AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The Better Business Bureau (BBB) are offering tips and red flags for people looking for a contractor to help with cleanup or minor repairs in light of recent storms, according to the BBB.
Janna Kiehl, BBB President, explained the importance of choosing a good contractor.
“Doing a little research now will save time and headaches later.” Kiehl said. “A call to BBB before your project is a lot faster and easier when you’re looking for a good company than it is after you have done business with a questionable company.”
Here are some tips that the BBB said will help before you pay or sign with a contractor:
- Make temporary repairs, using a trusted company. This allows you to take your time to hire the right contractor for your job.
- Contact the BBB at www.bbb.org/Amarillo or 806-379-6222 for a list of accredited businesses in an industry or to check on a specific business. It’s free, fast and easy.
- Check with your insurance company about coverage and specific filing requirements.
- Now you’re ready to get some bids. Make sure you compare apples to apples, bids are itemized and cover the project needs. Keep in mind a bid is an only estimate of the work and costs of the project. Be prepared for some adjustments for the unknown; if you change or add to the estimate, your contract details, including costs will change. There’s a lot more to the overall business transaction than price alone. Also consider: time, value, warranty, customer service and seeking a positive and professional relationship is crucial.
- Use BBB’s ‘Get A Quote’ tool to get quotes from local Accredited Businesses. It never hurts to do more research.
- The City of Amarillo and most other panhandle Cities require roofing contractors to register and give proof of bond. Ask the company to see their City registration, check with the City and with BBB. BBB reports on companies include registration information.
- Prepare a written agreement with anyone you hire. Outline the work to be done, the materials to be used, and the price breakdown for both labor and materials and any special instructions or requirements. Review it carefully before signing. Never sign a blank contract.
- Avoid high pressure tactics. Trustworthy companies will be here when you’re ready to buy and will allow you time to check them out.
- Don’t pay in advance, and don’t pay cash. It’s OK to pay some money up front but first make sure the company shows up for and completes the first day of work. While most companies don’t ask for money up front, some may. A good rule of thumb is 1/3 after the first day of work; 1/3 half way through the project and the final third when the project and all inspections are complete (insurance, City, etc.). If your project does not require a formal inspection by a third party, make sure it passes your inspection before signing off on it.
- Ask questions and if you don’t receive straight answers, choose another company.