Working With Contractors: What To Do and Not Do (A Public Adjusters Perspective)

contractor dos and donts

Hiring a contractor can be a significant undertaking, whether you’re remodeling your home, building an addition, or tackling a renovation project. When it comes to working with contractors due to “INSURANCE RELATED DAMAGE TO YOUR HOME”  damage to your home, it can become an even more hectic project. 

The relationship between homeowners and contractors can have a profound impact on the success of a project. To ensure a smooth and successful collaboration, it’s essential to know what to do and, perhaps more importantly, what not to do when working with contractors. In this blog, we’ll explore the do’s and don’ts of working with contractors. 

house having maintenance work

What to Do

1. Hire a Public Adjuster

If you are hiring a contractor because of “INSURANCE CLAIM REPLATED DAMAGE TO YOUR HOME” damages to your home, it’ll be in your best interest to hire a public adjuster. A public adjuster can assist in dealing with your insurance claim to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve and make sure that contractors are doing right for you, not trying to get one past you. 

2. Do Your Homework

Before hiring a contractor, thoroughly research their credentials, experience, and reputation. Check references, read reviews, and ensure they are licensed and insured.

INSIST THAT THE CONTRACTOR LISTS YOU AS AN “ADDITIONAL INSURED” AND AS A “CERTIFICATE HOLDER” ON THEIR INSURANCE POLICY.  IF THE CONTRACTOR MAKES A MISTAKE, (LIKE DAMAGING YOUR NEIGHBORS DRIVEWAY, OR ACCIDENTALLY DAMAGING YOUR PROPERTY DURING THE PROJECT, THE CONTRACTOR’S INSURANCE POLICY WILL COVER YOU FOR THEIR MISTAKES.  THIS PREVENTS YOU FROM HAVING TO OPEN A CLAIM UNDER YOUR OWN POLICY. 

If you are required to hire a contractor for insurance purposes, you are completely in control of who restores your property, NOT YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY.”

3. Do Get Multiple Quotes

Seek estimates from multiple contractors to compare pricing, timelines, and proposed project details. This can help you make an informed decision and avoid overpaying. 

4. Do Get Everything in Writing

Ensure that all project details, costs, timelines, and expectations are documented in a clear, written contract. This provides clarity and protects both parties.

5. Do Communicate Clearly

Effective communication is key. Clearly express your goals, expectations, and any specific requirements you have for the project. Regular updates and discussions can help prevent misunderstandings.

6. Do Establish a Realistic Budget

Set a realistic budget and discuss it with your contractor. This will help you both stay on the same page and avoid financial surprises. If you are hiring a contractor to help with “INSURANCE RELATED DAMAGE OR RESTORATION,” check within your insurance policy to see what is covered and what isn’t. 

7. Do Insist on a Timeline

Agree on a project timeline and milestones. A well-defined schedule can keep the project on track and help you plan accordingly. If you are hiring a contractor to help clean up FIRE OR WATER DAMAGE, before allowing a restoration company to remove and restore damaged belongings, take time to determine which items can be cleaned or need to be replaced. Giving up control too soon could lead to unnecessary repair costs instead of using the settlement funds for replacements.

What Not to Do

1. Don’t Pay Upfront for the Entire Project

Avoid contractors who demand full payment before any work begins. Instead, agree on a payment schedule tied to project milestones. This may not apply to you if you are going through an insurance policy. 

2. Don’t Micromanage

Trust your contractor’s expertise. While it’s important to stay informed, avoid excessive interference in their work, as it can hinder progress. Make sure any personal items you wish to keep or protect are removed from the house or covered properly. 

3. Don’t Ignore Red Flags

If you notice inconsistent communication, missed deadlines, or unaddressed concerns, take action. Red flags may indicate a problematic contractor or potential issues with the project. Don’t wait until the last minute to address issues. 

4. Don’t Make Unplanned Changes

Frequent changes to the project’s scope can lead to delays and additional costs. Stick to the agreed-upon plan as closely as possible. Only subscribe to changes if they are absolutely necessary to the success of the project. IF CHANGES ARE NECESSARY, DEMAND A WRITTEN CHANGE ORDER LISTING THE CHANGES IN THE SCOPE OF WORK AND PRICING.”

5. Don’t Skip Permits and Inspections

Avoid the temptation to cut corners by skipping necessary permits or inspections. This can lead to legal issues and unsafe work, AND A LOSS OF VALUE TO YOUR HOME.”

6. Don’t Neglect Documentation

We can never state this too many times…Keep records of all project-related documents, including contracts, permits, and receipts. These records are essential for tracking expenses and addressing any disputes.

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