Jul
24

Homework for Homeowners with Water Damage

July 24, 2011

Many metro Chicago homeowners and businesses are still cleaning up after the area experienced the rainiest day in Chicago’s history on Saturday.

And many of those Chicago-area homeowners and businesses are going to need help. That’s why the Better Business Bureau is warning residents to beware.

house underwater

Don't go further underwater: Do research before hiring a company to help you clean up after a flood.

“As sure as the rains fell there will be unscrupulous businesses that will try to exploit the situation and try to scam homeowners and businesses that are in need of making repairs,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the BBB serving Chicago and northern Illinois.

“While there may be a sense of urgency, we encourage consumers and business owners to take the time to carefully consider repair contracts and not to rush into making expensive decisions that can aggravate an already stressful time.”

Here are some ‘do’s and ‘don’t's to consider during this stressful time:

DO

*Contact the BBB before you hire a contractor. BBB has a free online service called eQuote that will help you get estimates, proposals or general information from BBB Accredited contractors.

*Make sure the business you hire has the proper insurance and any required state or local permits or licenses.

*Work with local contractors who have good track records.

DON’T

*Don’t hire a business that comes to your door with a good deal.

*Don’t give into demands to make large down payments.

*Don’t pay the bill in full until all the work is done to your satisfaction.

According to the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, the Illinois Home Repair and Remodeling Act requires contractors to provide customers with a written contract for any repair or remodeling job that costs more than $1,000, and that contract must be signed by the contractor and the homeowner.

Don’t make a bad situation worse. Do your homework before hiring help and safeguard your home.

For more information, visit chicago.bbb.org.

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Tracey

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