1. Don’t Choose The Company That Built Your Home
Although it may seem like a good idea to use the company who built your home for the restoration this couldn’t be more wrong. New home builders are very good at what they do which is building from the ground up. Working with an existing structure that has sustained a disaster requires specific knowledge, skills and procedures which are completely foreign to new home builders.
For example there are specific methods of dealing with smoke and water damage that must be done properly. Dealing with structural damage is not a simple matter and must be handled by a specialist to avoid future problems that only show up after time.
Disaster restoration is a complex and sophisticated procedure that should only be undertaken by a professional with the appropriate experience.
2. Don’t Choose A Remodeling Contractor Or New Construction Contractor
A remodeling contractor is more equipped to deal with a restoration project than a new home builder or new construction contractor but unless they have had the training and experience in this type of work they would also be ill-equipped to deal with the requirements.
3. Don’t Choose Someone Who Hasn’t Worked With Insurance Companies
Contractors who have experience working with insurance companies are familiar with the paper work and details required to get approvals for the reimbursement of reconstruction costs. The last thing that you want is a dispute from the insurance company for payment. It could mean money out of pocket that you do not have.
You paid for the coverage, you do not want anything to take place that would jeopardize getting all the reimbursement that you are entitled to. A contractor that is experienced in working closely with insurance companies is an asset in getting everything you are entitled to.
4. Don’t Forget To Get References
It goes without saying for the need to get references. However, it isn’t enough to just accept them without a followup on your part to contact the sources for their feedback. Doing this will give you a chance to get additional information that is important to know about your contractor.
5. Don’t Forget To Ask Questions
Make sure you fully understand the process of rebuilding your property. Although the contractor will be doing the work the insurance company is holding the cards on reimbursement. The last thing you need is a problem on payments to you or your contractor in a timely manner.
Be sure you and your contractor understand the approvals required by the insurance company before payments are made. Be careful about substituting materials or design changes without the knowledge of the insurance company which leads us into the next topic
6. Don’t Be Afraid To Discuss Options With Your Adjuster
It’s rare to rebuild a property exactly as it was before the tragedy due to the fact that there’s an opportunity to improve and upgrade.
Working closely with your adjuster to get approvals for changes that you want to make will go a long way get the project done exactly as you want it. Although you are in charge of the scope of work, your insurance company will not pay for anything that has not been approved.
As long as you work out the details in advance with the adjuster, your contractor and the insurance company there shouldn’t be any surprises when the time comes to get payment.
7. Don’t Fail To Communicate With Your Contractor Before And During Construction
Failure to communicate with your contractor on a regular basis before you hire them and during construction is the number one reason for disputes and litigation. If you and your contractor are not on the same pages it becomes a recipe for major problems.
Be sure you understand the process of reconstruction, when decisions have to be made and what the schedule for the work will be. You should have a clear understand what will take place during each phase of the work.
If something doesn’t look right you need to get clarification immediately before it becomes more difficult to deal with.
Follow these seven recommendations and you will be well on your way to a happy successful completion of your property by your contractor.