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BBB offers tips for hiring home repair contractors after storms roll through

BBB offers tips for hiring home repair contractors after storms roll through
CHARLOTTE ó Recent severe storms have brought wind, rain and hail to parts of the southern Piedmont. If you have damage to your home or yard, the BBB has a checklist with 10 tips for hiring a home repair, roofing or tree service contractor.
ěAll it takes is a business card and a cell phone for someone to claim they are a contractor,î said BBB President Tom Bartholomy.
ěYou should do your homework to hire a contractor with a good track record,î said Bartholomy. ěThere are thousands of reputable contractors who will deliver quality work, on time and within budget.î
BBB Checklist: 10 Tips for Hiring a Roofing, Home Repair or Tree Service Contractor:
Track record: Hire a reputable, local company. Check out a companyís BBB rating and complaint history at www.bbb.org. Itís fast, easy and free. You can also call the BBB at 704-927-8611 or 877-317-7236, toll-free. Customer service staff are available, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (excluding noon-1 p.m. for lunch).
Cost comparisons: Get at least three bids in writing and be sure you compare the bids based on the same warranty, specifications, labor and time.
Licensing: Check to see if the company you plan to hire has the proper licensing. Contractors must be licensed if the total job exceeds $30,000.
Insurance: Verify the companyís liability insurance to protect you against damage. You can also check with the department of insurance in your state.
N.C. Dept. of Insurance – 1-800-546-5664 toll-free from N.C.
References: Ask for references from the companyís last three jobs and check them out before you sign a contract.
Written contract: Do not permit work to start without a signed, written contract that includes start and completion dates, exact costs, specific work to be done, and warranty information. Be sure to read the fine print carefully.
Deposit required and payment: Do not pay more than 25 to 33 percent of the total job cost as a deposit. Final payment should not be due until the job is completed. Do not pay in cash; pay by check or credit card.
Warranty: Get warranty information in writing on products and installation. Be sure to read the fine print carefully.
Bonding: Be sure all workers are bonded to protect you against theft or additional damage.
Criminal history: Check out anyone you allow into your home to see if they have a criminal history. N.C. online offender search ó online offender directory search.
For more information, visit www. bbb.org.

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