," accessed June 28, 2017

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