CHICAGO, IL – November 19, 2013 - Homeowners andbusinesses that have been affected by the severe storms and tornadoes on Sunday,November 17th need to be cautious to not become victims ofunscrupulous contractors, says the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago andNorthern Illinois (BBB).
The intense storms and tornadoes swept throughthe Midwest, causing at least six deaths and 37 injuries. Homeowners andbusinesses are devastated by their losses and are in a rush to get their livesback together.
“There will be unethical businesses trying totake advantage of storm victims," said Steve J Bernas, president & CEOof the BBB serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “While there is a strongsense of urgency and stress, we encourage consumers and business owners tochoose their contractors wisely and not rush into making expensive decisionsthat could make this hard time worse.”
The Better Business Bureau provides a FREE onlineservice called Request a Quote to find local BBB Accredited contractors you cantrust at www.bbb.org
Here are some tips that should be considered ifyour home or business has been damaged due to storms:
● Do research –contact the BBB before you hire a contractor and avoid businesses that come toyour door with a good deal.
● Request bids from two or three different companies.
● Base all bids on the same criteria.
● Don’t automatically pick the lowest bid.
● Do not give into demands to make excessively large down payments anddon't make full payment until all the work is done to your satisfaction.
● Determine whether the contractor has the proper insurance.
● Ask to see any required state or local permits or licenses.
● Work with contractors who have a verifiable track record.
● Homeowners should check with local and county units of government todetermine if permits or inspections are required.
● Get all estimates in writing.
● In Illinois, for repairs that cost $1000 or more, contractors mustprovide homeowners with a signed contract.
For further information on hiring a contractorvisit www.bbb.org
As aprivate, non-profit organization, the purpose of the Better Business Bureau isto promote an ethical marketplace. BBBs help resolve buyer/seller complaints bymeans of conciliation, mediation and arbitration. BBBs also review advertisingclaims, online business practices and charitable organizations. BBBs developand issue reports on businesses and nonprofit organizations and encouragepeople to check out a company or charity before making a purchase or donation.