How to Find the Right Contractor to Repair Your Houston Home
After being able to assess the storm/water damage to your home, caused by Hurricane Harvey, the last thing you want to do is spend countless hours researching Houston’s home renovation process.
The goal of this site is to help save you time, arm you with important relevant information that can help get your property restored as fast as possible while providing helpful tips to eliminate being scammed in the process. Instead of taking a stab in the dark, hopefully this will help you make an informed decision and find the contractor that’s right for you.
Before meeting a contractor to restore your storm damaged home in Cypress, Katy, Spring, Missouri City, Kingwood and the surrounding Houston, TX neighborhoods, you should have a written list of questions to ask instead of “winging it” during the appointment.
Most homeowners don’t bother asking the same questions in each meeting and will usually realize later (when they’re not happy) they “assumed” the contractor who they hired had the same amount of insurance, warranty or protocol for unforeseen repairs.
It doesn’t matter if the water damaged has occurred in a single area or multiple rooms throughout the house, knowing what to ask can save you time, frustration or having to fire your contractor midway into the project. I can’t stress enough, the importance of not only asking questions, but listening to the responses and taking notes.
Many homeowners become overwhelmed with the process of scheduling appointments with contractors and no- shows, which leads to frustration… and out of frustration… base their decision on price.
Below are 9 questions to help you avoid being frustrated or taken advantage of when looking for a contractor to repair your fire, storm or flood damaged home in Houston.
9 Questions That Can Help You from Getting Scammed
1. Have you restored a storm or flood damage home in Houston?
There is a big difference between hiring a handyman (someone that does small repairs) vs. a contractor that is experienced with storm or flood damaged renovations. Imagine having the renovations completed and a week later the odor, stains or mold start bleeding through your freshly painted walls.
2. What are the City of Houston requirements needed for the renovation process?
A storm or flood damaged property may required permits from the City of Houston based on the work needed to restore your home. Your mortgage and insurance company may request proof of permits (if required) for any storm or flood repairs performed on the home to add to your file.
3. Can you explain the process use to restore my home?
An experienced contractor should be able to provide specific information on how the process will go based on previous customer’s projects. It’s not realistic to expect a detailed time schedule in the initial meeting. Pay close attention to their answers. Are they giving vague answers, avoiding the question or just saying “Yes” I can do the work without explaining how?
4. Do you work with insurance companies?
Working with insurance companies will delay the work progress and add time to project because of the required inspection intervals and scheduling constraints posed by the insurance company. And if a mortgage company requires inspections, expect additional delays.
5. Who will handle the scheduling of inspections?
Is your contractor comfortable with handling this for you, or will this be your responsibility? After the project has started finding, the last thing you want to discover is this task is your responsibility. As simple as this task seems, it is a big time suck and will chew up a big portion of your day, hence many contractor’s don’t like to be bothered with this task!
This goes without saying. Getting references from past customer’s from a year ago can be better than a job they just finished. Why? A customer that had work completed a year ago speaks to the quality of work performed by the contractor. You can rest assured if there were any issues after the project was completed, they were taken care of, otherwise they wouldn’t be a reference. On a large renovation project a few tweaks or touch ups are common once the homeowner has moved back into the space.
7. How long is the warranty and what does it cover?
Make sure you have a clear understanding of what labor the warranty covers. For example, if the project includes matching the texture and 3 months later, you noticed an small area where texture is different. Does the warranty include the contractor coming back to re-texture the area or will you be charged?
8. Are you insured?
It amazes me how many homeowners ask and the contractor that question, they say “Yes” and that’s the end of it. Whatever contractor you hire to do the property damage repairs, always get a copy of their insurance.
9. Specialty Contractor or General Contractor?
This is a question only you can answer honestly and make the best decision that’s right for you. Many homeowners try to save money by hiring the specialty trades needed for their project themselves.
If you have the time to meet with 2-3 contractor’s per trade, don’t mind researching the City of Houston permit requirements, coordinating multiple trades and creating a schedule for your project, going the individual specialty contractor route, might be a good fit for you.
If your main concern is getting your house restored and back to a normal daily routine as quickly as possible, a General Contractor is the way to go. Having 1 person be your point of contact to answer any questions or concerns that arise throughout the process, helps eliminate a lot of frustrations and miscommunication that occurs with multiple trades. Make sure to chose a General Contractor that personally inspects their project daily, pull permits, handle inspections, coordinate specialty trades, correspond with your insurance company and create a project timeline for your home renovation.
Common sense goes a long way when selecting a contractor for your property damage renovation. Trust your instinct and don’t select a contractor based on the lowest bid. The key to having a good remodeling experience and finding the reputable contractor is communication.
Remember if a contractor is not very responsive and it always takes a couple days for them to return your call or reply to a message, what do you think it will be like after they have your money!
We provide the following storm and flood property damage services to homeowners in Houston:
We work with your insurance company.
City of Houston permits and inspections.
Roofing- Repair, patch or Re roof.
Framing- Interior and exterior walls.
Insulation- Attic and wall removal and new installation.
Drywall- Cut wet or molded drywall 1ft- 4ft high and new installation.
Texture- Matching your existing texture.
Painting- Interior walls, ceiling, doors, trim and baseboards and exterior painting.
Siding- Wood siding, Hardi plank and all types of siding.
Cabinets- Installation, staining, re-finishing or painting.
Flooring- Remove storm or flood damaged floors, install carpet, tile, hardwood or laminate flooring.