How to Rebuild Your Home or Office after an Emergency Caused by Inclement Weather 

Act with caution

When you have been given permission to return to your neighborhood and home, act with caution.

  • Check the outside of your house to see if there are cracks in the foundations or chimney and to check if the roof is sunken, loose or if there is any sign of deterioration.
  • Do not force the opening of a door if it is stuck. I could be holding the structure of the house.
  • Contact your insurance company. Ask what are the steps to follow to assess the damage to your home or business.
  • If you need a place to stay, you can find refuge through the Red Cross.

You may discover that due to the damage caused by the disaster it is necessary to do an intensive repair in your home or in your business, or directly a demolition. The availability of funds from insurance settlements and the assistance offered by the federal government to homeowners can be an opportunity for scammers to take unfair advantage of the situation. It is no secret that opportunistic scammers are alert to weather emergencies attracted by the demand for repairs and the availability of funds.

If a weather disaster causes serious damage to your home or business and you intend to repair the property, make sure you can do it legally. When you submit a work permit, local inspectors will determine what federal regulations you must comply with. Check the construction permit well to see what restrictions apply to your property and to check if the new structure meets the corresponding height standards.

If the structure is basically intact, but you need a contractor to help with some repairs, ask first and pay later. Remember that it must be SKEPTICAL: control the expenses that are charged to your name in the store of construction materials.

How to choose a contractor

  • Ask for recommendations from friends, family, neighbors, work colleagues, insurance agents or liquidators of insurance claims.
  • Stay away from contractors who encourage you to spend money on temporary repairs, offer “special prices” in exchange for your credit card number, or promise a loan in exchange for an advance charge.
  • Only deal with contractors who have the corresponding license and insurance. Ask the contractors for copies of their general liability and workers’ compensation insurance policies. Contact the local Home Builders Association office and consumer protection officials to find out if they register complaints against any of the contractors you are considering.
  • Get a written quote that includes all the verbal promises of the contractor. Before allowing someone to come into your home to make a budget, do not forget to ask if they will charge a fee for the budget.
  • Take your time to sign a contract. Ask for explanations about price variations, and do not automatically choose the lowest budget. Do not make deals with a contractor that asks you to pay all the work in advance. The norm is to pay a deposit equivalent to one-third of the total price of labor. Pay only by check or credit card, and only pay the final sum when the work is finished and you are satisfied with the result. Do not pay in cash.
  • Before signing a repair contract, ask a friend, family member or lawyer who is knowledgeable about these issues to review it. Before the work begins, get a copy of the signed final contract.
  • Before the work begins, ask your contractor to deliver a lien release. This is a document that states that workers and material suppliers will not claim money once you have paid the contractor. In any case, never sign a landlord’s statement that says you, the property owner, will cover the costs of the materials and labor if the contractor does not pay them.

How to pay for repair work

Never endorse your insurance payment check to a contractor. Instead, process a Certificate of Completion with your bank. The bank will pay the contractor for each completed stage of the work only after you express your agreement.

If you get a loan to pay for repair work, be careful to put your house as collateral: If you do not pay the loan on the agreed terms, you could lose your home. Consider asking a lawyer to review the loan documents.

If you used your credit card to pay for a product or service that you are not happy with, you may be able to recover your money if you dispute the charge. Write a letter to your credit card company detailing the matter; You must do so within a period of 60 days from the date you receive the invoice that includes the charge for the product or service disputed.

Using a credit card to pay for products and services offers you additional protection. In general, you can dispute the charges for unsatisfactory goods or services (even for issues related to the quality of an item) if you made a good faith effort to resolve the dispute with the seller, if the charge exceeds $ 50, or if you made the purchase in your state of residence or within a 100-mile radius of your current billing address.

If you are thinking to sell your home and going to shift to a new home than consider Hudson Movers for moving service.

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