PERRY COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - As homeowners in Perry County, Missouri work to repair and rebuild after the EF-4 tornado, county leaders are encouraging them to carefully vet contractors.
The Better Business Bureau has already taken complaints about contractors who took deposits, but did little or no work. In some cases, homeowners were not able to contact the contractors after the fact.
The agency recommends checking the business out through the BBB before writing a check.
"Homeowners need to be sure that a contractor will honor promises and not just take their money and run," said Michelle Corey, BBB President and CEO. "Consumers need to make sure that the contractors are qualified and reliable before they sign a contract or pay any money."
Here are some tips from the BBB if you're looking for contractors to make repairs:
- Be cautious of door-to-door salespeople who use high-pressure sales tactics.
- Check with your insurance carrier before making major repairs. An adjuster may need to assess the damage, and the carrier may have recommendations for repairs or contractors.
- Seek at least three bids from prospective contractors based on the same specifications, materials and labor needed to complete the project.
- Ask whether the company is insured against claims covering workers’ compensation, property damage and personal liability in case of accidents. Consumers should obtain the name of the insurance carrier and call to verify coverage.
- Ask whether the contractor meets licensing and bonding requirements set by the state, county or city.
- Find out whether permits are needed before proceeding with the work. The contractor also should be aware of any required permits.
- Ask whether the contractor will provide a lien waiver upon completion of the job. A lien waiver is a statement by the contractor that all suppliers and subcontractors have been paid for their work.
- Read and understand the contract before signing. Get any verbal promises in writing. Include start and completion dates in the contract.
- Remember the rule of thirds. Pay one third at the start of the project, one third when work is 50 percent completed and one third after completion.