Tips for Hiring a Contractor
Property owners should be wary of scammers that use high pressure tactics to coerce homeowners into signing contracts on the spot and/or requiring payments in full up front. Before hiring a contractor, homeowners are encouraged to do their homework to ensure that they’re hiring a reputable, qualified individual or company to help rebuild their home or business.
- Make sure the contractor has a permanent business location and a good reputation with a local bank and suppliers.
- Find out how long they have been in the building business. You want to know that your contractor will be around after construction is complete to fulfill any warranty obligations.
- Check with your local Better Business Bureau to learn if any complaints have been filed against your contractor.
- Ask for and verify references.
- Enter into a complete and clearly written contract with your builder or remodeler.
- Do not pay for the entire job up front or pay in cash. In fact, state law prohibits contractors in disaster areas from taking up front money unless they have held a physical business address in the county or adjacent county for at least one year. This law, found in Chapter 58 of the Texas Business and Commerce Code, provides other valuable protections for those rebuilding in disaster areas.
- Be cautious of unusually low-priced bids or a hard-sell to “sign today” for a low price.
- Report Price Gouging and Scams to the Texas Attorney General’s office at http://txoag.force.com/CPDOnlineForm