CHICAGO, IL – June 10, 2011 - Homeowners and businesses who are trying to recover from flood damage due to the recent rains should beware so that they do not become victims a second time.
"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.”
The Better Business Bureau suggests there are many issues that residents should consider:
· Do research – contact the BBB before you hire a contractor and avoid businesses who come to your door with a good deal. Go to our website at www.bbb.org and consider using the BBB’s FREE online service called eQuote to obtain estimates, proposals or general information from BBB Accredited contractors.
· Do not give into demands to make excessively large down payments. And don'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 local contractors who have a verifiable track record.
- Homeowners should check with local and county units of government to determine if permits or inspections are required.
According, to the Illinois Attorney General's Office, Illinois has a Home Repair and Remodeling Act that requires contractors to furnish customers with written contracts for any repair or remodeling work costing more than $1,000. Additionally, the Act states a contract must be signed by both the customer and the contractor.
The law also requires contractors to carry at least minimum amounts of insurance for property damage, bodily injury and improper home repair.
For information on hiring a contractor visit www.bbb.org